Nucultures - Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams
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The critically acclaimed kaleidoscopic 21-song double album
featuring vocalist Ellie Perez, producer Tim Motzer, and
songwriter Barry Meehan along with some of Philadelphia's
"a masterpiece" - straight no chaser (uk)
"essential album of the year" - john diliberto echoes national radio programme
6 panel digipak w/ 2 cds.
Philadelphia’s finest unite and create 2-disc downtempo opus – NUCULTURES -- “Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams”
TOP 200 ESSENTIAL ALBUMS 20TH ANNIVERSARY LIST - ECHOES RADIO
TOP 10 ESSENTIAL RECORD OF 2007 - JOHN DILIBERTO (ECHOES)
ESSENTIAL RECORD OF 2007 TOP 25 - ECHOES RADIO STAFF
Recording as the collective “Nucultures”, ‘Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams’ is a collaboration between Philadelphia lyricist/vocalist Ellie Perez, acclaimed guitarist/producer Tim Motzer, and bassist/songwriter Barry Meehan. Each contributes vocals, songs, words and music to this ambitious 2 CD album project.
At a time when artists and labels are downsizing, this group of Philadelphia artists have ramped it up and released an ambitious 2 cd set.—Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams on 1k recordings. This adventurous collection of music is a kaleidascope of songs and sound.blending shapes and hues with vocals, horns, strings, piano, drumkits and machines, vocal loops, guitars, bass, and left-field electronics into a brilliant textured soundscape of modern pop music.
From three perspectives, lyrically and vocally, “Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams” delves into questions of love, war, darkness, despair, light, and hope. musically it’s an eclectic 21 song journey with acoustic guitars ruminating over electronic and tabla beats; the shimmering vocal downtempo tone-poems of Ellie Perez (Night is Beautiful, Run for Cover, Behind the Moon); the dark foreboding jazz of ‘Babylon Is Crying’; upright pianos floating over languid grooves of ‘Think I’m Losin It’ and the wind swept desert guitar musings of ‘Mind Dunes’.
Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams features stellar musical guest contributions from trumpeter John Swana, cellist Helena Espvall, and Brooklyn drummer Jeremy Carlstedt, among many others…
Nucultures latest album is a stunning collection of songs, with some obvious electronic components but Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams is organic at heart.
Produced by Tim Motzer for 1k recordings
(Tim Motzer has collaborated with many artists including david sylvian's nine horses, jaki liebeziet (can), burnt friedman (flanger), ursula rucker, kenny lattimore, dj jazzy jeff, king britt, jamaaladeen tacuma (ornette coleman), jeff sharel, les nubians, isaac hayes...)
it's a masterpiece that sets up us nicely for the third cometh of Portishead later this year.
STRAIGHT NO CHASER UK
it holds a top spot on my list of phenomenal down-tempo albums of the year.
...a truly sublime aural experience. Ross Solomon -- SLUG MAGAZINE
At times, Butterflies, Zebras and Moonbeams could stand as a testament to the budding mystique of a great Miles Davis masterwork such Kind of Blue. But it exists in a post-Portishead era, encapsulated in its own time and entity. There's that gorgeous block piano chord tinkle on the standout track, "Babylon is Crying (Tigris)." Like a good Davis cut, "Babylon is Crying (Tigris)" fills the room with its ubiquity, changing everything in the room with its seismic wake. -- NIKKI STYLE
Silky smooth but never sleepy, Nucultures have arrived to fill the gap left after Kruder and Dorfmeister failed to follow-up their landmark K & D Sessions. This is unabashed trip-hop, a descendent of Tricky, Morcheeba and, on the more bootilicious bangers, Dee e-Lite. Where Nucultures expands on their ancestry is in the bedrock musicality and undeniable melodic grace of this ultra creamy double-disc offering, an endlessly shifting landscape spread over 21 tracks that never drags or falters. Nice. -- JAMBASE
It's a strong outing in the downtempo realm and boasts one of that subgenres more distinctive personalities of late. -- review by Kristofer Upjohn -- RAVES.COM
At times evoking images of Portishead, Postal Service, and even Pink Floyd... Unlike other releases flirting with the trip-hop sound, however, "Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams" transcends existing as sheer ambience, or a hot bedroom soundtrack. Songs like "Head," "Babylon is Crying," and "Think I'm Losing It" all prove the serious chops behind the songwriting talent. -- RIFFIN