Au (pronounced "ay-you") is the work of multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland. Begun while finishing up his degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, then moved across the US to find to its roots in the thriving community of Portland, OR.
Currently a full time duo with Dana Valatka on drums (Jackie-O-Motherfucker, Mustaphamond), it is a loosely defined amalgam of players that can swell to double digit numbers with full choir in tow and sees some of Portland's finest lending a helping hand. It's sound is vast and deftly treads a narrow bridge between the loose-associations of the backwoods freak-folk crowd and the more formalized concoctions of art-poppers like Brian Eno; managing to erase the high art/low art boundary between American contemporary classical music and American pop music.
They have been compared to : Arcade Fire, Soft Machine, Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Arvo Part, George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Parenthetical Girls
"Au plays feel-good experimentalia. It is joyful, explosive and improvisatory… one of this year's most joyful experiments."
"There are no maps for the musical terrain that Portland-based experimentalist Luke Wyland explores, but the scenery here is weirdly beautiful....We may hear distant flashes of Arcade Fire here, or perhaps Spiritualized jamming with Sun Ra, but this mostly sounds like a hugely inventive campfire jam at some magical faraway festival of the imagination."
Twi The Humbel Feather
Led by the creative direction of anthony lebron, twi the humble feather borrows from the myriad works of great composers such as arvo part, philip glass, j.s. bach, iannis xenakis, dimitri shostakovich, and carl orff. lebron, a classically trained guitarist, introduced flamenco and classical techniques to the trio, which, prior to their brotherly commitment to ‘twi the humble feather’, were strictly pop, rock, and experimental based. bryan doring is the founding member of alias pail, a once twee pop inspired project now leaning more and more towards the usage of quirky ‘bent’ instruments alongside subtle finger-style guitar works. hektor fontanez, has played with, and led, several bands such as lasonik, abstract music project, and lil humble veli. he currently has an experimental and acoustic based solo project entitled liek. both alias pail and liek (pronounced lee-ek), are currently producing various recording projects.
the sound of ‘twi the humble feather’, in its trio form, could be characterized as a cinematic, sci-fi adventure. although currently a completely acoustic act, using no electronic effects whatsoever, the trio manages to vocally present percussive rhythms and sweeping spaceship sounds. chanting falsettos are often accompanied with delicate and fierce, super-dynamic staccato melodies and guitar chords; which often create intermittent minimalist drones by the unified resonance of acoustic frequencies.
currently, ‘music for spaceships and forests’ is the only completely realized work in the repertoire of ‘twi the humble feather’. however, the trio is currently readying a new work entitled ‘twi presents the antek songs’ for live performance. in addition, lebron has begun the opening sketches for the sequel of ‘music for spaceships and forests’.
"For instant, painless stress relief, Music for Spaceships and Forests injects a double shot of cosmic giddiness via sweet, mostly unintelligible chanting, which could've been lifted from an arcane religious ritual.“
"A band that builds its songs out of repeated chords and picking patterns that are staggered among the three guitars, along with mouth-percussion noises, falsetto vocals and stray sounds like bird calls and electronic swoops. Precise and ethereal, the music ends up in a peculiar place, somewhere in the midst of math, meditation and the singsong of a child making up a new myth.“
The Good Anna
A guitar and drums combo who are a million miles away from the White Stripes as you can imagine, with not a single tune in sight. The drummer not only plays with his feet but also finds use for a pine cone. Interesting to say the least. This is all happening whilst the guitarist is making all sorts of spindly, spidery noises come out of his guitar. It sounds like music from a soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist. BBC online
“This is a duo that combines technique (effortlessly) with the physical Grantham plays with his back Miles Davis style to the audience tonight, focusing on his amp and effects, but jerking and waving his guitar, always moving. And Porkbowl on the drums uses his whole body it seems to get the rhythms and cross rhythms pouring out in a wild, abandoned stream. This young guy is going to be a contender, mark my words. He reminds me a little of the free-jazz drummer Milford Graves in the ways that he uses his hands and other objects as well as sticks and brushes, pummeling, stroking, banging and paradiddling, elbows utilised to mute drum heads and alter timbres, feet up on them at times (interesting socks), at one point exploding whatever implement he was using a maracca or something similar (don't write in it's not that important) in a spectacular shower of dust - I was up front and am still coughing out the debris!
Girdle seemed further back in the music than the last time I saw them but still contributed a fiery blaze of guitar that seems to cross from rock to free-jazz while maybe they are just playing Good Anna music screw the labels At times he had a high, squealing series of notes that reminded me of Pharoah Sanders when he used to play with Coltrane The audience were captivated throughout. O.K this is 'difficult' music, but played with this intensity and vigour it proves that it can cut through to people prepared to listen.“ Live review