With the recent digital-only release of “This Is Jambient,” a 2-hour-plus recording of 11 dark ambient compositions, co-founders Jimi "Maximum" Seidel and Adam Matza are still experimenting and improvising, but the spoken word and acoustic drums are gone, replaced by synthesizers, samplers and electronic drums.
"This Is Jambient” was recorded in live sessions during October and November of 2012 in Fort Lauderdale. There are no overdubs; just raw, sonic electronic experimentalism, with Seidel playing an Octapad digital drum pad and an SPD-SX sampling pad, and Matza on several iPad-based synths, including Animoog and Magellan.
“The tools might be different, but our approach is the same,” Matza said. “Push things as far as they can go and then keep going, because the best stuff is in that netherworld where there are no mistakes and anything is possible; where you don’t play what you know, you play what you don’t know.”
Drawing inspiration from experimental Krautrock groups, including Cluster, Harmonia, Tangerine Dream, CAN, NEU!, Amon Duul II and Popol Vuh, as well as a multitude of other musical influences, including Miles Davis, Frank Zappa and Brian Eno, The Weeds push sonic boundaries to create dynamic soundscapes.
Shifting Away From Spoken Word and Into Jambient
“When we started talking about doing The Weeds again, we agreed that we did not want to do what we had already done,” Matza said. “Jim didn’t want to play any acoustic drums and I didn’t want to speak. Jim got the electronic drum and sampler, and I started experimenting with iOS-based synthesizers. For the past couple of years, I have immersed myself in the Krautrock bands from the early 1970s, so when we started playing, a totally fresh, darkly ambient music naturally happened. Not having to be responsible for fronting the act via the spoken word and getting to play with synths has been liberating for me and being able to open up a diverse sonic palette with electronic drums and samples has been liberating for Jim. ‘Jambient’
Pioneers in the South Florida Spoken-Word Scene
The Weeds were known for Seidel’s tribal rhythms and Matza’s intense, often confrontational, antics behind the microphone. The band attracted some of the top musicians in the region, including multi-instrumentalist Ed Ethridge (Teri Catlin Band, Mickey’s Ickies), Manuel Pila (The Baboons) and Rey “Conga” Diaz, who has probably played with every band in South Florida.
From 1996-1997 and again in 2003-2004, The Weeds played most of the prestigious venues in South Florida, as well as participating in major festivals and events, building a strong following, receiving extensive media coverage and garnering positive reviews for their live performances and two self-produced releases, "Beer” (1997) and “In Between Stations” (2003).
“It was a lot of fun and creatively satisfying to perform spoken word/music,”
Celebrating the Release of “This Is Jambient” and Beyond
The Weeds will play a Virtual Release Party on Saturday, April 20 (yes, The Weeds are throwing a party on 4/20) at 10 p.m. via Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/
Seidel, whose collage artwork adorns the cover of the recording, said the band is pursuing live shows in interesting or non-traditional venues, such as art galleries, private parties and global festivals celebrating electronic ambient music.
“When we started the band in the mid-1990s, nobody really understood spoken word/music, but through sheer will, we broke down a lot of barriers,” Seidel said. “It will be similar this time, as this isn’t a style of music people go out of their way to hear. But when they listen, they get hooked because it’s atmospheric and doesn’t require participation from the listener. We actually hope the audience will forget that they are hearing a live performance and become part of the sonic experience. We want to become spectators at our own shows.”
“This Is Jambient” is on sale at BandCamp at http://weedsjambient.bandcamp.com and The Weeds can be followed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/