With “VoyAager,” Aa (“Big A little a”) - one of the quintessential house bands of Brooklyn’s mid-aughts loft party/DIY scene - have returned with their first US release since 2007. The heady new album, out on Northern Spy Records, expands dramatically on the band’s primordial polyrhythms + noise palette to embrace lush electronic psychedelia, enveloping vocal textures, and even unexpected, glittering explosions of pop melodicism. The thunderous orchestra of live drums that has always been Aa’s hallmark is still very much foregrounded, but frequently hybridized with digital beats and concussive blasts of electronic percussion.
While clearly in dialogue with contemporaries like Black Dice, Gang Gang Dance, Parts & Labor/Dan Friel, HEALTH, Dan Deacon, and others, Aa’s continuing evolution has mapped out an utterly singular course. “VoyAager” takes listeners on a journey across diversely unique sonic worlds – from the ecstatic drum workouts of “Glow Wreath” and “Fish Phone,” to the menacing, post-industrial grind of “Mossy” and “Gowntower,” to the transcendently odd electropop of “Koosh” and “Eyebells,” and other strange, previously uncharted territories.
Painstakingly produced by the band with long-time collaborator Billy Pavone and mastered by drummer Josh Bonati of Bonati Mastering, “VoyAager” works both as deep headphone listening and as blisteringly loud, heavy-in-the-red avant-rock. Recorded over several years in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and southern France, and following tours of Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the album serves as evidence that Aa never went away – and that the band has created its own, vibrantly fecund lane that will continue generating distinctive new mutant strains of contemporary music for years to come.
released January 28, 2014
“The official dance band for the post- apocalypse. Meet you at the riot.” - Christopher Weingarten, Senior Editor, Spin
“Not just noise, not just drums, but something that reaches ecstatic, bombastic heights” - Pitchfork
Ladies and gentlemen, we are drumming in space.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Utilizing three drum kits and electronically treated moans and chants, Aa weave weird spells and conjure up eerie atmospheres. They are a very hot and wet handful of indescribability indeed.” — The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
I bought the 12 inch single for Bela Lugosi’s Dead at Fred’s records in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the eighties and it remained a treasured item in my collection until it was lost, left behind, stolen, loaned out, whatever. I accepted that that item was lost to time and likely irreplaceable. Hence my utter shock to see that I will once again hear this evocative masterwork on vinyl along with an extra three tracks. I recall Boys was included on the B-side of that long list single. Thank you! skritti
An album (mixtape?) so nice, I bought it twice (realized the original release without Sam Gendel's name attached--it was Fresh Bread by Fresh Bread--wasn't in my iTunes anymore and was deleted from Bandcamp). World of Echo
The content is mostly heavy as ever but the tracks are all catchy as hell and there's some pretty pleasant lo-fi/chiptune/pop-punk elements. This is the Black Dresses album you show your friends when you get the aux, if you're a coward. rykemasters