MIS+RESS – ‘The History of Fishes’ | Overblown Track Premiere

Photo by Stephen Yang.

A lot of really incredible music has been made via guitar – just ask mega icons like Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and even Mark Knopfler. It’s no coincidence that the latter artist should come to mind, as the song we are premiering today very much calls to mind some of the music Knopfler composed for ‘The Princess Bride’ soundtrack.

MIS+RESS has introduced the world to his first ever output under this name – the title track from his forthcoming self-titled debut album is called ‘The History of Fishes’. An intriguing name indeed. But more than any aquatic friends or unicorns, this really feels like “fairy music”, if such a thing ever existed.

Set for release on America’s Somewherecold Records, this 10-track offering is quite remarkable, oscillating between the atmospheric opaque reverie of such bands as Land Observations, the mysterious edge of Michael Brook and Daniel Lanois, and fantastic imagined music boxes for grown-ups.

MIS+RESS is the new moniker for Brian Wenckebach, who is perhaps best known as a member of Brooklyn-based shoegaze duo Elika (now the two have married) and experimental electronica outfit Thee Koukouvaya. Both project names originate from Greek.

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That is far from the last interesting fact about this musical wizard. He has worked with a number of established artists and labels including Showtime Television Networks, Polyvinyl Records, Ulrich Schnauss, Asobi Seksu, Noveller, Thisquietarmy, Dead Leaf Echo and Nadja, and also re-mastered Blind Mr. Jones’ classic album ‘Tatooine’.

Wenckebach first began recording music to analog tape in 1995 and, by the end of the decade, had started to move towards computer sequencing. His musical influences include The Durutti Column, Land Observations, Daniel Lanois and Harold Budd.

As minimalistic as this song may be (as well as the accompanying video to go with this), this composition is rich in every other aspect, namely in the gold Wenckebach brings to our ears – a genuine feeling of delightful surprise, summoning a feeling of innocence kicking back to childhood.

“This is much simpler and more direct in the sense that I utilized a very limited palette (simply guitar with a few effects). My other projects have emphasized vocals and electronics and had hundreds of layers,” explains Brian Wenckebach. “Electronics used to feel rebellious to superimpose on shoegaze/dreampop. Now, it is commonplace. The danger is gone. I figured I would go in the opposite direction.”

MIS+RESS’ album is an exclusive limited edition. Somewherecold Records is making just 100 copies available on CD and 50 on cassette. They are available for pre-order now via the label’s Bandcamp.

You can catch also one more track, called ‘Eligible Receiver’, via Bandcamp

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