And yet another gem that had vanished down the wishing line, er, list, saved by yet another Cuneiform weekend special. Thanks again, guys!
A cornucopia of avantgarde rock, not from the Big Prog Gloomy Mountain side of things but full of hooks, energy and humour. Very glad not to have missed this! :-))
Favorite track: A Void That I Can Depart To.
Sven B. Schreiber (sbs)
If many of the good people I'm following are buying the same album at the same time, I can be sure that another "Cuneiform" promotional week is going on, and this means they give away some true gem for half the price. This "Bubblemath" item was somewhere on my giant wishlist for quite some time, but it finally bubbled up right now. This is heavy-duty avant prog in the vein of "Echolyn" and "Finneus Gauge", with obvious influences of the "Cardiacs" and "Gentle Giant" - a mind-boggling cocktail!
Favorite track: A Void That I Can Depart To.
"Edit Peptide is gloriously wacky, yet amazingly concise and jaw-droppingly tight." – DPRP
"Edit Peptide is a dense album filled with musical twists and turns. This is math-rock with big doses of classic progressive rock and occasional forays into more melodic material." – Popmatters
Fifteen years in the making, Minnesota eclectic prog / avant-pop / art-math quintet Bubblemath's sophmore sequence, Edit Peptide, provides a worthwhile wait with its non-formulaic formula of lively textures, wacky and virtuosic musicianship, hypnotically robust vocals and charmingly astute attitude. Blending in-your-face intricacy with eccentric experimentation, dense and poppy harmonies, symphonic vibrancy and tongue-in-cheek foundation, Bubblemath are clever and musicially intricate, but despite their loyal adherence to high information-density compositional constructs, they make serious and seriously quirky music that doesn't take itself too seriously and allows the fun to shine through.
The current Bubblemath line-up came together in 1998 and released their 1st, 2002's Such Fine Particles Of The Universe. Then came mostly silence. Naturally, they recognize that having so many years between albums could be —as Kai Esbensen jokes— "[an] advantage or a detriment. Maybe both!" He reflects that the group originally thought it’d be “a breeze” to follow-up Such Fine Particles of the Universe, an album that won them 86,000 MySpace followers and Minnesota Music Academy’s "2002 Best Eclectic Recording” award. However, a series of setbacks, ranging from "broken equipment, to broken promises, to loss of funding, to loss of partners and pets and parents, to incompatible mix engineers, to extended sabbaticals, to extended medical emergencies" made it difficult to accomplish that ambition." Add in other factors, and it's easy to see why Edit Peptide gestated for so long. Ultimately, the lengthy hiatus did prove positive, though, as it allowed "all five of [them] to become better musicians" who are capable of yielding a more striving, unpredictable, and colorful collection. They couldn't be prouder of it!
It's not often that a band releases a new album after such a long hiatus, let alone something that exceeds expectations beyond fans’ wildest dreams. Somehow, though, Bubblemath has done just that with Edit Peptide. By conducting so many divergent styles, refining their songwriting and compositional skills, and most of all, sticking to their guns when it comes to crafting highly challenging and adventurous, but also quite hypnotic and welcoming, tunes, the quintet proves just how perfectly a band can fuse the familiar and the fresh.
released May 26, 2017
Blake Albinson (Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, nylon string guitar, keyboards, tenor sax, vocals)
Jay Burritt (Electric bass, fretless synth bass, fretless electric bass, upright electric bass, vocals)
Kai Esbensen (Keyboards, vocals)
James Flagg (Drums, percussion, vocals)
Jonathan G. Smith (Vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, clarinet, chimes, gong, glockenspiel, xylophone, mountain dulcimer, mandolin, banjo)
Recorded at Seedy Underbelly, Terrarium, Bubblemath Labs, and Augsburg College.
Recording engineer: Blake Albinson
Assistant engineer: Jonathan G. Smith
Drum engineer: Alex Oana
Bass and drum treatments by Dan Rathbun at Polymorph.
Mixed by Jonathan G. Smith and Blake Albinson.
Mix engineer and mix consultant: Adam Tucker at Signaturetone
Mastering by Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering.
Vocal direction: Jonathan G. Smith
Artwork: Rob Gaer
Graphics guidance: Jonathan G. Smith and Jay Burritt
Additional graphics assistance by Pete West and Bill Ellsworth.
Edit Peptide ambigram design by Kai Esbensen.
Produced by Bubblemath.