|Studio album by|
|Recorded||November 18, 2006|
|Studio||East Side Sound Studio, New York City|
|Producer||Larry Ochs, Intakt Records|
|Maybe Monday chronology|
Unsquare is a 2008 studio album by Maybe Monday, a San Francisco based experimental electroacoustic improvisation music ensemble featuring guitarist Fred Frith, koto player Miya Masaoka and saxophonist Larry Ochs. It is their third album and includes guest musicians Gerry Hemingway, Carla Kihlstedt, Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins. Unsquare was recorded at East Side Sound Studio in New York City on November 18, 2006, and was released by Intakt Records in Switzerland in January 2008.
In a review of Unsquare at All About Jazz, Kurt Gottschalk called Maybe Monday "a ridiculously strong trio", and described their collaboration with Hemingway, Kihlstedt, Mori and Parkins on this album as "a dizzying, fascinating set of music". Clifford Allen wrote at Bagatellen that Maybe Monday are not unlike the British free improvisation group AMM. He noted that which instruments are producing which sound is not important – it is the combination of those sounds that matters, the "subsuming of the parts to the whole". Allen added that "to parse Unsquare would be a disservice to the breadth of its canvas – this is a very rich recording of electro-acoustic improvisation." Jason Bivins wrote in Cadence that the inclusion of the four guests "unsettl[ed] the group in just the right ways and thicken[ed] the sound provocatively". He was impressed that they did this "without weighing the music down or sacrificing space". Bivins described Unsquare as a "very fine record".
Reviewing Unsquare in DownBeat, Bill Shoemaker was initially concerned that the presence of guests on Maybe Monday's third album would upset the "alluringly precarious elegance and intensity" of their earlier work. But he was pleased at how "keenly ensemble-minded" the guests are, and that they appear to have "infallible instincts for when less is more and when more is much more". The album's pieces "pivot between sparseness and density, altering a consistently bracing mix of acoustic and electronic elements". Shoemaker felt that the way the instruments connect, "the twacks of koto and low-register harp; the gravelly drones of guitar and laptop; the smudges of reeds and bowed strings", explains the growing interest in electro-acoustic improvisation.
All tracks composed by Maybe Monday.
- Fred Frith – electric guitar
- Miya Masaoka – 25 string koto, electronics
- Larry Ochs – sopranino and tenor saxophones
- Gerry Hemingway – drums, percussion, voice
- Carla Kihlstedt – electric and acoustic violins
- Ikue Mori – electronics
- Zeena Parkins – electric harp, electronics
Sound and artwork
- Recorded at East Side Sound Studio, New York City on November 18, 2006
- Mixed at Ruminator Audio, San Francisco
- Mastered at Headless Buddha Mastering Lab, Oakland, California
- Marc Urselli – engineer
- Monte Vallier – mixing
- Larry Ochs – mixing, producer, liner notes
- Myles Boisen – mastering
- Intakt Records – producer
- Emilie Clark – cover art
- Jonas Schoder – graphic design
- Schoemaker, Bill (June 2008). "Unsquare". DownBeat. Vol. 75 no. 6. Chicago: Maher Publications. p. 72. ISSN 0012-5768.
- Schoemaker, Bill (October 12, 2008). "Unsquare". All About Jazz. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
- Allen, Clifford (March 11, 2008). "Maybe Monday – Unsquare". Bagatellen. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
- Bivins, Jason (July 2008). "New Issues: Esther Lamneck/Eugenio Sanna; the Nuttree Quartet; Ryan Blotnick; Joshua Walker; Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer; Mads Thorsen; Dave Askren; DC Improvisers; Andy Brown; Mike Minasi; Margaret Slovak; Maybe Monday". Cadence. Vol. 34 no. 7–9. Portland, Oregon. pp. 255–259. ISSN 0162-6973.
- Ochs, Larry (2008). Unsquare (CD liner notes). Maybe Monday. Intakt Records.
- "Maybe Monday – Unsquare". Discogs. Retrieved October 3, 2019.