Wowee Zowee!! It is a privilege to talk, kief style, with Matt "MV" Valentine. For those unaware, MV is one half of the glorious duo, MV & EE. Whether they engage in duo exchanges or jams with musicians from various incarnations of the band, the vibe they emit shines for all to feel. Recently, they released Space Homestead on Woodsist. And a few weeks prior, they released the wonderful Suub Duub tour box on their label, Child of Microtones (C.O.M.).
Trichomes and MV&EE is the way we roll. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)
1) The new one, Space Homestead, comes approximately a year after Country Stash. Could you please talk about the process of recording Space Homestead, the inspiration(s) for this record, and the cast of musicians traveling with you and EE on this journey?
MV: i'm always working on something up here and once we finished "country stash" the cycle needed to be unbroken so to speak. you gotta dig that music is ephemeral, and from us making it to you hearing it there is alotta in-between time. changes...that primarily was the inspiration with this one, changing seasons, shifting gears and distilling our sounds into a long player...jettisoning some things relating to the human condition. you also gotta dig that music is forever when it hits waxwork or binary shores AND everywhere else it can be played back therein. i think that is more terrifying than inspiring.
we make alotta music together and we spend alotta time hanging out with other musicians. i'm proud of that and i'm grateful that we know so many amazing artists/thinkers. we like to play and record, make things. more importantly we have a strong sense of harmony/sonics which we are always trying to develop further. the band spends a great deal of time on that. there are different shades, we tried to balance our rural jammers and excursions into noise/space with stacked melody and varying sounds/sonics and a thing i call "chromolodics". that's the deal with what inspired "space homestead"…it's the perfect distillation of what could happen at a show. the environments are implied and yet it can work as a lil' companion to those coming toward us for the first time. a space to rest for 40 minutes, everyone is welcome.
most of our good friends and co-pilots are on board. folks would drop by our home studio, or i'd go to theirs…or we'd book a few sessions when things seemed to fit with other inner ears. like all of our music it came very organically, it goes straight to the proverbial compost otherwise. these are mos def inspired times. one of the grooviest things about the LP is our bud carson arnold, we like to call him good ol' "smokehound", makes his studio debut with us on a coupla songs. we think he's dwine a real sweet job and it is nice to have him in the crew. i put him thru a pretty rigorous 3 year trial period, heh heh, and of course, pretty much all the bummer and golden roadies are representing.
2) One can tell that the MV & EE boxsets - everything from the first one on Blackest Rainbow to the Suub Duub box on your C.O.M. label - are made with lots of love. Could you please talk about the taper's pit and its importance in realizing these gems? Also, for future boxsets, are you going to stick with cd's or return to cassettes?
MV: i'd love to do a vinyl box set at some point! i suppose we'll do both, cassette and digital. i really dig the way the tapes sound and the vibe, i grew up on that kinda thing so it seems natural, plus i still have a tape deck in my car. the cdr's tho' have great advantages and also sound amazing for different reasons. thx for noticing that lots of love are put into them…we try to offer a NICE piece for the heads. the ones on C.O.M. are all made with great attention to detail, entirely with my own hands.
the whole band learns a lot from the tapers pit, so there is an educational thing for us in recording the shows…it also is just something we "do" now at the gigs, like setting up our amps. it is part of the build. we have gotten to the point now as players that the ratio between "good" and "bad" shows has narrowed so even the "lesser" gigs, whatever that means, are interesting and sometimes preferred by people who listen to a lot of our music. we have hundreds of shows recorded and are constantly investing in ways to improve the live recordings/archive. the recent phase of the "spacetime spacemind" tour that we just finished deployed our first quad mic set up in the pit, in addition to having two room mics. the reels i heard so far sound absolutely BEYOND.
3) To commence the year, MV & EE did a residency at Zebulon, in Brooklyn. Could you talk a little about it and what was it like to play again with P.G. Six, who released a real blazer on Drag City last year? Also, any chance that these sessions will receive the C.O.M. treatment?
MV: the zebulon run was some of the best times i've ever had playing, we got really into it. firstly, it's always groovy to head south during the vermont winters, so getting off the mountain for 3 sundays in a row was an inspirational start to the new year. we didn't repeat many songs, mebbe two or three and we pulled some rarely played, or never before played, tunes from the catalog. that was challenging. the aim was we would open up with an acoustic set, then do an environments set and/or someone else would play. for example, steve gunn sat in with us for the "environments" set the first week, "high lodge" which, is a duo project with jeremy earl and myself, did a set in week two and p.g. six did a set of his own for the middle slot of the last week. we would close each nite with a full on electric set and pat gubler sat in with us for that ride on the final sunday. we got really strong recordings, along with a soundboard matrix and reels from our king taper jim hildreth. that will likely be the next box set we release on child of microtones.
4) Currently, what records or sounds are you and EE digging?
MV: been listening to a lot of dennis brown, king tubby, et. al. somethin' about the spring time, warmer weather for that stuff. also been way into the new BR Garm LP, steve gunn & johnny T's "ocean parkway", the eddie callahan "false ego" wax that time-lag just did. erika loves the virgil caine and larry "here's sunshine" rice platters as well. "observe ember weeks" cursillistas jam is a heady ride. cool to grip robbie basho's "twilight peaks" on wax, over a decade ago i rode around for years with that being the only cassette in the car, i kept the oversize J-card in the glove box so there'r no sunspots. been groovin' on the jovontaes LP, white fence twofer and rafi bookstaber's jams, especially "greener pastures". all come highly recommended.
5) Is there anything in the works?
Peace to you, friends :)