catalog number: moar1
artist: MOU, LIPS!
title: Untree
format: CD
status: available
...and so the CD catalog of mOAR is launched on a
light-hearted note with Untree by Mou, Lips! (a project of
Andrea Gabriele from Pirandelo and formerly of Tu m').
Various tracks feature collaborations with Emanuela De
Angelis, Stephen Vitiello, Jara Queeto, Marita Cosma
and Ivan Solano. Untree displays Gabriele's well honed
ability to weave a complex mix of seemingly incompatible
elements, instruments and musical influences into
cohesive and unified song-like structures while always
keeping one root firmly planted in the soil of the
electronic avant-garde. This is certainly an album that
will keep revealing new aspects of itself with each
successive listen while inspiring a good mood to shine
through, even on psychologically cold and rainy days.

Design, photography & artwork by Dale Lloyd and
Celeste Najt.

Limited to 300 copies.

and/OAR interview with Andrea Gabriele of MOU, LIPS!

DISQUIET  (December 2008)
Mou, Lips! Untree was voted one of the best albums of
2008 by the readers of

TOUCHING EXTREMES  (December 2008)
There's a lot to enjoy in "Untree", the latest outing by
Mou, Lips! (Andrea Gabriele), despite that impossible-to-
delete tendency - typical of the large majority of today's
Italian "avant-garde artists" (…) - to identify a little bit
too much with their inspirations, that grey area between
partial originality and copycat-ism that, voluntarily or
less, makes an attentive listener quite surprised at first,
then - after having removed the glossy patina and the
bell-and-whistle factor - introduces the process of "This
sounds like… This was already made by…" and so forth.
Although the same happened in part to this writer
following the third listen to this CD (especially in relation
to tracks that distinctly recall the work of Musci &
Venosta some 20+ years earlier), my opinion is positive.
Gabriele knows how to deal with sampling, juxtaposing
the most disparate materials with excellent aesthetic
facility without exaggerating one way or another. Also to
be appreciated is the exquisite sense of humour
demonstrated in certain sections: "Cosa Buena" is
definitely a masterpiece of light-heartedness with its
engaging patterns and stuttering baby voices. Finally,
the metastatic electronic auras symbolized by a piece
such as "Bora" (Stephen Vitiello is here featured on
guitar) are enough for me to swipe imperfections and
small superficialities under a carpet of temporary
forgetfulness and get pleasure from the scattered
remains of what once were charming whispers of
luminescence. (Massimo Ricci)

(Winter 2008)
An adolescent glee dances across the sprightly silver
surfaces of Untree, but it’s that sense of
precociousness, of a kid discovering their father’s (Pro)
tool(s)box in the attic and rummaging about in it, that
makes this autodidactic romp so endearing. As Mou,
Lips!, Andrea Gabrielle launches and/OAR’s sublabel with
a bang—nothing is sacred, everything is permitted.
Samples and handheld acoustics are put through the
(digital) ringer so that truly weird hybrids emerge: “Non
è Colpa Mia!” is like a laptop nationalist anthem with a
beat; “Vit Virt” a thick hide of stringstrung drone and
dampened noise(s); “Bora” a Hassell/Eno trope of
delicately-hued, otherworldly ambience. A virtual
beehive rampant with ideas and imagery, Gabrielle’s
obstreperous dynamics cohere the last ten years of
computer-assisted sound design into a 46-minute
menagerie of magic realism. (Darren Bergstein)

(October 2008)
Il minimalismo che qualche tempo fa ci aveva proposto
Andrea Sartori, ricco di oggetti sonori live, field recording
in sintonia con l'ambient, ritorna privato della
connessione con il dancefloor in questo bel disco dei
Mou, lips!, creazione sonica di Andrea Gabriele. La
proposta aggancia inevitabilmente le derive sabbiose
dei Boards of Canada nel caldissimo incipit Non è colpa
mia! per poi spostarsi su un viaggio meditativo fatto di
chitarre acustiche (for INstruments), trombe e clarinetti
trattati con anima retrò (still life(s) live), voci che
ricordano gli storici Lali Puna (untree, cosa buena) per
poi connettersi con la scuola illbient nel reshaping di
suoni di Steve Vitiello (vitiello tre mix).

L'ingrediente che salta all'orecchio è la stretta
connessione con il jazz, quasi una conferma che segue
le prove dell'astro italo Gianluca Petrella o dei maghi
della contaminazione Cobblestone Jazz. Qui l'elettronica
che si mescola in infiniti sottogeneri 'minimal' è
comunque legata all'ascolto e non sembra essere
proiettata nè per una destinazione dal vivo, nè per la
pista da ballo. Un nuovo e benefico ritorno alle estetiche
di Intelligent Electronic Music che spopolavano negli anni
90 con la Warp (vit virt e l'inevitabile richiamo ad Aphex
Twin nella conclusiva piano e bottiglie), fa pensare a
questo disco come all'ennesima conferma per un 2008
dominato dall'ambient.

Un disco che speriamo venga ascoltato da qualche
produttore illuminato. Ottimo anche per successivi remix.
Mangiamoci queste labbra al mou! (Marco Braggion)

(July 2008)
Mou, Lips! is the work of Andrea Gabriele formerly of the
Italian project Tu m'; and here, Gabriele ventures into
the digital headspace of pixel-point abstraction with
smartly placed hints of a pop sweet tooth. His tone-bent
digital errata and languid samples of intimately plucked
classical guitar, blurting trumpets, maudlin French horns,
and scratchy violins from old '78s return to some of the
finer moments of post-pop electronica that Sonig and
Mille Plateaux were championing many years ago.
Untree is a quirky and playful album which lends itself to
sounding like Terry Riley being redone by Lithops and/or
Vladislav Delay.

TOKAFI  (June 2008)
A quirky dance of the elements: Everything that makes
the world of experimental music such a wonderful place.
Everybody agrees that buying your vegetables
seasonally is the right thing to do. So why is this wisdom
never applied to music? “Untree” certainly fits the
approaching mood of Summer perfectly, an album which
makes you feel all frisky and frolicsome as the first rays
of the sun tingle your face through the open window.

Certainly not the thing to expect from a CD labelled
“Avant-garde” in the press release. On the other hand,
there are obvious indications that Andrea Gabriele,
formerly a member of T um' and now fostering Mou, Lips!
next to writing project-based soundtracks for companies
like MTV or BMW, will probably welcome the arrival of the
warm season by spinning some Philipp Glass records
rather than roots Reggae.

At least in terms of rhythm, the pulsation principle reigns
supreme, from the declining reed figures of opener “Non
E Colpa Mia!” to the quirky dance of the elements “Cosa
Buena”. Jara Queeto guests on Trumpet, Ivan Solana
joins in on Bass Clarinet and many others add their bits
and pieces here
and there, invigorating the airy electronic textures with
an organic touch and occasional Jazz references. Even
though there is no information on the recording
procedure, “Untree” often sounds as though it could
have been improvised on the spot.

The only thing one could hold against this theory is the
radical precision Gabriele applies to his creations. Not
even once extending beyond the length of a pop single,
his work is marked by the unhurried development of
musical ideas and by clear cuts once the thought has
been brought to a conclusion. William Basinski would
stretch a track like “Bora” to at least an hour – here, it
ends after barely three minutes.

The above mentioned comments already hint at the
stylistic eclecticism to be found on “Untree”. From
acoustic guitar deconstructions, field recording-infused
dronescapes, backwards-loops coated with sugary
glitches and melancholic Ambient to heartwarming
scenes of pastoral serenity (“Still Life(s) Live”), the
record has almost everything on offer that makes the
world of accessible experimental music such a wonderful
place – when experienced at the right time.

Most people also agree that you need to consume
products locally, in the country where they were
produced. My father, for example, still insists the only
time he really enjoyed a Martini Rosso was on a trip to
Italy – the bottle he brought home never really lived up
to that. Here’s the difference with the music comparison,
though: As long as the sun is shining, you can listen to
and cherish “Untree” almost anywhere. (Tobias Fischer)

  (June 2008)
and/OAR offshoot mOAR delivers this very fine work from
Mou, Lips! A little more playful than the releases on the
parent label, but absolutely brimming with personality
and melodic strangeness. Edits and chopped up samples
and perky, experimental live instruments collide with
classic minimalist styles and sounds (think 12k, Spekk
etc) to make a very satisying album indeed - almost like
a slightly more out-there Sora. Check out all the
samples, but pay particular attention to the 4th one to
see what I mean... absolutely brilliant stuff.
(Mike Oliver)

(March 2008)
mOAR begins the explorations of and/OAR into complex
and neatly balanced expressions of garden-shed
electronica - pristine surfaces mottled with mildew and
sundry glitches, which refract light and color into so
many dazzling directions. Italian act Mou, Lips!
(essentially Andrea Gabriele, formerly of Tu m', with
assistance from others such as Stephen Vitiello) serve
as a more than apt guide for the labels first foray into
this new land.  However incongruous the elements or
surreal their juxtaposition, they inhabit the same space
in these tracks, and their playfully exposed and oddly off-
center yet considered arrangements ensure they are
well defined. Many of these audio collages stand out for
their ability to create a sensation that there is a very
real acoustic space in which all of the sounds actually
exist, even if they sound a trifle unreal. Most, if not all, of
the essential elements seem present from the start: "Vit
Virt" sees a trellis of sinuous woodwinds and glistening
ribbons of light orchestration bind like glue over  a bed
of fire-cracker snaps and warm, soothing tones on
"Michaela Aiuta Cenzina", making for a clash and
commingle of mood-colors like a sort of macabre
whimsy.  As the album progresses, the ordering changes
in deceptively simple but significant ways, emphasizing
now an idyllic flutter of electronics like a slow dance of
morning light, now a jazzy cascade of misty horns
overtop ectoplasmic tendrils, and finally later a
crepuscular, cobwebby sound, shot through with field
recordings, lively and incoherent, and full-blooded, hectic
keyboard and glockenspiel lines. These works play very
well on the proximity of ecstasy and eeriness.  A strong
dual relationship is forged between them, without either
encroaching a great deal on the others territory. For this
reason, the very lightness of touch that affords the
tracks a sort of cutesiness also gives rise to a certain
understatement and intelligence, a certain purpose and
sense of possibility that results in fascinating patterns of
overtones, which henceforth engage and otherwise
tease the former in a rather festive manner.  All of this
makes Untree an invigorating and attractive set; a fine
foundation from which to build. (Max Schaefer)

(February 2008)
Michael's note on this reads: "IPM (Intelligent Pop
Music)" but I think it could just as easily stand for
"Interesting Pretty Music"or "Intersecting Possibilities
Meet" or "Italian Performer Mou, Lips!"... Alright, so the
last one doesn't work too well. The light yet complexly
layered sounds on this disc would work well for fans of
Colleen or Curd Duca (remember Curd Duca?). This is an
album that will keep revealing new aspects of itself with
each successive listen while inspiring a good mood to
shine through even on psychologically cold and rainy
days, like today. (Jeffery Taylor)