Exposé Online banner

Moe! Staiano — The Lateness of Yearly Presentations
(Dephine Knormal Musik DKM06, 2001, CD)

Moe! Staiano's Moe!kestra — Two Forms of Multitudes: Conducted Improvisations
(Dephine Knormal Musik DKM06, 2003, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2003-12-01

The Lateness of Yearly Presentations Cover artTwo Forms of Multitudes: Conducted Improvisations Cover art

Some may be familiar with Moe! (not to be confused with moe.) as the waste percussionist in Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Readers who find SGM a little too happy-go-lucky and accessible, or those simply looking for something more explorative and challenging may want to check out his solo works. Lateness has been out a year or so, but features recordings mostly from the 1998 timeframe (hence the title), produced by Ron Anderson (Pak, Molecules, etc.) featuring solo pieces and others involving his cohorts from Moe!kestra, Vacuum Tree Head, and elsewhere. The first notion we need to put to rest is that this is a percussion-only recording; in fact it is far from it, featuring voices, clarinet, guitars, bass, cello, vibraphone (okay, okay, that’s percussion, I know) but Moe! does manage to coax the most unusual sounds out of the most unlikely instruments (pots, pans, sheet metal, brake drums, whirlie tubes, kitchen sink, etc.) over the album’s ten tracks, from the 20 second opener “Insert Introduction Monologue Here,” which is basiclly a solo for drums and varying-speed tape, to the 16 minute, ten part experimental suite “The 10 Indexes,” which explores a wide range of sounds in an other-worldly setting.

The Moe!kestra has been a going concern for a five or six years, yet Two Forms of Multitudes is their first full length release. Unlike Lateness, which presents mostly composed vignettes for one to four players, Multitudes is a conducted improvisation for a very large ensemble of 30 or so players – in fact two conducted improvisations for two versions of the Moe!kestra, recorded about six months apart, using the same notations, but achieving a wildly different outcome. Instrumentalists are often massed, sometimes three to five players playing the same thing on the same instrument – in that respect perhaps reminiscent of Glenn Branca. Here Staiano doesn’t play much, but mostly conducts the ensemble throughout these two 40-ish minute pieces. The ensembles use a variety of instruments: horns, woodwinds, electric guitars, strings, theremin, and more, and of course lots of percussion. The sound is more or less what one would expect from a 30 piece percussion heavy ensemble: intense, dense, chaotic, and often noisy – but unlike many improvs, these move, change, and evolve frequently enough to keep them interesting over the long haul. While neither of these discs probably represent everyday listening for most folks, they do offer an explorative outlook and challenge the senses.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2001 releases, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Moe! Staiano / Surplus 1980

More info
http://moestaiano.bandcamp.com/album/the-lateness-of-yearly-presentations

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jean-Philippe Goude - Drones – Here's a welcome reissue indeed! My old cassette of this has done a full tour of duty, I don't think it could've lasted another six months... which is to say, this is one you'll...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues