As People of the North, Oneida vets Bobby Matador (organ) and Kid Millions (drums) create cosmic improvised music performed with the intensity of a rock band. Their music is loud and distorted, anarchic to its core and imbued with a devotional spirit. The band’s new album, Era of Manifestations, is its most intense statement of purpose, and documents their impressive tonal and rhythmic interplay. The music oscillates between passages of extreme discord and stretches of seemingly spontaneous cohesion, the latter an indication of how intuitive their communication has become after a 25 years of playing together. The album features Shahin Motia of Oneida on guitar and significant low-end contributions from Richard Hoffman of Sightings. Era of Manifestations is improvised music with bite, uncompromising and euphoric.
Several song titles on Era of Manifestations come from the Shakers, named thusly by Kid Millions, and the album’s title comes from a period in Shaker history in the mid 1800s when Shakerism underwent a period of spiritual reawakening. This period was marked by a preponderance of “revelations,” in which young members of the church were divinely given incredible bursts of spontaneous creative energy. The duality of those revelatory moments and the Shakers’ principles of simplicity and utility are alive and well in People of the North’s music. The album was created from a five-hour session of improvisations recorded at Seizures Palace in Brooklyn. Despite the at times overwhelming energy and sound produced by the group, it is imbued with simplicity produced by a laser-like focus, four minds working towards one ecstatic goal. The musicianship on display, the devotion to their craft, is stunning. Their range as musicians continues to amaze, as does their seemingly limitless capacity for innovation and individuality.
Bobby and Kid continue to perform together in Oneida, and are involved in numerous other projects. Kid’s ever-evolving project Man Forever recently released Ryonen, a collaborative effort with So Percussion, and Kid also released an album with Jim Sauter in late 2014. People of the North will be touring North America and Europe extensively this spring.
Era of Manifestations
People of the North (Live on WKCR)