(Duplicated CD, Extended Play)
Pittsburgh-born producer, musician, and artist David Bernabo continually ventures into new territory. This past year, he produced half of the soundtrack to Nintendo WiiWare's Critter Round-Up, one of nine introductory WiiWare games released in Japan and the U.S. David has also readied two new releases for Sort Of Records: The teaser EP Mahler Box combines alternate studio takes, remixes, and orchestral work. Coming on the heels of Mahler Box is Happener-Magicker, a record two years in the making, combining a heightened sense of urgency with a more intricate compositional base, not to mention the 25-piece Assembly band! The more diverse sounds found on the new recordings might have some roots in David production work. In the past year, David has engineered records for the chamber ensemble Alia Musica Pittsburgh, the gothic folk band Boca Chica, the skewed pop of Flotilla Way and Harangue, and the beautiful acoustic pickin' of Daryl Fleming. On the playing side, David performs with his rock band, Assembly, Daryl Fleming's Blockhouse Band, and filmmaker tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's new game-piece ensemble HiTEC. Improvisation has played an increase role, with regular ripping sessions with Brandon Masterman and Tracy Mortimore, and the odd encounter with Fred Lonberg-Holm. Just out of high school, David gained touring and recording experience with Overcoat Recordings' Boxstep, but it wasn't until the formation of Vale and Year that the creative plan started to seed. Vale and Year was a duo with Greg Cislon that played pop music with leanings into improvisation, jazz, and folk. With over seven records in four years, Vale and Year shared the stage with Wilco, Okkervil River, Tatsuya Nakatani, and Ted Leo, all while carving out a unique presence in the Pittsburgh music scene. During Vale and Year's hiatus, David started to pursue his myriad musical interests. His predominantly acoustic Word Roses for Sort Of Records utilized fingerpicking and homemade percussion, while the newly formed trio DBL D investigated heavy guitar improvisations backed by the lightning fast rhythms of Owl Barns. With the invention of a new band, Assembly, and a new record by the same name, David took on a slightly more electric brand of jazz folk with a few deviations into sound sculpture. The investigation of sound soon extended to more abstract territory as a number of performances and recordings were performed with violinist Ben Harris. The resulting album was Graphic Scores, musical interpretations of visual markings and cues, which was also the first release on Sort Of Records' new imprint, Abstract On Black. Abstract On Black, curated by David, is dedicated to releasing new forms of music, from modern composition to free playing to electronic music. Among the imprint's first releases are Chicago's The Friction Brothers (Colligan, Lonberg-Holm, Zerang) and their beautiful concoction of sound, and new friends, Alia Musica, a group of Pittsburgh composers and musicians looking forward to new music. New releases include John Berndt's electro-acoustic compositions and a duo record by Jack Wright and Alban Bailly.