Matt Verta-Ray and Ali Smith began their musical collaboration in 1993 in the legendary Speedball Baby in which they recorded and toured extensively all over the world and with such rock and roll luminaries as The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Dirt Bombs, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, members of Sonic Youth, The Cramps, The Gun Club and graced the record labels MCA/ Universal, In The Red Records, Sympathy For The Record Industry and PCP Entertainment. Their notorious high energy shows created a firestorm of over-the-top post-punk surrealism that owed more to Burroughs, Carver and Buster Keaton than to Nirvana, Led Zeppelin or The Monkees. In the calm lea of such blistering Grand Guignol expression was born the almost silent, wavering band of blue light known as the Oubliettes, an interior, personal answer to the over-emotionalism that (then and now) characterized the rock world zeitgeist. The Velvet Underground was invoked as an artistic talisman as were the Young Marble Giants, Billy Childish, Little Peggy March, Atlanta’s Subsonics, Os Mutantes, Mickey and Sylvia and ‘60s bossa nova. Matt and Ali began their private experiment in notating and recording the topography of the heartbroken brain, the left lover and the possessed baby, melancholy musical scientists sorrowfully making bloops and bleeps on magnetic tape deep in Verta-Ray’s ice-blue studio where there are no clocks because time stands still. But along with the seemingly innocent sweetness, there is a sinister energy that pervades the haunting music of the Oubliettes too, a twist of regret and erotic bitterness that puts the vinegar in the ice cream. Lil’ One-Arm is the long awaited “lost” debut album by the Oubliettes. Fall into their dreamy dungeon. Their hypnotic sounds will inveigle, hypnotize, intoxicate and never let you out again.


Lil' One-Arm by The Oubliettes [ click the cover to buy it ].

Click here to see the wonderful Oubliettes by Joshua Bright.