Music » CD Reviews


Mortise and Tenon (Siltbreeze)


Back in the '90s, the now-legendary Siltbreeze dropped a slew of seminal releases by such pioneers as the Dead C, Harry Pussy, and Columbus legends Vertical Slit. And now that the label is once again running full blast (after a 6-year hiatus), every freak on the planet wants to know which of the new titles are the classics of tomorrow.

Mortise and Tenon, the debut full-length from the Louisville, Kentucky collective Sapat, contains some acoustic improv à la Dick's Picks, as well as a bit of Velvets genuflection. Mostly, though, the band sounds like the well-worn cult hits "Mother Sky" and "Yoo Doo Right" by krautrock titans Can. The voodoo drums of Jaki Liebezeit are plenty in evidence, and there's even an effects-laden vocal that fosters an impression somewhere between Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki.

Is this the sound of tomorrow, which so many older Siltbreeze releases now seem to be? Not likely. Sapat has yet to create its own sound-world for listeners to walk around in. But is it worth hearing anyway? At least once, yes -- especially if you'd like to find out what today's avant-garde folks are up to.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.