Oh Sees’ John Dwyer forms Bent Arcana with members of TVOTR & more (stream a track)
Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer has formed a new group called Bent Arcana which features TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, drummer Ryan Sawyer (Gang Gang Dance, more), bassist Peter Kerlin, saxophonist Brad Caulkins, keyboardist Tom Dolas (Mr Elevator & The Brain Hotel), guitarist Marcos Rodriguez, violinist Laena “Geronimo” Myers-Ionita, tenor saxophonist Joce Soubiran, and percussionist Andres Renteria. Their self-titled debut is out August 21 via Castle Face.
"This is the first interstellar transmission from five days of electrified & improvised sessions recorded at Stu-Stu-Studio, edited down to 40 minutes for your earballs," writes Dwyer in the album's press release. "Bent Arcana is the inceptive chapter in what I hope to be several releases showcasing these types of off-the-cuff musical compositions. So you can try your fry on and turn off. This one is very much on the ECM / 70s hard fusion / prog-kraut tip. It is a many pronged weapon, swung by the spontaneous sentinel." You can check out the groovy opening cut from the album, "The Gate," along with the rest of the album's PR (including bios for all members of the group), below.
Dwyer, Dolas and Soubiran recently did a no-audience livestream set from LA's Zebulon as OSEES.
NOTES ON BENT ARCANA'S PLAYERS FROM JOHN DWYER
Ryan Sawyer: drums, percussion, and voice (Charles Gayle, Marshall Allen, Mary Halvorson, Susan Alcorn, Nate Wooley, Mat Maneri, Thurston Moore, Zeena Parkins, Mette Rasmussen, Boredoms, Daniel Carter)
Just an unbelievable player. I wish we lived in the same city.
Peter Kerlin: electric and double bass (Sunwatchers, Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band)
The second I saw him play bass, I knew I wanted to write with him, and that was probably 30 years ago in my home town. Fucking finally. What a pleasure.
Kyp Malone: modular synthesizer (Rain Machine, Ice Balloons, TV On The Radio)
What can I say about Kyp? Other than that he is a master improviser and he really brought something very special to the table for these sessions. Melodious and haunting. Love it.
Brad Caulkins: tenor saxophone, Selmer electric saxophone (Earth Girl Helen Brown, Oh Sees)
Fantastic saxophonist. A real bush wacker in terms of laying out a melodious and percussive path to follow through hairy searches during sessions. The man is an idea farm.
Tom Dolas: keys (Mr Elevator, Oh Sees)
One of my favorite people on earth to wing it with. He has God’s ears and Satan’s fingers. And he’s a good bloke to boot.
Marcos Rodriguez: guitar (Prettiest Eyes, Henry Cole, Fernando Garcia, Matt Jenson, Hellman Escorcia)
Dominator jazz guitarist / punk bassist and general roustabout. This was the first time I’ve heard Marcos play guitar and it made the hair on my neck stand up, which means I’m alive now.
Laena "Geronimo" Myers-Ionita: violin (Feels, Shannon Lay, Michael Pisario)
I've been haunting Laena about doing a project together for a couple years not and I couldn’t be more pleased with her addition to the ensemble. Her violin style has a sort of relaxed quality to it that reminds me on Mickael Karoli’s playing in Can, Ornette Coleman’s violin or even a little bit of Jerry Goodman, so what could be better than that?
Joce Soubiran: tenor saxophone
I feel like when Joce plays, his heart is hanging out the end of his horn, bleeding all over the studio floor.
He is a fantastically emotional player and jettisons all other distraction when in action. Overwhelming and setiment and range.
Andres Renteria: percussion (Adam Rudolph’s Go:Organic Orchestra, Jose Gonzalez, Flying Lotus, Mia Doi Todd, Anna Ternheim, Nick Waterhouse )
Fantastic hand drummer and man with amazing posture. He came in and danced around the drums without stepping on a single toe and brought more color to the bouquet.
and me, John Dwyer. We’ve met before so maybe you have an idea of what you are in for?”
JOHN DWYER : GUITAR, SYNTHESIZERS, HAND PERCUSSION,TAPE LOOPS, CUICA, VOICE
RYAN SAWYER : DRUMS, HAND PERCUSSION, VOICE
PETER KERLIN : STAND UP BASS, ELECTRIC BASS
THOMAS DOLAS : SYNTHESIZERS, CLAVINET, MELLOTRON, ELECTRIC PIANO
KYP MALONE : MODULAR SYNTHESIZER
BRAD CAULINS : TENOR SAXOPHONE, SELMER MARK VI VARITONE SAXOPHONE
MARCOS RODRIGUEZ : GUITAR
LAENA “GERONIMO” MYERS-IONITA : VIOLIN
ANDRES RENTERIA : CONGA, BONGO, HAND PERCUSSION
JOCE SOUBIRAN : TENOR SAXOPHONE
RECORDED LIVE, MIXED BY JOHN DWYER AT STU-STU-STUDIO DEC 2019
COVER AND BACK PHOTOS JOHN DWYER
ADDITIONAL BAND PHOTOS BY DAVE PARISH, GINA CLYNE, JAMES STONE, JOHN DWYER
LAY OUT HEIDI ALEXANDER