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On Deck: 1939 Ensemble

By ; May 6, 2013 at 11:47 AM 

© 2011 Matthew Brush.  All Rights Reserved

Not so much crossing genres as they are disregarding them entirely, Jose Medeles (drummer for The Breeders) and David Coniglio of 1939 Ensemble weave entire aural landscapes form the sounds which surround them on a day to day basic. Whether it’s the sounds of a bustling city, the random (or are they) rhythms of nature, or simply the sound of a drum kit filtered through various sequencers and modulators, 1939 Ensemble deal in the extraordinary drawn out of the everyday things that we often take for granted. Jose Medeles recently took some time to talk with Beats Per Minute about a few records which he has been “listening to religiously.” In as much as he and band-mate Coniglio create music that defies easy categorization, the records that he talks about in our latest On Deck feature are as eclectic and adventurous as you might expect. From Brazilian artist M.Takara to avant-garde drummer Steve Reid and Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) to the funky harp compositions of Dorothy Ashby, Medeles take us deep inside the influences which have helped to shape his multi-faceted outlook on music. Scroll down for his thoughts on each of these records in the latest installment of our On Deck series.


M. Takara - 3
M.Takara – 3

This Brazilian artist combines mad beats, vocals and textured sounds to create a soundscape adventure. This record was recommended to me by my friend who runs Beacon Sound. Its a record shop I frequent everyday (its next to my drum shop). He’s always looking out for interesting beat oriented gems for me. Headphones or slammin straight out of your speakers it’s a great album.


Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid - NYC
Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid – NYC

This duo has put out other records that are all great. Electronic + avant drumming= wicked! Mr. Reid’s drumming is flowing, precise and always pushing the envelope. There’s something really exciting about jazz colliding with electronics, the whole old guard, new guard, beats and sounds. Both HEBDEN & REID are masters at what they do, so hearing them improv and dance together is bliss.


Dorothy Ashby - Afro-Harping
Dorothy Ashby – Afro-Harping

The angelic sounds and movements on this record is nothing less than bad ass. Hearing a harp in this environment with syncopation bass lines over funked up beats is always inspiring. The perfect time of day to drop the needle one this gem is mid afternoon, when you need a bit of a lift and escape. Whenever I play this in my shop I have someone asking me “who is that”?

1939 Ensemble’s debut record Howl & Bite is out now on Jealous Butcher Records


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