Before Pere Ubu… The Mysticism of Sound And Cosmic Language by Hy Maya

Music recorded in 1972-1973 by experimental musical collective Hy Maya, presented by Smog Veil Records.

Smog Veil Records (Cleveland, Ohio) presents the third and final installation of the Platters du Cuyahoga, Series 2. The album by experimental Cleveland musical collective Hy Maya is titled The Mysticism of Sound And Cosmic Language. “Hy Maya did not start as a band; it started as a concept,” band leader Robert Bensick explains. “A life concept and fascination with Eastern culture…and that concept became my life.” Starting November 24, 2017 the record became available on vinyl double LP, CD, or as a digital download. A hallmark of the entire Platters du Cuyahoga Series is that each release contains extensive liner notes, all carefully crafted and researched.

The Mirror of Hy Maya’s Pyramid Power. By and courtesy of Robert Bensick.

As researcher and archivist Nick Blakey writes in the band bio “Hy Maya was first conceived and visualized by Robert Bensick (The Robert Bensick Band/Fins/Berlin West), in the Spring of 1972 as a performance piece presented at Bensick’s “artist of the year” show at Cleveland State University. The group’s core members included drummer/percussionist Scott Krauss (Pere Ubu/Home & Garden/Cinderella Backstreet), synthesist Allen Ravenstine (Pere Ubu/Red Crayola), and electric and acoustic bassist Albert Dennis (Cinderella Backstreet/Wolves). Pianist Bob Friedhofer (Froggy & the Shrimps), conga player/percussionist Richard Schneider, and Mellotron player Cynthia Black (Cinderella Backstreet/Peter & the Wolves) also contributed significantly to the collective at various times.”

Cynthia Black performing live with Cinderella Backstreet at the Viking Saloon, Cleveland, April 1973. Courtesy of Rick Kalister. Photographer unidentified.

Rock critic (and ex-wife of the late Peter Laughner) Charlotte Pressler has stated “…Hy Maya was Bensick’s way of doing music; and that if you shared his style at the moment, you also were in Hy Maya. It is certainly true that all these people were very adverse to tight formations. They were young, and still learning…They preferred loose jams; they were not anxious to pin down things any further.” To that end Cynthia Black adds “If I were going to visualize Hy Maya, it would be as a turnstile in a subway station. So many artists and musicians, and crossover artists/musicians…tried it, for its openness, but very few stuck around or stayed long.” Hy Maya bands members were in and/or went on to create or play with acts like Pere Ubu, Berlin West, Cinderella Backstreet, Fins, Home & Garden, The Munx, Red Crayola, The Robert Bensick Band, Sheffield Rush, and Wolves (Peter Laughner’s final band).

The material on the album was recorded in 1972 and 1973. Of interest to fans following the Platters du Cuyahoga series will be that this was the last project Paul Hamann mastered for Smog Veil Records prior to his untimely passing. Hamann worked with Pere Ubu, The Black Keys, Lucky Pierre, and This Moment In Black History (among numerous others) and mastered all the Platters du Cuyahoga releases. Also of note is that this is Allen Ravenstine’s earliest recording, pre-dating Terminal Drive which Smog Veil Records just released.

Recommended to fans of Wendy Carlos, Miles Davis, The Moody Blues, Oregon, Sun Ra, Tangerine Dream, and Throbbing Gristle.

Hy Maya at East 23rd Street 1972. L to R: Albert Dennis, Bob Friedhofer, Scott Krauss, and Robert Bensick. Photo by Cynthia Black, courtesy of Robert Bensick.

About Smog Veil Records

Smog Veil Records was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in 1991 and focuses on underground, challenging and bombastic music. Platters du Cuyahoga, Series 1 contains the following three records — X__X : Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto (2014-2015); Mr. Stress Blues Band: Live At the Brick Cottage 1972 – 1973; Robert Bensick Band: French Pictures In London (1975). PDC2 contains The Schwartz Fox Blues Crusade: Sunday Morning Revival (1967), Allen Ravenstine: Terminal Drive (1975), and Hy Maya: The Mysticism of Sound & Cosmic Language (1972-1973). The Smog Veil roster includes Rocket From The Tombs, Batusis (Cheetah Chrome and Sylvain Sylvain of New York Dolls), Pere Ubu, Complaints Choir, This Moment In Black History, OBNOX, Tin Huey, Easter Monkeys, Pistol Whip, Unknown Instructors (Mike Watt, George Hurley, Joe Baiza, Dan McGuire, Raymond Pettibon, David Thomas), Teacher’s Pet, New Christs (featuring Rob Younger of Radio Birdman), The Guns, Rubber City Rebels, among others. The label and various bands on the roster have been featured in esteemed publications including Rolling Stone, Wire, SPIN, The New York Times, Artforum Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Economist, and CBS Sunday Morning.

The label is distributed through AEC/Amped.

❉ ‘The Mysticism of Sound And Cosmic Language’ was released by Smog Veil on 24 November 2017, and is available on vinyl double LP, CD, or as a digital download.


News Source: Fly PR

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