- Nathan Michel
- Mr Mutt (mlive04)
- November 2003
- Edition of 200 (out of print)
- 01 Subtonic, New York City 5:14
- 02 Tonic, New York City 10:35 / excerpt
- 03 Subtonic, New York City 6:34 / excerpt
- 04 Friendship House, Philadelphia 5:26 / excerpt
- 05 Subtonic, New York City 2:33
- 06 Terrace Club, Princeton 11:34
All tracks performed live at some point in 2002 and 2003 with a computer.
Thanks to Emiliano and Rossano and to Kevin Blechdom, Kid606, Lucky Dragons and Dat Politics for inviting me to play with them.
The six pieces on Trebly were performed live in 2002 and 2003 using Max/Msp software. To avoid boring the audience with noodling improvisations, I pre composed each piece in small modular sections. My job once on stage was to combine these sections in a way that made musical sense. With the exception of the final track from Terrace Club, which develops one idea, this modular approach creates music with many contrasting sections. For me, the interest is in the balance between these sections. — Nathan Michel
Another limited edition in the ever-evolving, Mr. Mutt Live CDR Series (200 count) is"Trebly" by Nathan Michel and it is a bit of a departure from the earlier more cosmic-heady offerings from this Italian label. Something of a cut-up fest of spring-like animated samples with a fever for all is Kraftwerkian redux. Some rough end percussion sounds flatly practice-like, but the dynamic electronic sounds of 2001 (the future, not the year) make for a dreamy trip into the retrosphere. This is an updated, sort of futuretron version of Speak & Spell – like being at the Peppermint Lounge in 2025, ya know? This has something in common with works by Taylor Deupree, and even perhaps works on Sonig, but has its own personal vibe that dips rather casually into both old school sampling and some early UK techno. All tracks were opportunely designed exclusively upon a computer, and it shows as Michel forms an endearing universe where inclusive warm bubbly harmonies are harnessed by a dazzling digital world. — TJ Norris, Vital Weekly and Igloomag.com
Not content with making music themselves, the Italians are enthusiastic champions of other people's, and their excellent Mr Mutt CDR label (limited edition of 200 only – hurry!) has already released exquisite work by Minamo and Sogar. Nathan Michel's Trebly is a pure pop delight, recalling those happy days of yore spent twiddling around with sequencers on old Casios and Rolands, except this is all done live on Mr Michel's computer. It's all there: the tinny drum machine sounds, the crappy DIY Phil Glass arpeggios, cunningly intercut with state of the art bloops, cracks and splats. Defiantly tonal, damn near danceable, it's pop for the third millennium par excellence. — James Baiye, Paristransatlantic.com
Nathan Michel makes music in both the classical and rock traditions. His debut album of melodic, lo-fi electronic music entitled Abc def was released in 2002 on Tigerbeat6 records, and he performs live with computer, keyboards, voice, and other instruments. Currently a Ph.D. composition fellow at Princeton University, Nathan has also studied with Elliott Schwartz at Bowdoin College, with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam, and at Yale University with Ezra Laderman and Martin Bresnick. Recognition for his work has come from Yale, Bowdoin, Ascap, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters from whom he received a 2002 Charles Ives Scholarship. His interests range from the concision and rhythmic vitality of Stravinsky to the poetic ramblings of Captain Beefheart, and some things in between. Dear Bicycle, Nathan's second record for Tigerbeat6 was released in July 2003, and a recording of his live performances entitled Trebly will be out November 2003 on the Italian label Mr Mutt. www.nathanmichel.com