Daniel Blumberg - On&On
“The second nominally solo album from the former Yuck frontman uses improvisation, repetition, and group interplay as ways of breaking free of traditional modes of songwriting.” – Pitchfork (7.6)
“A song may move around, expand, come apart in its limbs and joints and skin to sink back into the room space, where strings are vibrating, snares rattling.” – David Toop on On&On
On&On – which follows 2018’s Minus, Blumberg’s debut for Mute – incorporates recurring, shape-shifting motifs and at times the boundaries dissolve between songs altogether. Title track ‘On&On’ appears four times across the arc of the record as if coming in and out of focus, an infinite song that encapsulates the paradox of the circle, existing in a liminal space between perpetual motion and stasis, as Daniel sings: ‘On and on and on and on and on…’
The album was born out of live sessions with the same core group of players as Minus: Daniel Blumberg (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Ute Kanngiesser (cello), Billy Steiger (violin), Tom Wheatley (double bass) and Jim White (drums), with the addition of electronic maverick Elvin Brandhi (vocals). As such it represents a deepening of relationships and distillation of techniques for this tight-knit group of free-playing musicians, who are loosely based around Café OTO.
It was recorded by Peter Walsh (Scott Walker), who captures the group’s extraordinary performances – encompassing the full expressive range of their instruments from softly-bowed melodies and tender vocal harmonies to rough-hewn scrapes, plucks and rattles – while the sound of the room and the outside world spill naturally into the sound field, as Toop puts it “as if a window has opened”.
“A modern masterpiece” – 5/5 The Times
“Minus is a statement of intent from an artist who has found his voice” – The Quietus
“Traces lines between drawing and improvised music” – The Wire
“One of London’s most exciting emerging artists” – Hans Ulrich Obrist