Allen Ravenstine

Nautilus / Rue Du Poisson Noir

Image of Allen Ravenstine - Nautilus / Rue Du Poisson Noir

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Composer, electronic music innovator, and Pere Ubu's original synthesist Allen Ravenstine returns to Waveshaper Media with the diptych LP (comprised of 1 EP per side) "Nautilus / Rue De Poisson Noir", the final two parts in Raventine’s "Tyranny of Fiction series". Waveshaper Media first came into contact with Ravenstine when they interviewed him in 2012 for their modular synthesizer documentary - I Dream Of Wires.

"Nautilus / Rue De Poisson Noir" brings together 21 of the prodigious composer’s recent lyrical and abstract compositions collectively comprised of the sounds of analogue and digital synthesizers, alongside traditional acoustic instruments. The first 10 recordings, subtitled "Nautilus", are found on Side A of the LP (and CD1) while the second 11, "Rue Du Poisson Noir", comprise Side B (and CD2). 

Using a singular blend of acoustic and electronic instrumentation, each track on "Nautilus", weaves its own wayward travelogue amidst stray bits of audio verité and wafting musical fragrances - by turns tropical and foreboding. "Rue De Poisson Noir" takes cues from its fragmentary companion both in palette and approach, slithering between cinematic intrigue, off-brand jazz, avant-garde mischief, and fried electro without ever batting an eye. Together they form a beguiling collection of hyperrealist miniatures that remains strange, restless, inquisitive and - most of all - evocative throughout.

For those in the know, Allen Ravenstine has been one of the most creative synthesizer players of the past forty-plus years. Ravenstine started out in the mid-1970s experimenting in his Cleveland apartment with an analogue EML 200 synthesizer, eventually creating a piece in 1975 that became known as "Terminal Drive". While he had no intention of releasing his compositions, word got out about the kind of sounds he was experimenting with, which led to an invitation to join pioneering avant garage group Pere Ubu for the recording of the group’s first 45, “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.” He soon joined Pere Ubu full-time, bringing to the band’s sound unpredictable textures, effects, bleeps, squalls, pulsating washes of sound - whatever he felt could enhance the soundscape of the band’s performances and recordings.

By the early 1990s, Ravenstine had grown sick of the road, band infighting and the music industry in general. Deciding a change was needed, he opted to forego music altogether, making his living as an airplane pilot. His music career remained in limbo until 2012, when an interview for the I Dream Of Wires documentary, alongside Robert Wheeler who had succeeded him as Pere Ubu’s synthesist, turned into a recording session for the duo, leading to a series of collaborative releases. As well as having his 1975 "Terminal Drive" recordings released to great acclaim in 2017, Ravenstine has been prolific in recent years, with "Nautilus / Rue De Poisson Noir" now marking his 4th solo full-length.


Matt says: Synthesizer legend Allen Ravenstine deploys some devout labours of hardwired love here as he presents two pieces of library electronics / synthesizer expression for the archives and history books. Long after humans have ceased to populate Earth, the next inhabitants weill look to the far-out sounds of Ravenstine to re-connect to our human avatars.


Nautilus - Vinyl LP Side 1 / CD1

A1. Fog (Devil's Island Mix)
A2. A Day At The Beach
A3. Meadowlark
A4. Heteromorph
A5. Nautilus
A6. Java Head
A7. Prelude
A8. Tuxedo Moonlight
A9. Moonlight Marimba
A10. Red Skies At Night

Rue Du Poisson Noir - Vinyl LP Side 2 / CD 2

B1. Dof Downie Woot
B2. Open Season
B3. The Rain On Mars
B4. Music Box
B5. Brothers Grimm
B6. Rear Window
B7. Time & Tide
B8. Rue Du Poisson Noir
B9. Interlude
B10. Wireless
B11. Bossa Nova

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