Death Blues is the new project from the hypertalented drummer and percussionist Jon Mueller, who has joined a new cast of players to make some seriously inspired math/post-rock. Mueller’s bio includes work with members of Swans, Wilco, and Bon Iver; helping to found the bands Pele, Collections of Colonies of Bees and Volcano Choir; and work with Rhys Chatham, James Plotkin and many others. The level of output represented by his discography would be humbling to most musicians.
So enter Death Blues and their inaugural NYC show, which took place at Glasslands, possibly the best place in this city for such things. Death Blues incorporates Mueller’s relentless percussion with hammered guitars, a trio of vocalists, an upright bass, and additional percussion. The result is a melodic but gripping live experience, with the throat-singing of the vocalists carrying over Mueller’s polyrhythmic drumming. The nearest guidepost sound-wise here is probably late 80s/early 90s acts like Slint and June of 44, but with less commitment to traditional song structure. This five-song set of mostly-extended numbers (including the 14+ minute centerpiece, “Death Blues”) gave the Glasslands crowd a preview of what this group will be delivering with its forthcoming Hometapes debut, Death Blues. We can’t wait to see what else Mueller has in store.
We saw Death Blues play the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina a few days later, and we hope to have a recording of that set from the person who recorded it available to share as well soon.
I recorded this set with Naiant X-X omnidirectional mics at the lip of the stage, plus a flawless soundboard feed by Josh, the house engineer. The sound is outstanding, and one of my finest recordings of the year. Enjoy!
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Brooklyn, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Naiant X-X (3ft split onstage A-B) + Soundboard>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audacity (mixdown, set fades, tracking, amplify, balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )
03 Death Blues
06 Iron String