Monde UFO, the LA-based duo comprised of Ray Monde and Kris Chau sign to Fire Records. Monde UFO are a monochromatic sunset for the senses. A sonic journey through aeons of psychedelia, space rock and jazz. A cosmic place where Spacemen 3 meets Vanishing Twin by way of Sun Ra.
“Monde UFO wander through a humid mist of exotic samba shuffles, shamanic whispers, and reverberating laser beam synthesizers.” New Commute
In a downtown Los Angeles warehouse, on 7th Street, Ray Monde began writing songs on an old Yamaha church organ for a project to eventually become Monde UFO. Utilizing the organ for bass, keyboards and a drum machine he began making demos on a four track cassette recorder adding only vocals and guitar to the organ songs. He explored making haunting and optimistic sounds while living in the neighborhood of Skid Row as a one man band. Heavily influenced by the musician Sandy Bull, sonically landing in a similar no-mans land of Worldly Jazz and Psych Folk. The music he began creating experimented with the themes mostly of meditation and UFO lore.
In time Ray moved in with the artist Kris Chau. With little crossover in musical tastes, they exclusively started listening to jazz, ambient and new age music in the house. Increased interest in sound baths and experimental music led to seeing music in a different light. Ray thought it would be interesting to add Chau into his slow burner music project envisioning something that would sound like Don Cherry making a record with Yo La Tengo. Chau with no previous musical experience would play a sacral singing bowl mic’d up though various guitar pedals and singing. Ray would write songs that fit these 436hz drones and in addition to the old drum machines, samples of the household Jazz records, added modal jazz alternatives to the more limited song structures. By incorporating Kris a non musician, there was an added emphasis on simplicity and an innocence akin to Beat Happening and K records. Along side a Community-College taught conservatory-rejected jazz musician the duo reached back to a more youthful punk foundation than schooled. Without over rehearsing, they empathized more on creativity than virtuosity.
In June 2019 the duo began playing live shows usually in odd locations throughout LA. Hotel Lounges, a Surf Shop, a garden center, and not shockingly, an Alien thanksgiving at an animation studio. Aside from developing a live show, Monde UFO spent time recording their first full length through 2019 at home. Releasing a 45 single of “A Pale Horse in Roswell 1947” in Dec of 2019 and eventually finished recording their first full length in March of 2020 just before the pandemic hit. Plans to mix and master with Jackson Browne producer and engineer Kevin K. Smith got pushed back from April to October due to the worldwide pandemic. The final result became a mixture of the lo and hi-fi sounds which really have opened a path forward for where the band will go. “7171” was released in October 2021 via Universal Freeing Object. The duo eventually added drummer Kern Haug who added his great improvisational skills to the band. Over the last few years Monde UFO recorded their second LP “Vandalized Statue to be Replaced with Shrine” again working with Kevin Smith. Fire Records is set to reissue Monde UFO’s music in 2023 with a new album following.