February 2002 • Rockbites Alternative Daily

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New solo project from Macha’s Josh McKay
13 February 2002
Athens, Georgia composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and Indonesian scholar Josh McKay released his solo debut last month, The Ride, under the moniker Seaworthy. It follows two albums by his band Macha and previous work with Emperor Moth and Beekeeper.
    Enlisting family and friends for guest vocals and instrumentation, in The Ride McKay has assembled a modern pop soporific that creates a unique mood, miles from anything else landing in the CD racks these days—with the rare exception of lesser-known underground acts such as Raleigh, North Carolina’s Remora or Croydon, England’s Main. Still, Seaworthy’s blend of intensity, humor, startling percussion, and hypnotic continuo is unique.
    The new album employs minimalist melodic and non-melodic percussion, mysterious drones and effects, and seriously dreamy vocals (McKay’s own and those of female guests). With these colors McKay paints a timeless, multi-dimensional soundscape into which you are invited to trip and wander. It verges on the ambient but avoids any semblance to waiting-room music with continuous subtle surprises, wholly alien sonic textures, and frequent pursuit of musical tangents.
    Guests on The Ride include drummer Mischio McKay (Josh’s brother, who also played with him in Macha and Emperor Moth), Japanese vocalist Haco (previously in Osaka experimental bands After Dinner and Hoahio), American vocalist Orenda Fink (in Now It’s Overhead, in the amazing new twee/experimental duo Azure Ray, and previously in Little Red Rocket), and percussionist Chris Bishop (of The Circulatory System, and owner of Radium Recording Studio in Athens).
    The tracks on The Ride stand on their own, but the album is really of a piece and at its psychoactive best when consumed in its entirety. Just lovely, but don’t operate heavy machinery with this pumping into your ears. Three bites out of five.

Rockbites ratings  5: life changing, 4: stunning, 3: captivating, 2: amusing, 1: annoying.

Seaworthy embark on a brief US tour next month, playing with The New Year (featuring former members of Bedhead) unless noted. Dates are

  1 - Atlanta, GA (The Earl w/ Pinback)
24 - Denton, TX (Rubbergloves)
27 - Los Angeles, CA (The Troubadour)
28 - San Francisco, CA (Bottom of the Hill)
29 - Eugene, OR (Wow Hall)
30 - Seattle, WA (Graceland)

| Seaworthy on Jetset | | Macha on Jetset | | CD from Amazon US | | top of page |


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