Spaghetti Eastern Music Returns to Orbit with Spacey Soundscape Maxi-Single, “Blues for A Lost Cosmonaut”

Music, Sal Cataldi, Spaghetti Eastern Music

Can world beat and electronica fired guitar instrumentals co-exist with luscious soundscapes of Fripp & Eno vintage and intimate acoustic vocal ballads straight out of the Nick Drake playbook?  They can and do in Spaghetti Eastern Music, the critically-acclaimed solo project of genre-leaping New York and Hudson Valley-based guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Sal Cataldi.

Cataldi’s cheekily debut album, the instrumental and vocal offering “Sketches of Spam,” and his 2020 instrumental singles, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat (Because It’s Raining)” and “Peace Within,” have drawn notice from critics at outlets including The New York Times, Time Out NY, Jazz Times and The Huffington Post and airplay on 150 radio station and podcasts across the globe. 

With his new maxi-single, “Blues for A Lost Cosmonaut,” Cataldi ventures again to the ambient sphere of his sonic lexicon, with an instrumental chapter of evolving minimalism with a deep space vibe. 

The piece unfolds slowly in a series of waves, an aural mediation built upon a three-note motif which returns periodically throughout the nine-plus minute composition.  Peaceful synth drones and echoed piano pads are complemented with a duo of sustained Ebow guitars and melodic acoustic guitars.  The middle movement, at about 4 minutes in, evolves to more dissonant waves and tension before returning to a calm and cavernous ambience for the concluding three minutes of the piece.

“The inspiration came from watching some old videos of the early Soviet space program, especially the first space walk by Alexei Leonov,” says Cataldi. “It was about recreating the contrasting moods and feelings that the film of this moment imparts. There’s peace, wonder and weightless combined with the realization that this could spin out of control at any moment, as it did for some early Soviet space explorers.”

“It’s just a fun exercise in soundscapes, in impulsive sound painting recorded in the wee small hours during the lonely moments of the Covid quarantine,” adds Cataldi.  The track is the final chapter of a three-piece venture into this arena started with Spaghetti Eastern’s 2020 releases, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat” and “Peace Within.”

The single is available for download and streaming via Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify and other services (Bad Egg Records 5155).  It was recorded by Cataldi at the studios aboard his houseboat in Port Washington, Long Island, Houseboat Garlic Knot Studios, and at his Sonic Garden in West Saugerties, New York (1/4 mile from the legendary Big Pink house made famous by The Band) during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Cataldi’s much-varied sound is the product of an insatiable musical soul and a record collection rivaling the Smithsonian’s. His debut album was an hour-plus journey through contrasting moods, with instrumentals inspired by 70’s Miles, Krautrock, Ennio Morricone, Bhangra, Fripp & Eno and ECM’s icy guitar great Terje Rypdal giving way to bare-bones acoustic vocal tunes – ones oft anchored on unusual tunings, with narratives that chart the course of difficult loves, in styles that range from Brit Folk to Bossa Nova.


The New York Times says “Cataldi’s funk-tinged original instrumentals and acoustic vocal tunes have a beat unmistakably his own” while Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere.” Newsday adds: “Mad scientist-guitarist-keyboardist Cataldi brings da funk and throws it in a mixer with electronica, bebop and blues.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a wild ride, a fun name for some very good music” by Radio Woodstock, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag, “triumphantly funkified” by UPI and “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian WeeklyAlmanac Weekly’s John Burdick proclaims Cataldi: “a unique voice who conjures a surprising blend of exploratory fusion, electronica and indie song craft, from the Ennio Morricone overtones anticipated by his handle to currents of Krautrock, techno, modal folk and various world music styles.”: East Coast Rocker/Rolling Stone writer John Swenson, the man who penned the liner notes to Frank Zappa’s “Shut Up n Play Yer Guitar,” may have put it best, “he’s the hippie guitarist playing to another dimension” while Hudson Valley One recently called Cataldi’s music: “Part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation.”

The authority on all things Beatles, The Beatles Examiner praised his debut album’s “ sharp soaring guitar jams” and called the distinctive cover of “Ticket to Ride,” “incredible, a wonderfully moody re-imagining” of the Lennon classic. Huffington Post dubs his music “the perfect soundtrack for New York City life,” while WFMU’s Irene Trudel calls it “charming melodic and off-center.” Popular Zappa fan sites Idiot Bastard and United Mutations gave raves to his reinvention of “Sleep Dirt,” a Zappa acoustic instrumental rarity, which appears on his debut CD as “Nap Dust.” Spaghetti Eastern is now enjoying airplay on radio around the globe including WFUV’s “Mixed Bag,” SiriusXM, Sonic FM, WDST-Radio Woodstock, WFMU, Oakland’s KALX, NYC-area college station including WCWP, WDFU, WVRK and WHPC and many more.

In 2020, Cataldi was making news and more beautiful sounds with “One Act Sonix,” the critically-buzzed about debut album from his spoken word/music side project, The Vapor Vespers, with noted Alaskan playwright/slam poet Mark Muro.  Cataldi is also one half of the improvisational and ambient Hudson Valley-based guitar and efx duo, Guitars A Go Go, with Rick Warren.  Their first single, a 12-minute improv opus called “The Volcano Lovers,” was a preview of their bold experimentation featured in the June 2020 CD debut, “Travel Advisory.”  A live album, taken from a series of livestream performances recorded at the Greenkill art gallery in Kingston, N.Y., will soon be released.

Guitars A Go Go Debut with “Travel Advisory”

Guitars A Go Go, Indie, Music, New York, Punk Noir Magazine, Sal Cataldi

Guitars A Go Travel Roller Revise

Guitars A Go Go Debut with “Travel Advisory”

Improvisational Duo Teams Up for a Collection of Sprawling Soundscapes

and Pocket-Sized Electronica Collages Waxed in Live-in-Studio Performances

and Remote Collaborations During the Covid-19 Quarantine

Hudson Valley, NY, June 5, 2020 — Guitars A Go Go, the edge-pushing improvisational partnership of two acclaimed Hudson Valley-based guitarists, Rick Warren and Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music), today releases their first full-length album, Travel Advisory (Bad Egg Records 60066), exclusively on Bandcamp (guitarsagogo.bandcamp.com).

Armed with a plethora of effects pedals and a quest for meditative and melodic adventures spanning a galaxy of musical attitudes, they have been performing at leading concert venues and art galleries since early 2019 as a duo, and, on occasion, in a quartet abetted by bassist/composer Mark Steven Brooks and percussionist Pete Tenerowicz.

With Travel AdvisoryGuitars A Go Go swing for the fences, with nine tracks reflecting their left-leaning influences. The duo conjures everything from the contemplative soundscapes of Fripp and Eno and wandering proto-electronica of Krautrockers like Tangerine Dream and Faust to genre-defining experimental/avant of six-stringers like Derek Bailey, Glenn Branca, Sonny SharrockDavid Torn and Bill Orcutt to electronic classicists like Morton Subotnik and Pauline Oliveros.

The heart of Travel Advisory is a quartet of live-in-studio duets recorded just as the Covid-19 quarantine took hold. They are layered, looped dreamscapes that journey through an abundance of moods, from meditatively peaceful soundscapes to textured noise and dissonance, ranging in length from 10 to 19-plus minutes – all recorded without overdubs.  Five more tracks were later produced in remote collaboration, with Cataldi adding guitars, synths and effects at his studio in West Saugerties to solo pieces performed by Warren at his in Hudson, N.Y.

Recommended Listening Suggestions:   

·       The Volcano Lovers:  Nearly 13 minutes of peaceful vibe music, setting the hypnotic template/mission of the Guitars A Go Go project. Loops and layers create an ambient bed that floats, setting the stage for a quietly unfolding back-and-forth relay of melodic improvisations by each guitarist. This trance-inducing epic was released as a single in March 2020.

·       Jig for Europa:  With a foundation on a modal jig figure that morphs into a blues performed by Warren on heavily processed acoustic 12-string, it is dressed in strings, electronic blurbs and backwards guitars by Cataldi, producing a blues that is equal parts old skool Delta and Deep Space.

·       DeKooning Was a Crooner:  The final and, at 19:57, longest live-in-studio improvisation.  Jazz chordal voicings from Cataldi lead into the inside-out improvisations from Warren, before taking a long meander through a series of ambient chapters, light and dark. The piece culminates in a final section of spiraling layered loops and sonic wail, recalling the 100 guitar orchestras of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca.

·       Smash Hits:  A trip into a backwards world, with a fist punch and echo treated acoustic of Warren’s setting the beat/pulse for electronic dressings by Cataldi, and his melodic acoustic melody.

For gearheads, here’s a list of some of the effects used by the duo on this album:  EHX Soul Food, Chase Bliss Gravitas Tremolo and Spectre Flanger, Catalinbread Csidman delay, Montreal Assembly Count-to-Five delay/looper, Empress Zoia (multi-effect modular synth pedal), several Line 6 DL4 looper/delays, Ebow guitar sustainers, Boss Heavy Metal Pedal, Morley Fuzz Wah, Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine, Walrus SLO Reverb, TC Viscous Vibe phaser and Boss Super Shifter Pitch Shifter and Tera Echo TE-2.

NYC and Saugerties-based guitarist Sal Cataldi may be best known these days for his style-jumping solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. With Spaghetti Eastern, Cataldi fuses hypnotic Eastern beats, blues, jazz and electronica-influenced guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal tunes and looping straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook, a diverse brew featured on his debut disc, Sketches of Spam and his 2020 single, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat.” Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a wild ride” by Radio Woodstock, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag and “a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One. Cataldi is also creating acclaimed work with The Vapor Vespers, a music-meets-spoken word project with Alaska poet Mark Muro captured on the 2020 album, One Act Sonix, and on two albums with The Hari Karaoke Trio of Doom, with Kansas City based percussionist/producer Doug Hitchcock and renowned Eno bassist Percy Jones.  He also performed with Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Orchestra at Lincoln Center in 2009 and 2010, captured on the album, A Crimson Grail (Nonesuch).

Originally from Kingston, Hudson-based Rick Warren has been deeply involved in the improvisational and experimental music scene fostered by renowned vibraphonist Karl Berger at his Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. It was Berger’s chance visit to a Rick’s high school music theory class that led him to become a regular participant in twice-yearly workshops held at CMS, an international hot bed of improvisational music performance and education founded in 1971 by Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman. Rick is best known for his soundscape compositions using his guitar and a variety of electronic sound sources, each one a new and different on-the-spot creation. Today, Warren is also involved with the Woodstock-based soundpainting ensemble Audiocanvas , led by bassist Steve Rust and captured on the 2019 disc Some Bad Western.  Rick is also active with the Hudson-based Slink Moss and the Magic Stones, the improvisational duo The Warren-Ver Straeten Half Quartet and the popular acoustic folk duo, Rick and Marilyn, with songwriter Marilyn Miller.

 

Peace Within by Spaghetti Eastern Music

Art, Music, Punk Noir Magazine, Sal Cataldi, Spaghetti Eastern Music

Peace Sea Bird with dots

With “Peace Within, Spaghetti Eastern ventures to the ambient sphere of his musical lexicon, with an instrumental chapter of chill that may just be the perfect sonic tonic for these troubled times.  The piece unfolds slowly in a series of waves, an aural mediation in chapters. An echoey piano, vibraphone and phased strings, ones that could be a lost track from Eno’s “Another Green World,” provide the soothing musical bedrock.  This is complemented with sustained drones from a duo of Ebow guitars\ drenched in reverb, setting the stage for the lead guitar which propels the searching melody of the piece.  The calming and cavernous ambience created is periodically shocked and heightened with heavily processed, thunderous percussive accents.

Spaghetti Eastern Music is genre-leaping solo project of NYC/Hudson Valley, NY guitarist/keyboardist Sal Cataldi. His cheekily titled debut album, “Sketches of Spam,” and his January 2020 single, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat (Because It’s Raining),” have drawn notice from critics at a multitude of prestige outlets like The New York Times, Time Out NY, Jazz Times and The Huffington Post and airplay on 125 radio stations and podcasts across the globe.

 

“And This is their New Hoax” – Spaghetti Eastern Music

Indie, Music, Punk Noir Magazine, Sal Cataldi, Spaghetti Eastern Music

and this is their new hoax

A new piece of deep dark and dissonant industrial musika, a hard edged musical editorial on Trump in the true viral era. Composed and performed by Spaghetti Eastern Music (Sal Cataldi).

Spaghetti Eastern Music is the solo project of NYC and Woodstock-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi, combining industrial and funk flavored electric guitar instrumentals like this with acoustic vocal tunes out of the Nick Drake/John Martyn school, with layered loop improvisation. Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere.” The New York Times says: Cataldi’s “funk-tinged instrumentals and gentle acoustic ballads have a beat unmistakably his own.” Newsday adds: “Mad scientist-guitarist-keyboardist Cataldi brings da funk and throws it in a mixer with electronica, bebop and blues.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a stimulating soloist” by The New York Press, “a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One and “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly. Rolling Stone writer John Swenson, the man who penned the liner notes to Frank Zappa’s “Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar,” may have put it best, “he’s the hippie guitarist playing to another dimension.” Spaghetti Eastern Music’s critically-acclaimed debut is “Sketches of Spam” Bad Egg Records. Look for Spaghetti Eastern Music on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Reverb Nation

Vapor Vespers Debut with One Act Sonix

Music, Poetry, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine, Sal Cataldi, Vapor Vestas

New York Multi-Instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music)

Partners with Alaskan Playwright/Poet Mark Muro for

a Triptastic Slam of Storytelling and Genre-Skipping Sounds

New York/Anchorage, January 7, 2020 – It’s a sonic funhouse that draws upon everything from Fripp & Eno ambience and Krautrock space explorations to 70s Miles Davis funk-jazz-noise bromides, acoustic folk and baroque classicalism, all to season a world of surreal spoken word ruminations. These narratives explore scenes that are as varied as their musical backings – dramas, large and small, that take on “big think” spiritualism, romance, lust, obsession, death and the petty splendors of daily existence – with recitations that are part Eric Bogosian hyper-monologue, Bukowski/Henry Rollins poetry slam and, occasionally, a little un-PC Rudy Ray Moore party record bawdy.

Welcome to the world of Vapor Vespers, an edge- and button-pushing transcontinental collaboration between acclaimed NYC & Hudson Valley-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) and Alaskan playwright, actor and slam poet Mark Muro.

Drawing inspiration from music-powered spoken word icons like John Cooper Clarke, The Last Poets, Lord Buckley, Joe Frank, Henry Rollins and beat god Jack Kerouac, and the O.G. of monologues, Ruth Draper, the Vapor Vespers are unwrapping their ambient, industrial, funk, fuzz and jazz noise-flavored brew with One Act Sonix, a 13-track collection now available for digital download, streaming and in CD via CD Baby, Spotify and other services (Bad Egg Records, 4005).

Cataldi and Muro’s partnership goes back to when they met in their teens in Queens, New York. Here, in the heart of blue-collar New York City, they formed a lifetime friendship and creative bond over a steady diet of Carvel Flying Saucers ice cream sandwiches, Sundew Jungle Juice, Sun Ra, Henry Miller, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and the original spoken word recordings of the 50s and 60s from Caedmon Records.

A longtime denizen of the New York City and now Hudson Valley/Woodstock music scenes, guitarist/keyboardist Cataldi is most recently known for his solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. Here Cataldi fuses Eastern beats, Spaghetti Western film soundtrack ambience, Krautrock spaciness and psychedelic and funk/fusion flavored electric guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal songcraft, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag, “wonderfully melodic and off-center” by WFMU and “part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One, Cataldi keeps up a steady schedule of performances at leading venues in the Big Apple and the Hudson Valley.

Bronx-born Mark Muro has been a cultural force in Anchorage, Alaska since relocating in the mid-1980s. His short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies including North of Eden and The Anchorage Daily News and he has produced and performed in a series of one-man shows including The Bipolar Express, Indistinct Chatter and Not Marketable at theaters including Cyrano’s and Out North, and also at the annual Alaska One-Minute Play Festival. Muro has acted in numerous independent films and commercials, performed standup comedy, represented the state of Alaska in The National Poetry Slam. He also served as host of the PBS radio show, Stage Talk. His newest one-man show, Bug Boy: Curse of the Ant Queen, premiered in November 2019 at Anchorage’s Cyrano’s Theater.

Recommended listening…

  • Timbuktu – Over Cataldi’s atmospheric soundscape of percolating synths, chunky Pagan drums, distant bells, gnat-like buzzes and bebop guitars, Muro sets a scene of early explorers on a long hot trek across the desert in Mali;
  • Bottomless Seafood Surprise – A trip-phonic, industrial-seasoned monologue about a woman preparing some fresh seafood, and herself (stripped down to an apron with a giddy-up horse illustration) for what she hopes will be a romantic dinner-at-home. Will they, won’t they? Will the fish that talks to her from the sizzling frying pan have any clues? Listen and learn…
  • In the Lap of the Drooling Buddha – Double-dipped wah wah funk of 70s Miles “Agarta” vintage propels a self-examination into the disconnections of virtual desires as a mechanism of social control, the eternal battle between the spiritual, the sexual and the material;
  • The Bells – Funerial atmospheric jazz, a lamentation over a dead pet bird, unrequited lust for hunky workmen and another famous cake left out in the rain;
  • Her Lemon Peel Raincoat (Because It’s Raining) – A 7th inning stretch solo instrumental from Cataldi in his Spaghetti Western style, 7+ minutes of ambient, orchestral nature sounds, with a hallucinatory bed of slippery eBow guitar Frippery, and Django-like acoustics and children on the loose in a summer storm;
  • Birthday and Bubble Squared – Solo spotlights for Muro. The first a swinging and surprising riff on the dead over a Krupa beat; the latter, a nod to the Velvet Underground’s “The Gift,” two out of sync recitations of the same poem about life of the party circuit;
  • Headrest – The dreamy album closer, string quartets and otherworldly electronica, with cameos by the Dalai Lama, Pablo Picasso, Richard Nixon, Pol Pot, Rin Tin Tin and Lee Harvey Oswald getting drunk with Marilyn Monroe;
  • The Meatcleaver and the Butterfly (My Penis) – Following in the hilariously boastful tradition of rapper Mickey Avalon’s 2006 “My D**k,” this is an award-winning slam poetry favorite of Muro’s from the un-PC, pre-Me Too ‘90s. It’s a haughty, tongue-in-cheek ode to the philosophical vicissitudes of a fellow’s sometimes grandiose, sometimes flagging image of his manhood, Shakespearean soliloquy over a funk & noise groove;
  • Maisey Hot and Humid — The flip side/equal bawdy time for women, a swanky wah wah porno soundtrack to a three-part rant of femme fantasies by a sensuous Russian pal, Siberian Sadie.

 

One Act Sonix was recorded and engineered by Sal Cataldi about the studio aboard his houseboat in Port Washington, Long Island, Houseboat Garlic Knot Studios, and Sonic Garden Studios in West Saugerties, New York (1/4 mile from the legendary Big Pink house made famous by The Band). All tracks were mastered, and several remixed, by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Stander at Parcheesi Studios.

For more information, visit www.reverbnation.com/vaporvespers or www.soundcloud.com/vapor-vespers.

one act sonix