“T H E M A Y S KNOWFI (GiganteSound)
Upon receiving the debut release from T H E M A Y S (yes, the group specifies that there be a space between each letter)!, we were struck by the aroma of tempera paint emanating from the hand-made fold-out packaging. It immediately stirred memories of fingerpainting in elementary school, and in turn, the untethered nature of childhood creativity. Interestingly, T H E M A Y S is a project based out of a school of another sort, but with a seemingly similar sense of free-flowing exploratory openness. Nestled in the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center, the San Francisco Urban Music Program is “dedicated to teaching progressive and adventurous music-making of all kinds” to youths and adults. Yes, that description sounds right up our alley, doesn’t it? And while it’s actually not geographically so (i.e, “up our alley”, heh heh!), it is still pretty close and in town (the SNBC is a wonderful community hub located a few blocks from Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset district here in SF). Anyhoo, KNOWFI was composed in this supportive environment by eight students and instructors. The latter includes the fine Jon Bernson with whom we’re all well familiar from his other musical pursuits (namely Ray’s Vast Basement which morphed into Exray’s a couple of years ago, and his duo with Tim Cohen called Window Twins). He is in fact the captain of this UMP ship, having founded it in back in ’97.
Although the cd-r is indexed into twelve tracks, and each one is titled individually, it plays as one continuous 40-minute soundscape of lulling swells of dreamy haze. So, we’d recommend that you sit right down, settle in for a spell, and allow the heavily processed and densely layered drones, fleeting melodies, found sounds and other noise generators melt together into every crack and crevice of your ear drums. Awash with ever-evolving warbly, woobly wonderfulness! ”