Monde UFO, LA-based duo of Ray Monde and Kris Chau, are a monochromatic sunset for the senses. A sonic journey through psychedelia, space rock and jazz. A cosmic space where Spacemen 3 meets Vanishing Twin, by way of Sun Ra. 7171 perfectly embodies the framework of lo and hi-fi sounds which have helped define the band. Included in this expanded package is 4 Songs, Monde UFO’s radical interpretation of Fugazi’s music, housed for the first time on LTD 7” with new artwork.
“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 that eventually became Monde UFO. Utilizing the organ as a bass, alongside keyboards and a drum machine, he began making demos on a four-track cassette recorder, adding only vocals and guitar to the organ pieces. He explored making haunting and optimistic sounds while living in Skid Row as a one-man band. Heavily influenced by the musician Sandy Bull, sonically landing in a similar no-man’s land of Worldly Jazz and Psych Folk. Monde experimented with the themes mostly of meditation and UFO lore.
“A slice of low-key bedroom pop-psychedelia in the vein of Syd Barrett” Aquarium Drunkard
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 added modal jazz alternatives to 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. Alongside a Community-College taught conservatory-rejected jazz musician the duo reached back to a more youthful punk foundation; without over rehearsing, they empathized more on creativity than virtuosity.
“We had been covering ‘I’m So Tired’ for some time, Aquarium Drunkard approached us to do one of their Lagniappe Sessions. A series where bands cover some of their favourite songs. When talking to their editor, he suggested we do a whole bunch of Fugazi songs, which I instantly loved and feared at the same time. We covered ‘I’m So Tired’ because it was the easiest one to do, and fun for Chau to sing on. But when I started scanning the discography to decide songs, the first song I put on was ‘Cash Out’ – I knew instantly this was the next one, because of it’s contemporary relevance, not only to Los Angeles, but to so much of the world. Long Division was one of my favorite tracks off ‘Steady Diet of Nothing’ the first Fugazi record I ever owned; more than ever, it also feels truly poignant in the times we live in.Version 2 is our interpretation of Version from ‘Red Medicine’, my favorite Fugazi Record.” Monde UFO on 4 Songs
The reissue of 7171 includes the sought out 4 Songs EP, a complete reimagining of some of Fugazi’s early classics, songs that take on a life of their own, lost amongst the haze and sugar sweet psych.
‘7171 (Expanded Edition)’ Limited Edition Black Vinyl with Bonus 7” + ‘4 Songs (EP)’ out 17th November. Three New Tracks ‘SEO3TK’ / ‘Drive Thru Solitude’ / ‘Rainbow Tape Loop (Demo)’ Streaming Now