U Totem

by U Totem

supported by
Quentin Nussbaumer
Quentin Nussbaumer thumbnail
Quentin Nussbaumer One of these most precious gems... Stunning Favorite track: Both Your Houses.
Carsten Pieper
Carsten Pieper thumbnail
Carsten Pieper That week's special Cuneiform offer was a "RIO super-group" (if there might be such a thing). So, this is advanturous stuff, very far from rock-by-numbers....
The first song is sung in English, Japanese and German, how about that?
And of course, the lyrics are included in the download :-) Favorite track: One Nail Draws Another.
radiofan thumbnail
radiofan This is a kind of music you will never forget.
SiniMin thumbnail
SiniMin great release! meets and exceeds expectations, considering the artists involved.
  • Streaming + Download

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    This download purchase includes a digital booklet with credits, photos and lyrics.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of U Totem via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $16.50 USD or more 




A classic of RIO-style complexity as filtered through a uniquely US sensibility!

Emily Hay - voice, flute, piccolo
Sanjay Kumar - piano, electric keyboards, sitar
Eric Johnson-Tamai - bassoon, contrabassoon, soprano sax
James Grigsby - bass, guitar, vibraphone, tapes
David Kerman - drums, percussion, tapes

U Totem was the combination of the 5uus and the Motor Totemist Guild. This pairing has brought out the best parts of both bands, combining the abstraction and lyricism of the 5uus with the classical control and timbre of the MTG.

Keyboards, bassoon, guitar, bass, flute, drums and voice combine to produce major stunners.

"U Totem is characterized by unsurpassed technique and perfect sound; in addition, this music is well written and well orchestrated...this must surely be the CD of the year!"

"The closest thing to Henry Cow in complexity...world class playing and singing...there is nothing else like this now."
-Chris Cutler.

"Uncompromising in melody, harmony and rhythm...superbly played throughout."


released January 21, 1992


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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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