Saturday May 4th 2013 @Velvet Lounge

Ulan Bator, Tone, Janel & Anthony

Ulan Bator
Micheal Gira said of UB:
"one of the best french bands in the last 300 years"

Presented by Yesmissolga Records & Sonic Circuits

ULAN BATOR started their musical explorations as a duet including founding member Amaury Cambuzat, in 1993, in Paris, where they were to record, compose and produce their first three albums which garnered much critical praise and success. They began touring extensively and played an unforgettable concert with the legendary German ‘krautrock’ band Faust, a band with which Amaury Cambuzat continues to collaborate. The release of “Ego Echo” on Young God Records, produced by Micheal Gira (Swans), proved to be another turning point for the band with heavy rotation on Euro MTV, further worldwide critical acclaim and a much broader fan base.

From their origins as a no-wave band, Ulan Bator has evolved over the last 20 years to explore and experiment with the avant-garde, psychedelia, “irreverent music concrete” (Alternative Press), avant-rock and more. They continue to “investigate the borders of song structure” (Wire Magazine) and blur the boundaries of genre. Over the years there have been many collaborators including Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and James Johnston (Gallon Drunk, Lydia Lunch, Bad Seeds), to name a few. They have also been remixed by by notable figures from the electronic scene including Scanner, Otomo Yoshihide, Erik M, and Carl Stone.

2013 will see their eighth studio album "En France/En Transe" and yet another line-up, still driven by Amaury Cambuzat (guitar), featuring Diego Vinciarelli (bass), Luca Andriola (drums) and Nathalie Forget (Ondes Martenot). -

Wire Magazine (UK): "Ulan Bator’s music follows an eccentric orbit, while their power is usually kept simmering in reserve. The players investigate the borders of song structure.They build up enormous tension (...) they played a marathon three hour set with Faust early last year. Hard to imagine, given Ulan Bator's inherent sense of control: halting on the brink before complete freakout sets in is what makes the group so special"

Alternative Press (USA): "To say that this is the best rock music France has ever produced is to damn it with faint praise. This trio may be the only band from that over-sauced nation to be worth a damn in a long time maybe since Metal Urbain or Magma (...) Call it musique concrete paved with irreverence."

Veteran DC instrumental force of nature

Based in the tumultuous surroundings of Washington, D.C., Tone has deconstructed the conventions of a band for over 20 years. Tone began in 1991 by creating compositions with the tools afforded to most bands – drum heads, vibrating strings, and vacuum tubes, relentlessly exploring the often unpredictable but always epic path of a dedicated instrumental ensemble.

The band has swelled at times to multiple guitars and bass, coupled with double drummers, as well as having collaborated with classically trained string and horn players. Never has the line up defined the character of the band, rather it has afforded them the means to further subvert what a ‘traditional’ line up is supposed to be capable of, and this is in the years before the post rock explosion. As this movement gathered force, many bands for which TONE had laid the foundation would later come to share the stage with them: Mono, Explosions In The Sky, Do Make Say Think, Maserati, and godspeed you ! black emperor. 

Tone has produced six albums and countless performances that play with dynamics the way others play with melody and often playing with melody like an eccentric mathematician. The range of sound used by the band has as much to say to composers Arvo Part or Giya Kancheli as it does to sound artists Tarentel or Labradford. The band is known for guitar-based instrumentals that rely on dynamic contrast and textures not normally found in rock music. As Rolling Stone described their performance at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival in 2010: “TONE (DC): three guitar post-rock army fills every available space with sound, makes an outdoor show sound like an indoor show.”

From the fall of 2004 thru the spring of 2006, Tone collaborated with Bowen McCauley Dance Company, resulting in numerous performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, a festival appearance in Aachen, Germany, and a set of intense new works. At the onset of 2011, Tone was privileged to revive the piece “Telemetry” in support of Bowen McCauley’s 15th Anniversary.

Tone is a collective that over the years has become confident enough in their voice that they do not need to play to win, they play to keep playing. The idea of the infinite game or never ending conversation has been ever present in this music. Yet, with all of this being said, in the end Tone is a ensemble of people playing what they hear, so that they can hear what they play. The rest of us are just lucky enough to listen in.

Janel & Anthony
"Janel & Anthony - guitars and 'cello respectively - play a haunting and humbly virtuosic form of music wherein the elements of electronics, looping, and lo-fi timbres live both in intimacy and in majesty in the same house as acoustic instruments and folk/blues-inspired melodies. As such, it is both timely and timeless, drenched as it is in intoxicating atmosphere; wan, quiet voices submitting to waves of sonic drama. Who could possibly resist it?" – Nels Cline

Both musicians, together and separately, have long been an important and active part of Washington D.C.’s new-music scene. Anthony Pirog, an omnivorous, multi-faceted guitarist who studied jazz at Berklee and has performed country, fingerstyle, rock and surf music and Janel Leppin, a conservatory trained cellist steeped in North Indian and Persian classical music, jazz and experimental music who also plays electric bass in rock bands, have created a lavishly detailed musical journey, by turns ravishing and harrowing. Janel and Anthony alternately charm and challenge, with music that draws from classical, experimental, jazz, rock and electronic traditions but that ultimately is simply theirs.

Self-recording and releasing their 1st album in 2006 and selling thousands of copies at their hundreds of shows, they spent over 3 years conceiving and recording Where Is Home in a professional, analog studio, giving the album a thoughtful, comfortable and lived in feel. Alternating compositions with brief improvisations and soundscapes, Where Is Home captures the dynamic ebb and flow of their live shows where they artfully employ live looping, an array of effects and prepared backing. Simple musical lines grow into complex blocks of echoing sound which eventually are spun and turned into elegiac melodies. The music is both experimental and elegant and smokily psychedelic in a completely modern way.

Saturday May 4th 2013 @ 9 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.

~ $10

Velvet Lounge
915 U St NW, Washington, DC