Umbrella Weather

Umbrella Weather

by Led Bib


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Given the cohesion and discovery on Umbrella Weather, Led Bib's debut for RareNoise, one would never even surmise they almost split before recording it. After 2014's fantastic The People in Your Neighbourhood, everyone went their separate ways and worked on different projects with no future plans to record together. But drummer Mark Holub, who had moved to Vienna to form Blueblut with guitarist/sound artist Chris Janka, was itching to work with his old bandmates. He got in touch with them and sold the idea of a new Led Bib album. He invited alto saxophonists Chris Williams and Pete Grogan, bassist Liran Donin, and keyboardist Toby McLaren to Janka's Vienna studio, encouraging each man to bring new tunes. The end result has as much improv as their other recordings, but conversely offers their tightest and most musically focused date, while their trademark brand of fiery interplay, delightful skronk chaos, and dynamic force are all there in spades. That said, their (always) dizzying array of styles is articulated seamlessly, with scripted themes, complex rhythms, infectious grooves, knotty harmonic conversations, and unusually intuitive soloing. While Umbrella Weather is unmistakably a Led Bib record, its playful senses of delight, curiosity, and discovery are fresh and new. Opener "Lobster Terror" contains all their sonic trademarks, but nods directly at the influence of Tim Berne's Snakeoil. The twin alto horns, playing either in tandem or answering one another through the middle, ride atop a ringing woody bassline and cymbal and hi-hat dance until the last third, when electric piano ushers in a majestic chorus line as horns and bass engage in an almost hummable melody before another group fracas takes it out. There's a beautiful nod to Ornette Coleman & Prime Time during the intro to the ten-minute "On the Roundabout." It's extrapolated to embrace a dirty, distorted funky bass vamp and dual horn improvisations on Arabic and flamenco themes. Holub double-times the band and McClaren pastes electric piano, synth, and noise all through the middle. Led Bib's most explosive interaction occurs on "At the Shopping Centre," where skronk & roll is the m.o. While downbeat electronic wobble and airy lyricism introduce "Skeleton Key to the City," it eventually opens wide to embrace swinging post-bop and Mingus-style modernism. "Marching Orders" contains more than a hint of this band's love of Frank Zappa, early heavy metal, and swampy jazz-funk. Closer "Goodbye" commences as a lilting ballad in waltz time before opening into a celebration of energy, sound, and angular invention. Umbrella Weather is nearly 75 minutes long, yet goes by in a flash. While The People in Your Neighbourhood sounded like a veteran group reaching a creative zenith, this re-energized quintet is more colorful, playful, and inventive than ever before. This music is as much fun to listen to as it is serious and vital.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/27/2017
Label: Rarenoise Records
UPC: 5060197761066
catalogNumber: 71
Rank: 190221

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Led Bib   Primary Artist
Liran Donin   Bass,Group Member
Pete Grogan   Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Group Member
Mark Holub   Drums,Group Member
Chris Williams   Saxophone
Toby McLaren   Keyboards,Group Member
Chris Williams   Alto Saxophone,Group Member

Technical Credits

Led Bib   Producer
Liran Donin   Composer,Additional Production
Pete Grogan   Composer
Mark Holub   Composer
Toby McLaren   Composer
Chris Janka   Engineer
Chris Williams   Composer
Giacomo Bruzzo   Executive Producer

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