Traveling Without Memory
Gun-shy (gnsh) adj. 1. Afraid of loud noise, such as that of gunfire. 2. Extremely distrustful or wary. In the flesh, Gunshae is the Panambient project of Canadian dubstep pioneer James "Kuma" Graham and renowned Oboist and DJ, Eve Mori. Traveling Without Memory is the end result of seven years of Gunshae; from the projects early days as an ambient punk explosion to the acoustic/electronic hybrid sound of today. Recorded in Vancouver, Tokyo and Atlanta, Traveling Without Memory fuses live instrumentation with loop-based technology to create an album swathed in layers of classical composition, DJ culture and improvised sound disruptions. Gunshae is what happens when a classically trained musician and a notorious DJ with a penchant for improvising and have them jam on the sound of stuff and things. It's molten woodwinds and Satie references. It's a heavy drone played by a band sitting on a veranda with a mint julep. It's anesthetized show-tunes from the Dreamhouse. It's discrete music for the Wifi generation. For a project that has prided itself on never playing the same song twice, the concept of an album has required a certain preparation. The ten tracks on the album are all originally derived from multi-track live recordings taken from performances in Tokyo, Atlanta and Vancouver as well as recording sessions at Den Studios in Vancouver. Each performance is an improvisation with the acoustic instruments mixed down during the live performance with Kuma's laptop processing. These multi-tracks have then been edited down and reprocessed, but for the most part, what you are getting is the feeling of the live interaction as it happens. The album's title comes from the tendency of individuals performing with Gunshae to lose track of time says Kuma. "From the very first jam as Gunshae, we found that we would lose track of time, two hours would pass in the blink of an eye. We'd blank but the recordings would be our reminder, this has become a consistent thing over time and inspired the album title." Joining Gunshae on the album is a diverse cast of individuals who bring a distinct twist to Gunshae's open-door policy of playing with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Veteran Vancouver improviser Lee Hutzulak brings his guitar and suitcase of sound to the table on songs like "Sudden Deities" and "Sehsa". Tokyo chanteuse Aya Oshida steps away from the pop sensibilities of her Mu-Tanz and Stoned Green Apples projects to provide a lyrical heart to the shifting sands of "Sound Washed Ashore in Tokyo." Rowan Lipkovits of Vancouver's outsider folkies, The Creaking Planks, plays the role of Gunshae's squeezebox hero, making the accordion sound like a not accordion on With Liberty and Baby Carrots for All" and the rather self explanatory "Bellows Jam" while Atlanta drum and bass/ambient legend and modern composer Little Jen (Jen Mitchell) reaches sonar like depths with her trombone on "Southern Winds." Fitting nicely in it's own corner, Traveling Without Memory fully admits to being too chill out to be sound art and too experimental to be packaged on a chill out compilation with some chick in a bikini on the cover. Instead it chooses to surf gently on waves of dark matter, singing to celestial orchestras and happily getting crunk when ever need be. Thus is the Gunshae way, the sound of stuff and things.