Posts Tagged ‘Wet Tuna’

Matt Valentine

It’s been a bang-up year for Matt Valentine, with his searing second album from Wet Tuna landing last month and now the arrival of his 8-years baking solo LP, Preserves headed down the dock from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. The latest takes every incarnation that Valentine has inhabited over his years and throws ‘em in the blender, but don’t go thinking this is a hodge-podge, unfocused affair. MV grinds those sounds down smooth and viscous – melding psychedelic folk, with electronic swamp gas and lighting it on fire with the frantic freak foam of brain-bending guitar. This is Matt as his most potent, burning from the core and set to singe. The album blends midnight séance shivers with alien radio ripples, sounding like the FM waves have been hijacked and are picking up some sorely needed psychotropic solace from across the cosmos. Songs blend into one another without seams. It’s all one big batch of Preserves, steeped and sweetened for your pre-dawn consumption, gelled together into 40-odd minutes of melt.

The record calls up every acquaintance Valentine’s brushed against over the better part of the decade with longtime compatriots like Erika Elder, Pat Gubler, Willie Lane, J. Mascis, and Samar Lubelski making their way into the psychic seep of this one. The guests siphon and out Valentine’s sonic stew, giving the record a communal careen, but at the core is simply MV communing with the quasars one more time for good measure. It’s quite possible this might be the perfect companion piece to this years’ Water Weird — a moonburned coda on that album’s smoke-soaked blues. The two fit together into an extended fever dream hunkered down in sauna surroundings, sweating out the evil ether for all the transcendental sinners out there. Don’t just take my word though, the whole album’s streaming below and you’re welcome to get a taste of it yourself.


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RSTB Presents: Wet Tuna, Jesse Sheppard & Turner Williams, Spiral Wave Nomads

If you can’t get over to The Half Moon tonight for the Wet Tuna show then Raven and WGXC have you covered. All three bands’ sets will be broadcast live on the airwaves and coming to you over the live stream. The show should start around 9:30 so tune in and turn the lights low for what’s bound to be an amazing night. Listen in below.

Stream presented in partnership with Wave Farm Radio

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Wet Tuna

When Wet Tuna first unspooled their debut last year, they tapped into a primitive blues soup dipped strait from the swamp. It’s a humid, boiled record that folds one song into another with barely time to swipe the sweat before each groove subsumes the next. The band was built on the stage and they brought the deep zone groove nexus into the studio with surprising success. On the follow-up they still keep the cosmic tapestry intact, but they’ve begun to thread a few new strands into the tattered tap as well. The record is still living on midnight fuel, formed from their own admitted tendency to let the substances settle for a few hours until the balance is right and the clock slips past the uprights into the pre-dawn hours.

They channel this time-slip pseudo-seance onto a two-inch proof of purchase – a haunted haven of dank grooves to get lost in and vaporized boogie that cures the soul. Matt and Pat have boundless roots in the psychedelic pantheon, but collectively this is probably one of their most pure and primal discs. Water Weird is the cosmos captured, the burnt mind made good and projected through three layers of psychic meniscus into the ever after. Water Weird is the night made manifest and given flight over the horizon of infinite ink. There’s something ineffable, intangible, and alchemical about Wet Tuna and it all comes to a head with Water Weird. If this isn’t sitting atop your year end, then I’ve got some serious questions about priorities to discuss with you.

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Wet Tuna – “Cowpath 40”

The steam off of this upcoming Wet Tuna record continues to rise and the band gives another inviting glimpse into the world of Water Weird. “Cowpath 40” slinks forward from the depths, slow and silken, yet covered in an algae slick that gives it a dank, earthen smell. There’s more than a little of the Midnight Tripper in the veins here, the bones of Louisiana sprung to life hundreds of miles north, swamped and sodden, but never soggy. Valentine and Gubler are skulking through a permanent 3AM tilt and it feels like the only right time to be out when Tuna’s on the speakers. New record lands October 11th, and the band is hitting Hudson for a stacked bill at The Half Moon. I’d highly suggest getting some Wet Tuna in your life.



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Matt Valentine – “Light Speed>”

Well this one’s been on rotation for me for a while, so good to see that the rest of the world is getting a listen. Matt Valentine’s already got a heady burner on the dock with Wet Tuna, but this solo LP wraps up 8 years of pre-dawn jams into one handy collection to cook yer noodle. The opener, “Light Speed>” lays down the operating parameters for the rest of the platter – thoroughly cone-fried psych shot through the outer rim, bounced from quasar to quasar and back through the low-band AM ripples of your transistor soul. The album’s full of mind mel(t/d) mercurial moments and they all start here like a slow-motion explosion triggered by battery acid and sweat. Get into it! The record is out November 8th, from Beyond Beyond is Beyond.




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Pat ‘PG Six’ Gubler on Shide & Acorn – Under The Tree

I couldn’t be more excited that there’s a new Wet Tuna record on the horizon. The duo of Matt ‘MV’ Valentine and Pat ‘PG Six’ Gubler capture a particularly potent brand of psychedelic sweat and the new album’s a total killer as you’ll all soon see. As Matt’s already done a Gems piece for the site, the new release gives an opportunity to get Pat in on the action as well. A Psych vet for the better part of the last two decades, Gubler’s graced time in seminal psych-folk group Tower Recordings and is currently holding down slots in RSTB faves Garcia Peoples and Weeping Bong Band in addition to his time in Tuna. Seems only apt, then, that he should pick a lost folk gem from the short-lived Shide & Acorn (also briefly known as Foehammer or Peppermint Snuff of Wight along the way). Find out how their sole album, Under The Tree, came into Pat’s life below.

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Wet Tuna – “Goin'”

Couldn’t be more excited to have a new Wet Tuna up for grabs this morning. The last one hit hard, or it least it should have if you had the right kinda ears last year. This time the pairing of Matt (MV) Valentine and Pat (P.G. Six) Gubler is back to track your midnight ride into the subconscious, sub-dermal subject matter. The vibes are heady already as “Goin’” wafts into the room — the kind of molasses-milked twilight track that can hit just right when the brain’s in balance and the air is still. This is the core of Tuna — a humid seep of sound, a breath on the air that realigns the vibrations in the ether. “Goin” gets into the pores and never leaves.

Matt gives a little insight into how the track rose to the surface, “WET TUNA is wild & fun place for me. Pat & I have a language that seems to be unique to us…we don’t really talk about it and i reckon in many ways that’s what makes it cool. Anyway, that’s how it went down, via the jam, and how most of our music flows, we turn on the tubes and the tapes roll. I distinctly remember doing 3 “takes” of “goin’” — all with John Moloney on drums — he and i have been preserving it for a long time and the couch is flambeau comfy. He brought a pretty skeletal kit to the session, which was at my “Green Extension Studio B” in Vermont, and we left a lotta space. It’s a tight room. We tracked guitars live with drums and kept everything. Pat used a synth wah effect, I plugged in a Vox repeat percussion and Mutron. we used Gibson & Fender amps, did the vocals together in one or two takes. The lyrics came to me in a semina vision. Pat dubbed mellotron. it was around 4:20 in the afternoon, seriously, but it coulda been round midnight. Sunshine winter warmer…we had some Guinness in cans outside the window in a hanging pot from the night before, code name “water the plant” to grab a round. Pretty sure there were two left and we poured ‘em slow.”

New LP, Water Weird hits the shelves October 11th from the incontrovertible crew at Three Lobed.

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Matt Valentine on Takehisa Kosugi – Catch Wave

I’m steadily working through the great wishlist of artists who have shaped the path of Raven for the Hidden Gems series and this week we land on another. Along with Erica Elder, Matt Valentine’s tenure in MV & EE and its various incarnations was instrumental to the aughts psych-folk wave. In his stewardship of the great Northeast label Child of Microtones he’s given a home to The Tower Recordings, Samara Lubelski, Ash & Herb and Dredd Foole among others. And just this year he’s carved out yet another classic with PG Six as Wet Tuna. So, it came to pass that I asked Matt to pick out a record that had perhaps eluded the grasp of the masses all these years. Coming on the heels of the news that Taj Mahal Travellers’ August 1974 has found its way back to LP, Valentine’s pick from the band’s Takehisa Kosugi – his 1975 album Catch Wave – seems quite fitting. See how this record found its way to his life and what impact it’s had on his own works below.

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Wet Tuna

Doesn’t take much more than the lineup here to peak my interest in Wet Tuna. The duo is comprised of longtime psych flayers Matt “M.V.” Valentine and Pat Gubler, better known to the double spool grind as P.G. Six. The pair have been living the Wet Tuna lifestyle live for a while now and posting some tantalizing sets up on their Bandcamp, but now they’ve wrestled the expansive experience down to a debut full length and it sees them flesh out the sound with a full band feeling, adding keys and percussion to the pair’s guitar divinations. Taken on their own (or even with his other duo in Valentine’s case) these are two mighty pillars of post echo-location soup to deal with, both riding high on damp and dank guitar licks that burrow psychedelic smolder from the ground. Together, though, they’re definitely working on an alechimical level to mind-meld their way to new levels of endorphin-chompin’ brain float.

The band isn’t messin’ around out of the gate, filling the first side of this platter with the twenty-minute scorcher “New York Street,” making a case for high-mountain firelight blues chug as a state perfect being. The album grabs hold of the ghost, lights the fuse and never brings the listener down below the horizon line. Even when the guitars cool the strings to the touch, as on the shorter bits here, there’s still a buoyant calm that keeps Livin’ The Die sublimated and gaseous, beaming in on a transistor beacon from deepest space while leaving behind an aroma that’s straight from the soil. That’s the beauty that Valentine and Gubler have wrought, the woven riffs are mossy and humid, their vocals float in a memory haze of stuffed-cotton caverns, and when the coils glow an incandescent amber, the album takes flight with a solid-state shot of sulfur and smoke that lingers on the tongue. It’s a high point in both artist’s catalog, which for two such prolific beings, speaks high of Wet Tuna’s legacy.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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