Sandbox Trio – Urubamba – CD


Artist: Sandbox Trio
UPC: 684461004144


The final studio recordings of sandbox trio find the band exploring territories only hinted at by their previous releases. Urubamba begins with the familiar – a classical guitar gently invoking the Amazonian river of the CD’s title. As the journey continues, listeners are quickly introduced to the sounds of a place they have never been – or imagined existed. Navigating through unexpected currents, exotic homemade instruments – pvc saxophone, electric erhu, wood box, thwackoleum – give voice to the strange inhabitants of the river. Darkly organic and industrial, this hour-long collection invites the mind to create, reflect, and meditate – a brillant conclusion to the band’s body of work. sandbox trio is: Martin Birke – octapad, percussion, drum kit, keyboard Chuck Ehlis – lap steel guitar, fretless bass, thwackoleum, loops, tapes Daniel Panasenko – classical & prepared guitars, pvc saxophone, electric erhu, clay flute, percussion Sound And Noise Dictated By Ongoing eXperimentation – one of the mantras used by sandbox trio – described perfectly the inspiration and intent of the group. Brought together in 1992 by the common desire to explore new possibilities of music-making, the band’s three members – Martin Birke, Chuck Ehlis, and Daniel Panasenko – initially used traditional instruments but quickly incorporated new ones designed and built by Ehlis. The group went on to perform and record for the next eight years until Chuck’s death in January 2000. After three CDs and two film scores, the band made it’s final appearance during their 1998 tour of Germany. The final studio recordings of the band were released in Spring 2004 on the Frank Mark Arts label. By T. David Wetzl: sandbox trio, a Sacramento based improvisational threesome, are utilizing their peculiar brand of ambient, primal, techno-industrial, at times almost new age sounding compositions to Iend to us their particular musical version of physics. It is a musical vision that implies and reveals a physics based on stratified and layered patterns and varying densities of organic space and energy. To attempt to define the idiom, or to quantify or pinpoint exactly what this group’s three melilbers, Martin Birke, Chuck Ehlis, and Daniel Panasenko, are up to musically or instrumentally is to confront an ambiguous yet compelling complexity. A spare, yet atmospherically ambient, persistently unrelenting, spatially significant sonic structure is generated, and ever so carefully maintained and cultivated with an eclectic mix of instrumentations. Handmade instruments, with a post-apocalyptic feel, are at times coupled with – and at other times set against – electronically generated ‘incidental noise’ tape loops. For example, Daniel Panasenko has fashioned an instrument resembling a saxophone out of PVC pipe and duct tape: calling it, of course, ‘the PVC sax.’ Chuck Ehlis (also an accomplished visual arist) has fashioned a giant, percussive, mouse-trap looking thing, called a ‘thwackoleum’, out of wood, springs, corks, and pickups. When I questioned Ehlis as to what they were doing musically, he responded by saying that they were simply making ‘post-modern bachelor pad music.’ While the group latches onto, and is deeply indebted to, the improvisational nature of jazz, they altogether avoid the classic trio instrumentation (brass, bass, drums) as well as the hard driving densely structured blues based sensibility of Bop. Light, durational, ethereal, improvisational, new age yet industrial, space music with heart, soul, and wit comes close to delining their musical aesthetic. Reviews: Darkly macrobiotic and beautifully primal, although not without a touch of grace, the improvisational group Sandbox Trio gives original sin a run for it’s money with their new release Urubamba. The disc, dubbed after an Amazonian river, is a lyric-less navigation through primitive sound woven into gloriously complicated paths, producing a meditative confab of musical experiment. Blithely manipulating homemade instruments, the Sacramento three aptly capture the rural and aquatic magnanimity of the

Track List:

1. Urubamba
2. Das Wasser und die Sonne
3. Headhunters
4. El Sol Ardiente
5. Black Currents
6. Oropendula’s Song
7. Downstream
8. The Serpent’s View
9. M�moire
10. River’s End
11. Malaria
12. Ghost Waves
13. Scent of Vermilion


Format: Compact Discs


UPC: 684461004144

Artist: Sandbox Trio

Release Date: 05/25/2004

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