Steven Kudla & The Mystic Sun Brothers
Breakfast for 2
Breakfast For 2 epitomizes Origin Peoples' boundary-dissolving, genre-blurring approach to music-making. The album comes at you from oblique angles, scrolling through funk, ambient, Balearic house, and New Age, all guided by an enigmatic dream logic. Using analog synths, drum machines, and guitar, Canadian musician/producer Steven Kudla draws inspiration from Boards Of Canada and Aphex Twin to give his tracks what he describes as “a very raw and natural feeling.” Breakfast For 2 is the result of spontaneous, lo-fi jams and miscellaneous recordings stitched together from various sessions. The interludes between tracks, Kudla says, “are designed to entrap your attention, make you think 'how/what am I listening to? Is it guitar? Synth? Vocal?'"
Side 1 begins with what sounds like a Southern blues musician saying “let's get that good old swamp-water blues going. You know that one tune I'm talking about?” before becoming indecipherable, like the end of Alvin Lucier's I Am Sitting In A Room, while a hypnotic keyboard motif chimes. In actuality, it's a friend of Kudla's ad-libbing into the mic of his Pioneer cassette deck. “Little did he know this voice would be stretched out, chopped up, reversed and flangerized to create the entirety of the backing track for the intro,” Kudla says. “This raw creative energy is so rare that it had to be used in some form or another.” A beatific funk-rock jam follows, as droning organ and icy tintinnabulation swirl around a staunch rhythm seemingly lifted off an old-school Biz Markie track. Kudla's predilection for oddly metered, lo-fi funk then gives way to some of the most sonorous and calming ambient music you'll hear all decade.
The second side starts with plangent shoegaze-rock à la Windy & Carl, albeit atomized and dispersed into a warped zone of fraught ambient whorls. Emotionally complex guitar and keyboard meditations waft and oscillate across your blue-sky mind, and it feels as if Kudla is soundtracking your tenderest, most poignant memories with the smallest possible gestures. After this, the album toggles between buoyant rhythmic pieces and gnomic ambient passages, evoking rarefied states of consciousness for the most intimate journeys to the center of your beautifully baffled mind.
Kudla says that his goal with Breakfast For 2 “is to give a varietal sampling you could say of the musical mishmash that is constantly firing off and manifesting itself in my head. Tying myself down to one label such as 'electronica' or 'rock' has never worked for me because the challenge of mixing them all into one coherent composition is the real fun.” This “musical mishmash” is a regenerative gift that refuses to give up its robust pleasures too easily.
Side A: 18:45
Side B: 17:42
Format: C40 cassette
Date: 20 Jan 2019
Artwork: Jeremy Grant