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Album Review

Ui's third full-length appeared seven years after the group's debut LP, Lifelike, a precise, jam-heavy record that caught the emerging post-rock boom on its way up and found the band playing Rush to Tortoise's Yes. Answers isn't appreciably different from the rest of Ui's work, rich with bass-guitar melodicism and a percussive approach to music-making that comes from every instrument in the mix. The Ui sound is more powerful here, though, and it's all down to their recruitment of a pair of downtown N.Y.C. heads: new member — and second bassist — Erik Sanko (of Skeleton Key, Lounge Lizards, Yoko Ono) plus producer Bryce Goggin (Swans, Elliott Sharp, Band of Susans). Answers has a heavy downtown spirit, with standard instruments played in a unique fashion, and an aggressive interplay that's nearly antagonistic. (Listeners thinking of Liquid Liquid or Talking Heads are well on their way.) Second from the end comes the highlight, "John Fitch Way," nearly seven minutes of broadly riffing, constantly changing, post-rocking genius.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Allied to the more organic, instrumental groovesters in the American post-rock scene led by Tortoise, Ui focuses on angular grooves provided by a dual-bass attack. The New York band was formed in 1990 by bassist Sasha Frere-Jones (formerly of the group Dolores and probably better known as a journalist than a musician) and drummer Clem Waldmann. The duo played several gigs, occasionally with additional bassist Alex Wright and DJ/percussionist David Weeks, before replacing them with bassist Wilbo Wright...
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