LISTEN/WATCH & SHARE: The Furniture – “The Sloth” Stream / YouTube
“‘Strom’ incorporates amorphous drones throughout, sprinkled with analogue synths to emulate a composition of spontaneity and surprise.”
“While the pair point to 1970’s German experimental music such as Cluster, and the pioneering minimalist composer Moondog as touchstones; fans of Brian Eno’s most ambient works will find The Furniture’s musical offerings cinematically enthralling.”
“A meditative 5-minute piece that straddles the line between ambient and post-rock”
“Dark, moody instrumental works, heavy on cinematic atmosphere”
– Brooklyn Vegan
“It’s music borne of a hard won, deeply felt understanding of each other. It’s together that their sound becomes something truly special, after all, with Matthew Pierce’s synth-work and textures – which would likely venture into pure ambient on their own – perfectly complemented by Matthew Kuhl’s assured, propulsive drumming. It’s the perfect combination.”
– Beats Per Minute
Today, new Spanish Prayers signees The Furniture (Michael Kuhl and Matthew Pierce) announce their forthcoming self-titled debut album, The Furniture (due 01/28/2022), alongside its lead single, “Strom.” The track also comes with an accompanying visual (by Philippe Leonard). Wonderland hosted the track’s premiere.
“We’ve tried to tell a story, not in the narrative sense but in a spatial sense,” said the band. “Like walking, running, driving or even flying from one place to another. In a way, representing the objects, people or even thoughts and emotions that you might experience, traveling from one spot to another.”
Improvisation isn’t all about the moment itself. For Michael Kuhl andMatthew Pierce, their new project The Furniture celebrates free form spontaneity, yet arrives from a deep-routed understanding of one another. The Furniture is the pair’s debut album, being released through Cigarettes After Sex’s refreshed label Spanish Prayers and is a meditative trip through amorphous drones, rolling drums and haunting atmospheres. Although it came together in just one two-hour session together, the genesis has a greater history, having played together in various touring bands both inBaltimore and abroad.
The Furniture is their first album as a duo and the chance for them to distill their respective playing styles away from their other projects. The record has been taken entirely from a single live performance recorded in theReverb club in Baltimore. Frequent collaborator producer Steve Wright brought a mobile studio and some mics down to the small live room and its even smaller stage. From there he let the pair subconsciously weave years of mutual understanding into the free form eight tracks that make up the album.
“Making a record free form can be a little risky. It’s not guaranteed that the creative forces that are summoned will show up,” say the duo. “But when they do, it can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of recording, in the way that each time you go back and listen, it can take you to a place or an emotion yet to be discovered.”
The result is an exploration of gradually shapeshifting constructions. The pair point to 1970’s German experimental music such as Cluster, and the pioneering minimalist composer Moondog as touchstones; those kosmiche influences do show themselves on The Furniture – be it during Kontrail’s synthesized ebb and flow, or Set to Quiver’s shuffling drums that gradually bring themselves to the forefront, amidst a myriad of other percussive shakers and flutters.
When those reference points are visible, though, they’re often contorted or submerged amidst other more esoteric influences: opener Gumdrop – like many tracks here – relies on an element of percussive repetition, but in its ambient resonance it’s reminiscent of a mid-90’s Kranky Records release.There’s a sense of sci-fi dystopia within the music too; Thrum’s twinkling synth lines, that rise above the dense fog of sound below it, are a good example of this. Down Parasite, meanwhile, is a minimal mixture of Sputnik space sounds calling out amidst cavernous expanse. There’s a deeplyEuropean dark psychedelia on The Sloth, while Kuhl’s playing pulls in everything from Klaus Dinger to traditional Ghanian rhythmic structures.
“Really, it was about surrendering to the moment,” the pair say. “We came into this album with open minds. We relied on our history of working together to create spontaneous compositions.”
That these compositions manage to hold such a strong overall identity while traversing so much sonic ground is testament to the pair’s combined sense of creative adventure and trust in one another.