Tuatara

Tuatara

Tuatara – Underworld

Instrumental powerhouseTUATARA have finally released the long-awaited follow-up to 2008’sThe Here and The Gone with Coleman Barks. The new album titled, UNDERWORLD, was produced by band drummer/founder Barrett Martin and mixed by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) and was released on August 5th, 2014 on Martin’s imprint label, Sunyata Records.

Like their previous works, Tuatara’s UNDERWORLD is an adventurous album steeped in electronic moods, slinky urban beats, hypnotic bass and guitar, and shimmering lines of vibraphone, marimba and bronze gamelans. The album features original membersScreaming Trees/Mad Season/Walking Papers drummer Barrett Martin, Luna’s Justin Harwood, tenor sax legend Skerik, with special guest appearances by Peter Buck of REM and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. The album will also feature a guest appearance by Gnarls Barkley bassist Cedric LeMoyne and electronic sequences from New York’s DJ Megman.

Explaining the gap between releases, Martin says, “Tuatara is more of a musical idea than a consistently working band, even though the same musicians always show up when it’s time to make a new record. The reason for our 6-year absence has more to do with our individual lives and the other bands we play in. I was in graduate school for much of that time finishing a master’s degree in ethnomusicology, and then I started the rock band Walking Papers. Mike McCready is always doing something with Pearl Jam, and Peter Buck joined about a half dozen other bands when REM called it quits. Justin now lives in New Zealand but I still send him tracks to play on. Skerik was touring the world with some of the top names in modern jazz.

But eventually, for whatever mystical reason, we are all drawn back together to make our shamanic music once again. It started with some electronic collaborations with DJ Megman in New York, and then some drum and bass jams with bassist Cedric LeMoyne out in LA. Mike McCready and I recorded some ideas in his home studio, and Skerik did some recording in his. That’s the magic of Tuatara, its collaborative and fun, and we work at a pace that is enjoyable for us, and our listeners seem to enjoy it as well. It’s also why we’ve been a band for almost 20 years – we let it breathe.”

Led by Martin, Tuatara came together in 1996 with the initial idea of making music “that sounded like a film that had never been made.” The result was 1997’s groundbreaking debut, Breaking The Ethers, followed by ‘98’s Trading With The Enemy, 2001’s Cinemathique, ‘03’s The Loading Program, ‘06’s East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and ‘08’s The Here and The Gone with Coleman Barks.

Carrying on a musical tradition influenced by late ‘60s experiments in jazz and rock, Tuatara blends a mixture of electronic sounds, exotic percussion, progressive beats, film score soundscapes and sublime compositions to thrilling effect. Soundtrack-wise, the vehicles featuring Tuatara music have been as wide-ranging as the songs themselves, including the hit HBO show “Sex & The City” (“25th & 6th) and the theme song for NPR’s “All Things Considered” (“Dark State of Mind”).

The band has continued to evolve over the years, using a revolving cast of players on each album that’s included DJ Logic, DJ Spooky, Michael Franti, Mark Eitzel, John Wesley Harding, Gary Louris and Mark Olson of the Jayhawks, Steve Berlin from Los Lobos, Scott McCaughey, Victoria Williams, Jessy Greene and renowned Sufi poet Coleman Barks.


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Underworld


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