New Batch – Unifactor

New Batch – Unifactor

2.28.20 by Ryan Masteller

Hilariously, or maybe not so hilariously, depending on your threshold for humor, I found out the hard way that Unifactor label maestro Jayson Gerycz was the drummer for a Popular Band. The incident occurred when said Popular Band hit a joint close to my hometown, and Jayson kindly asked if wanted to check it out. I politely declined, because I’m old and often tired. Then I asked what band he was in. It was a Popular Band! I felt so sheepish. Because of that deep level of embarrassment*, I will be quite careful to not make the mistake again. All artists below are now given due credit.

*We had a good chuckle.


{arsonist}, aka Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers*, brings a sense of mystery and awe to “Reality Structure,” a keyboard/synth-driven delight that flourishes in grand quietude while mutating and expanding and contracting and staying still, all at once. Take a look at that cover image – really look at it, let it sink in, allow it to fill your mind. Now, think about what it is and what it sounds like. Is it a frigid explosion, like a nitrogen cryogeyeser on the surface of Triton, frozen in time? Is it a water ice crystal forming oddly, springing against gravity from a chilled surface? Or is it a coniferous tree in the middle of night, covered in frost? All of the above are assumptions that hint at the sounds contained within, a reverent glistening monochromatic aurora of soundwaves, an effect both glorious and nostalgic. It kind of reminds me of Event Cloak a little bit. In fact, this could easily be an ambient entry in the Orange Milk catalog. But it’s here, in Unifactor’s, where it dang belongs. 

*For legal purposes, an asterisked caveat such as this one must accompany the joke.


Pat Modugno (trumpet) and Doug Gent (saxophone) take a break from their main gig in the Doobie Brothers* for a new Moth Cock tape, “Mystics and Statistics.” Side A Is “Mystics,” side B is “Statistics,” get it? No one who goes around calling themselves “Moth Cock” is going to, ahem, dick around by coming up with separate names for everything. Moth Cock gets right to the point, and with “Mystics,” the duo not only gets right to the point, they basically play their horns like the definition of the titular word sounds. Here, the internet can help us do the heavy lifting  (go down to the noun). Modugno and Gent drone mysteriously through a fog of effects, meditating on the intense truth about the universe and junk that they’re about to reveal to us all. Truly, we are indebted to Moth Cock for the secrets of reality, just glimmering beyond the veil of the mist in the middle of this forest in the dead of night, that will surely come into focus in due time. Meanwhile, try “Statistics” on the B-side: it’s bleepier and bloopier, at least at the outset, and sounds more like an Excel spreadsheet – which, I hear, if you mic properly, comes off as the HNW program of the Microsoft Office suite. Great set!

*For legal purposes, an asterisked caveat such as this one must accompany the joke.


As LL Cool J’s live band*, House Panther Diadem Ensemble surely knows their way around a groove. But here on “Five Questions,” The trio of John Elliott (synth), Jayson Gerycz (singing bowls), and Isabelle Rew (Bomberde, a double-reeded instrument that I just heard of for the first time just now) move in a more transcendental direction, the ambience of their combined instruments serving as a guided tour along the astral plane. This is appropriate: why would you be asking any question, let alone five of them, without a contemplative soundtrack? On “Five Questions,” the players reach out into the unknown and pepper it with that exact amount of query-tude, meditating, letting both the questions themselves and the answers settle on their psyches in the calm expanse of eternity. (Notably, there’s “A Question about Time.”) We are on this journey with them, and the mysteries of life float down and alight upon us like those glowing tree sprites in James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar” franchise. Now THERE’S some philosophy you can sink your teeth into! 

*For legal purposes, an asterisked caveat such as this one must accompany the joke.

Brilliant art by Matthew Gallagher for this batch, by the way.

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