...and so the CD catalog of mOAR is launched on a
light-hearted note with
Untree by Mou, Lips! (a project of Andrea
Gabriele
from Pirandelo and formerly of Tu m'). Various tracks
feature collaborations with
Emanuela De Angelis, Stephen
Vitiello
, Jara Queeto, Marita Cosma and Ivan Solano. Untree
displays Gabriele's well honed ability to weave a complex mix of
seemingly incompatible elements, instruments and musical
influences into cohesive and unified song-like structures while
always keeping one root firmly planted in the soil of the
electronic avant-garde. This is certainly an album that will keep
revealing new aspects of itself with each successive listen while
inspiring a good mood to shine through, even on
psychologically cold and rainy days.

Design, photography & artwork by Dale Lloyd and Celeste Najt.
Limited to 300 copies.

and/OAR interview with Andrea Gabriele of MOU, LIPS!
AQUARIUS RECORDS  (July 2008)
Mou, Lips! is the work of Andrea Gabriele formerly of the Italian
project Tu m'; and here, Gabriele ventures into the digital
headspace of pixel-point abstraction with smartly placed hints
of a pop sweet tooth. His tone-bent digital errata and languid
samples of intimately plucked classical guitar, blurting
trumpets, maudlin French horns, and scratchy violins from old
'78s return to some of the finer moments of post-pop
electronica that Sonig and Mille Plateaux were championing
many years ago. Untree is a quirky and playful album which
lends itself to sounding like Terry Riley being redone by Lithops
and/or Vladislav Delay.


TOKAFI  (June 2008)
A quirky dance of the elements: Everything that makes the
world of experimental music such a wonderful place. Everybody
agrees that buying your vegetables seasonally is the right thing
to do. So why is this wisdom never applied to music? “Untree”
certainly fits the approaching mood of Summer perfectly, an
album which makes you feel all frisky and frolicsome as the
first rays of the sun tingle your face through the open window.

Certainly not the thing to expect from a CD labelled “Avant-
garde” in the press release. On the other hand, there are
obvious indications that Andrea Gabriele, formerly a member of
T um' and now fostering Mou, Lips! next to writing project-based
soundtracks for companies like MTV or BMW, will probably
welcome the arrival of the warm season by spinning some
Philipp Glass records rather than roots Reggae.

At least in terms of rhythm, the pulsation principle reigns
supreme, from the declining reed figures of opener “Non E
Colpa Mia!” to the quirky dance of the elements “Cosa Buena”.
Jara Queeto guests on Trumpet, Ivan Solana joins in on Bass
Clarinet and many others add their bits and pieces here
and there, invigorating the airy electronic textures with an
organic touch and occasional Jazz references. Even though
there is no information on the recording procedure, “Untree”
often sounds as though it could have been improvised on the
spot.

The only thing one could hold against this theory is the radical
precision Gabriele applies to his creations. Not even once
extending beyond the length of a pop single, his work is
marked by the unhurried development of musical ideas and by
clear cuts once the thought has been brought to a conclusion.
William Basinski would stretch a track like “Bora” to at least an
hour – here, it ends after barely three minutes.

The above mentioned comments already hint at the stylistic
eclecticism to be found on “Untree”. From acoustic guitar
deconstructions, field recording-infused dronescapes, backwards-
loops coated with sugary glitches and melancholic Ambient to
heartwarming scenes of pastoral serenity (“Still Life(s) Live”),
the record has almost everything on offer that makes the world
of accessible experimental music such a wonderful place – when
experienced at the right time.

Most people also agree that you need to consume products
locally, in the country where they were produced. My father, for
example, still insists the only time he really enjoyed a Martini
Rosso was on a trip to Italy – the bottle he brought home never
really lived up to that. Here’s the difference with the music
comparison, though: As long as the sun is shining, you can
listen to and cherish “Untree” almost anywhere.
(Tobias Fischer)


SMALLFISH  (June 2008)
and/OAR offshoot mOAR delivers this very fine work from Mou,
Lips! A little more playful than the releases on the parent label,
but absolutely brimming with personality and melodic
strangeness. Edits and chopped up samples and perky,
experimental live instruments collide with classic minimalist
styles and sounds (think 12k, Spekk etc) to make a very
satisying album indeed - almost like a slightly more out-there
Sora. Check out all the samples, but pay particular attention to
the 4th one to see what I mean... absolutely brilliant stuff.
(Mike Oliver)


EARLABS  (March 2008)
mOAR begins the explorations of and/OAR into complex and
neatly balanced expressions of garden-shed electronica -
pristine surfaces mottled with mildew and sundry glitches, which
refract light and color into so many dazzling directions. Italian
act Mou, Lips! (essentially Andrea Gabriele, formerly of Tu m',
with assistance from others such as Stephen Vitiello) serve as a
more than apt guide for the labels first foray into this new
land.  However incongruous the elements or surreal their
juxtaposition, they inhabit the same space in these tracks, and
their playfully exposed and oddly off-center yet considered
arrangements ensure they are well defined. Many of these
audio collages stand out for their ability to create a sensation
that there is a very real acoustic space in which all of the
sounds actually exist, even if they sound a trifle unreal. Most, if
not all, of the essential elements seem present from the start:
"Vit Virt" sees a trellis of sinuous woodwinds and glistening
ribbons of light orchestration bind like glue over  a bed of fire-
cracker snaps and warm, soothing tones on "Michaela Aiuta
Cenzina", making for a clash and commingle of mood-colors
like a sort of macabre whimsy.  As the album progresses, the
ordering changes in deceptively simple but significant ways,
emphasizing now an idyllic flutter of electronics like a slow
dance of morning light, now a jazzy cascade of misty horns
overtop ectoplasmic tendrils, and finally later a crepuscular,
cobwebby sound, shot through with field recordings, lively and
incoherent, and full-blooded, hectic keyboard and glockenspiel
lines. These works play very well on the proximity of ecstasy
and eeriness.  A strong dual relationship is forged between
them, without either encroaching a great deal on the others
territory. For this reason, the very lightness of touch that affords
the tracks a sort of cutesiness also gives rise to a certain
understatement and intelligence, a certain purpose and sense
of possibility that results in fascinating patterns of overtones,
which henceforth engage and otherwise tease the former in a
rather festive manner.  All of this makes Untree an invigorating
and attractive set; a fine foundation from which to build.
(Max Schaefer)


WALL OF SOUND  (February 2008)
Michael's note on this reads: "IPM (Intelligent Pop Music)" but I
think it could just as easily stand for "Interesting Pretty Music"or
"Intersecting Possibilities Meet" or "Italian Performer Mou,
Lips!"... Alright, so the last one doesn't work too well. The light
yet complexly layered sounds on this disc would work well for
fans of Colleen or Curd Duca (remember Curd Duca?). This is
an album that will keep revealing new aspects of itself with each
successive listen while inspiring a good mood to shine through
even on psychologically cold and rainy days, like today.
(Jeffery Taylor)
SIGNAL TO NOISE  (Winter 2008)
An adolescent glee dances across the sprightly silver surfaces of
Untree, but it’s that sense of precociousness, of a kid
discovering their father’s (Pro)tool(s)box in the attic and
rummaging about in it, that makes this autodidactic romp so
endearing. As Mou, Lips!, Andrea Gabrielle launches and/OAR’s
sublabel with a bang—nothing is sacred, everything is permitted.
Samples and handheld acoustics are put through the (digital)
ringer so that truly weird hybrids emerge: “Non è Colpa Mia!” is
like a laptop nationalist anthem with a beat; “Vit Virt” a thick
hide of stringstrung drone and dampened noise(s); “Bora” a
Hassell/Eno trope of delicately-hued, otherworldly ambience. A
virtual beehive rampant with ideas and imagery, Gabrielle’s
obstreperous dynamics cohere the last ten years of computer-
assisted sound design into a 46-minute menagerie of magic
realism.
(Darren Bergstein)


KATHODIK  (October 2008)
Il minimalismo che qualche tempo fa ci aveva proposto Andrea
Sartori, ricco di oggetti sonori live, field recording in sintonia con
l'ambient, ritorna privato della connessione con il dancefloor in
questo bel disco dei Mou, lips!, creazione sonica di Andrea
Gabriele. La proposta aggancia inevitabilmente le derive
sabbiose dei Boards of Canada nel caldissimo incipit Non è
colpa mia! per poi spostarsi su un viaggio meditativo fatto di
chitarre acustiche (for INstruments), trombe e clarinetti trattati
con anima retrò (still life(s) live), voci che ricordano gli storici
Lali Puna (untree, cosa buena) per poi connettersi con la scuola
illbient nel reshaping di suoni di Steve Vitiello (vitiello tre mix).

L'ingrediente che salta all'orecchio è la stretta connessione con
il jazz, quasi una conferma che segue le prove dell'astro italo
Gianluca Petrella o dei maghi della contaminazione Cobblestone
Jazz. Qui l'elettronica che si mescola in infiniti sottogeneri
'minimal' è comunque legata all'ascolto e non sembra essere
proiettata nè per una destinazione dal vivo, nè per la pista da
ballo. Un nuovo e benefico ritorno alle estetiche di Intelligent
Electronic Music che spopolavano negli anni 90 con la Warp (vit
virt e l'inevitabile richiamo ad Aphex Twin nella conclusiva piano
e bottiglie), fa pensare a questo disco come all'ennesima
conferma per un 2008 dominato dall'ambient.

Un disco che speriamo venga ascoltato da qualche produttore
illuminato. Ottimo anche per successivi remix. Mangiamoci
queste labbra al mou!
(Marco Braggion)
TOUCHING EXTREMES  (December 2008)
There's a lot to enjoy in "Untree", the latest outing by Mou,
Lips! (Andrea Gabriele), despite that impossible-to-delete
tendency - typical of the large majority of today's Italian "avant-
garde artists" (…) - to identify a little bit too much with their
inspirations, that grey area between partial originality and
copycat-ism that, voluntarily or less, makes an attentive
listener quite surprised at first, then - after having removed the
glossy patina and the bell-and-whistle factor - introduces the
process of "This sounds like… This was already made by…" and
so forth. Although the same happened in part to this writer
following the third listen to this CD (especially in relation to
tracks that distinctly recall the work of Musci & Venosta some
20+ years earlier), my opinion is positive. Gabriele knows how
to deal with sampling, juxtaposing the most disparate materials
with excellent aesthetic facility without exaggerating one way or
another. Also to be appreciated is the exquisite sense of
humour demonstrated in certain sections: "Cosa Buena" is
definitely a masterpiece of light-heartedness with its engaging
patterns and stuttering baby voices. Finally, the metastatic
electronic auras symbolized by a piece such as "Bora" (Stephen
Vitiello is here featured on guitar) are enough for me to swipe
imperfections and small superficialities under a carpet of
temporary forgetfulness and get pleasure from the scattered
remains of what once were charming whispers of luminescence.
(Massimo Ricci)
DISQUIET  (December 2008)
Mou, Lips! Untree was voted one of the best albums of 2008 by
the readers of
Disquiet.com.
catalog number: moar1
artist: MOU, LIPS!
title: Untree
format: CD
status:
available
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