From Cuneiform press release:
It's Fall 2014, the 3rd season of Cuneiform's 30th year, and we're releasing, worldwide, 6 genre-crossing/defying new albums by artists on two continents. That has us thinking of travel, of crossing borders, transversing the globe. We think of trains, and boats and planes large, powerful machinery built to cut through space and time as means to transport us across vast areas in reasonable time. But the most powerful transportation vehicle is not mechanics it's music. Music is the magic carpet that carries us through space and time in the blink of an eye. A single note or a phrase can transport our minds to a beloved location thousands of miles away, and instantly time-travel us into an envisioned future or plunge us backwards, deep into our past. It is the vehicle of our dreams, the transport of our souls, the medium for our emotions, the breath on which our spirits sail. Music's transcendant power it's ability to transport us to a different plane is nowhere more apparent and powerful than on Return the Tides: Ascension Suite & the Holy Ghost. Recorded by Rob Mazurek & Black Cube SP in Brazil, following the tragic death of Mazurek's mother, the music was meant, says Mazurek, "to be a shamanistic journey where we sonically clear a path for my mother into the unknown to ensure her safe journey to the next." While aligned musically with avant-jazz, Return the Tides may perhaps best be described as a modern psychedelic spiritual. It is an astonishing work, resistant to being confined and musically, emotionally and spiritually transportive.
Two other new Cuneiform Fall 2014 releases were inspired by cherished memories of distant places and times past. DC's top guitarist, Anthony Pirog, named his new album, Palo Colorado Dream, in memory of a road that ran between Big Sur and his childhood California home. And Circa, the new album by LA-based Dylan Ryan / Sand, was conceived amidst moonlit music performances overlooking the Libyan Sea, and fleshed out on the road, on a tour spanning several continents. Stylistically-omnivorous, steeped liberally in both rock and jazz, these two guitar-centric, musically evocative discs transport listeners to musical worlds beyond the ordinary, and to blissful emotional climes. Cuneiform's new releases also include a 3rd guitar-centric album: Verse, by Baltimore guitarist/philosopher Jonathan Badger. While the cover art features aerial photos taken by Badger, including a plane in flight, the music transports us beyond mere time and place. Badger has rigged his guitar to trigger a symphony of samples when played - transporting us into an imaginary orchestra. And the otherworldly music that it plays manifests ideas from Badger's 2012 philosophy book, Sophocles and the Politics of Tragedy: Cities and Transcendence.
Circling back to planet earth, we have a new release called Ambit (a term defined as "limit, bounds or confines" or "circuit of circumference") by New Yorker's The Cellar and Point. Combining stylistic elements from alt-rock, modern classical music and jazz, and instrumentation from all three genres, the ensemble creates music that defies being confined in any singe genre. Described by the band as "garage-chamber" and by the New York Times as "ethereal chamber prog", their genre-transcendent music is a new, Jazz-infused, 21st century version of Chamber Rock, the classical/rock hybrid music that Cuneiform has championed for what is now three decades. Which brings us to Happy Family, the first Japanese band that Cuneiform signed. Shortly after founding Cuneiform in 1984, Steve Feigenbaum began distributing the label's releases worldwide, introducing our artists and their genre-defying music to new audiences in the Americas, Europe, Japan and beyond. By 1993 I had come on board to deepen and expand the international scope of Cuneiform's press and radio promotion. One of the first bands I worked with was Happy Family, who released two "Zeuhl"/Magma-influenced recordings on Cuneiform and were acclaimed as stars of the Rock-in-Opposition (R.I.O.) tradition, as manifested in Japan. Now, in 2014, they are back with a new Cuneiform release, called Minimal Gods, and a refreshingly bold and new alt-rock sound. Celebrating their new release and long-standing affiliation with R.I.O. ideals, Happy Family will perform in November 2014 at the first-ever Rock in Opposition Festival to be held in Japan. Besides Happy Family, four other Cuneiform bands (from Europe and Scandinavia) will perform at RiO-Japan, for more information, please see our blog. So yes, we've now traced the Ambit and come full-circle, travelling virtually around the globe, across genre boundaries and spiritual and philosophical planes with our bands. We hope that you've enjoyed the journey, and we invite you to more closely explore each of these 6 new discs. In closing, we'll quote Swedish band, Mats/Morgan to say: "Thanks for Flying with Us".