Inspired by groups like The Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, United Bible Studies, founded at the beginning of the millennium, developed into one of the most courageous bands in the folk scene.
With more than 25 long releases, some on mini-labels and in self-burned form, the unsteady formation - from trio to octet and more - dares to explore both traditional folk and powerful sound collages. Quasi from Pentangle to acoustic Throbbing Gristle.
Pastoral psychedelia and traditional song have remained the cornerstones of the band’s style, alongside collective improvisation that can take the form of extended drone-works or explosive outbursts of ecstatic noise.
I AM PROVIDENCE (LP * JellyFant 2012 * cat# jayf 12)
I Am Providence Pt.1 / Chthonic Spiral / Tributaries Of The Styx Under Providence / Swan Point Petrichor / Grave Trudge / I Am Providence Pt.2
I Am Providence was recorded in Providence, RI on July 1, 2008, four of which were performed at the grave of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, framed by two a-capella songs sung that evening at friends in Providence.
The formation of the band on that day: - Alec K Redfearn*, David Colohan, Gavin Prior*, Manbeard*, Michael Tanner, Orion Rigel Dommisse*, Richard Moult, Sharron Kraus and Tuula Voutilainen.
(* = only the a-capella tunes).
"I Am Providence" is the inscription on the author's gravestone and comes from a letter he wrote to a friend.
"A setting like from the Black Metal textbook: Five Irish musicians gather at the grave of H.P. Lovecraft in Providence, Rhode Island, to conjure up the spirit of the famous horror writer, this icon of the gothic movement, with a "musical ritual". The result is highly psychedelic folk music in slow motion, carried by the sad sound of a banjo, a violin and a polyphonic choir, whose singing remains mostly wordless.
Only one track of this LP, mysteriously titled "Tributaries Of The Styx Under Providence", passes as a song in the true sense of the word, the other numbers transmit a weightless, extra-worldly feeling far away from all musical norms. This also applies to the title track, which both opens and closes this album: an improvised, likewise wordless a cappella number with a rapt atmosphere, with which United Bible Studies presents itself as a kindred spirit of Sigur Rós.
The result is weird, exhausting, but, if you get into the right mood as a listener, it is also incredibly captivating: music for people who are fed up with all pop and rock music conventions."