Uva Ursi – Urs Graf Consort


“Urs Graf Consort, a collective with a corrupted genealogy, produce trail-blazing simulacra - songs nested within themselves, with the experimental accents of Ursonate. A protean duo operates under the name of Swiss engraver Urs Graf (1485 - c. 1529); Prune Bécheau and Adrien Bardi-Bienenstock are composers and performers for ensembles that are as varied as the motley company brought together in The Peasants War which Urs Graf depicted; Uva Ursi captures on-the-spot at acoustic vigils on the edge of amplified battlefields.

Baroque violin, vièle-à-trou, bass, arranged drums, a broad spectrum of vocals, tuba, trumpet, synthesizer, spinet, sanza, shakers, bells and rattles... are all played in different concerts by: Simon Sieger, Mathias Pontévia, Jœl Grip, Samuel Burjade, Sam Langer, Paul Ferbos, Pierre Borel, Adrien Perron, Rachel Ramos, Emmanuel LeGlatin, Mathieu Cahuzac, Camille Émaille, Gabriel Bristow, Antoine Hummel, Makoto Sato, Arden Day, Olivia Scemama, Pascal Sieger, Geoffroy Gesser, Malgorzata Kasprzycka, Gwladys Le Cuff, and many others. The sheer number and differing degrees of participation by these musicians and their voices avoids genre - from passionate, rasping dialogues and the slow sedimentary effort of building the composition, to the use of six languages in various arrangements and surprise oral interventions. The same applies to the modes of recording, whether in the studio, live or by integrating direct sound recordings.

The compositions on Uva Ursi - or bearberry, a medicinal mountain plant with small white flowers - confound expectations and established standards and attain new forms of interplay between Italian variety, free jazz, cabaret, instrumental theatre, Lettrist recitation, the disruptive intensities of improvisation and noise, and walrus songs. These disjunctive synthesis do not exclude humming or toe-tapping either, even though they may initially seem untenable as a whole: the airs are captivating but any dancing only arrives in passing, and either gets bogged down by weird meter or catches a chill from deceptive disintegrations and globbed down by macabre sounds.” Gwladys Le Cuff 


Adrien Bardi Bienenstock : french, italian, spanish, danish, basses
Prune Bécheau : baroque violin, synthesizer, piano, organ, mandolin, french, german, danish Simon Sieger : trombone, accordeon, tuba, radiator, danish, french
Mathias Pontévia : drums (on pair tracks, except track 8)
Joel Grip : double bass, danish, swedish
Samuel Burjade : drums (on impair tracks)
Sam Langer : electric guitar
Paul Ferbos : spinet
Pierre Borel : saxophone
Adrien Perron : zarb
Rachel Ramos : pandeiro, bell, shakers
Emmanuel Le Glatin : acoustic guitar
Mathieu Cahuzac : congas
Gwladys Le Cuff : Apocalypsis Nova

Enregistré au Tuquet en Dordogne, à Ste Foy La Grande en Gironde, à Euphonia et au 51 rue du petit puits à Marseille. Tecnici di registrazione e mix : Loïc Lachaize, Prune Bécheau e Adrien Bardi Bienenstock

Mastering : Loïc Lachaize and Jan Vysocky.
Ooro hihi : frontière ronflante
Hülle : Prune Bécheau und Adrien Bichon Bardi
Grafik : Maja Larsson
English translations : Sam Langer & Patrick Dahn

Thanks for the technical support (and more) of Thomas Pujols, Samuel Burjade, Eloïse Burjade, Emmanuel Le Glatin, Mathias Pontevia

Available as 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC  

"There are songs on here, but only in so far as Trout Mask Replica is a record of songs. It is odd and compelling and brilliant, a record that opens a rabbit hole and I have barely scratched the surface of what it is about. So far it seems to be about the past, but without putting any of that material in a historical or imitative encounter, working in opposition to conceptions of traditional repertoire in performance and concept. There is harpsichord and grouped voices, often singing in untrained chanted songs – in Italian, French, Spanish and Danish.

While listening I took my headphones off for a moment, leaving a harpsichord and female voices. When I returned a minute later it had become something that sounded like a ping-pong game with a bullfrog for an umpire." - Jennifer Lucy Allen, The Quietus

Urs Graf Consort

Urs Graf Consort, a collective with a corrupted genealogy, produces simulacra, songs nested within themselves, with the experimental accents of Ursonate. Prune Bécheau and Adrien Bardi-Bienenstock are composers and performers for ensembles that are as varied as the motley company brought together in etchings by the Swiss engraver Urs Graf. The song, an object, is essayist, narrative, dramatic, and serves like a space to wander, a waterway whose banks meet only at its source and nevertheless form a whole, subtly fragmented, off-the-cuff punctuations that have no other purpose than to accentuate the fluidity of the whole in the play of obstacles; splashing, sinking, diving, shouting, while the pulsing of the commas continues to respond to the luminous undulation of the surface when, with a communal shiver, the buttocks disappear beneath the cool water.