Paul 'Mudd' Murphy is a veteran to the scene, having been a DJ for 21 years and a producer for 17. Mudd's starting point began with the 90's group/Nu-Disco pioneers, Akwaaba. Their first release in 1995 'Just Pilau' was an instant hit. Following came two successful albums, 'Do it Tomorrow' and 'Too Shiny'. When Akwaaba split in 2003, Mudd went on to record his first solo album 'Claremont 56' for Rong Music. Inspired and with a newfound confidence, in 2009 Murphy set up his own label. Keeping to the title ' Claremont 56', Mudd's British label was to make some of the most beautiful Nu-Disco/balaeric records in the industry.
Murphy's career was to peak after his encounter with Krautrock legend and 'Can' member, Holger Czukay. After one of Czukay's concerts in London, Paul approached him for the label. Czukay who was during the time signed with Electrola/EMI was given tight constraints. Murphy offered him complete freedom which not only lead to a golden discography for Claremont 56 but also made the foundation of a strong relationship between the two, artist and producer. Furthermore, it lead Mudd to make multiple trips to Can's Innerspace studio in Cologne where magic was to be made.
The rest is now history... The longtime collaborators- Paul Murphy, Holgar Czukay alongside Benjamin James Smith and vocalist Ursula Major form to make BISON. Released in 2010 under Claremont 56 came their debut " Way to LA". After 4 years of productive studio sessions, the quartet released the 'Travelers' album earlier this month in both vinyl and digital distribution.
An intergalactic concoction, the 'Travelers' LP is an atmospheric blend of dub disco and tantalizing percussion. "Way to LA", "Familiar Stranger", "New Moon Boy", and "Mandy" are all broken down in to versions for both 'day' and 'night'. This novel approach is a perfect compositional technique embodying the ideals of Can's 'Innerspace' studio.
Listening in, "Familiar Stranger" is an intoxicating groove where percussion meets Afrobeat strung out by a subtle tempo. Synths collide with guitars and thunderous basslines. The night verison of the title offers a deeper version of the track which dabbles with dub. Other tracks on the album are equally as brilliant, take for instance, "Mandy" where Ursula's half-spoken vocals exquisitely wrap around spacious rhythms and as for the 'Power Mix' version, rock guitars.
These long studio sessions left room for experimentation and fearless improvisation. The result is accessible and well relatable music in standard traditional chorus with a 2'30 composition. Although some may see this as a barrier, the listener is rewarded to improvise as well in Bison's world of space-age grooves tinged psychedelia. This celestial treat is one to be shuffled on replay. Hats off to Mr. 'Mudd' Murphy