Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 23, 2014

URKAS, “Stamen and Pistil” (KSE #277, CDR album) now available

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:49 pm


“Stamen and Pistil”

KSE #277         CDR album

URKAS is the duo of Parashi (Mike Griffin) and Xanthocephalus (Russ Alderson), both ex-Wobblies

edition of 99 copies

$8 postpaid US / $11 postpaid outside US

payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(d0t)COM



“A midnight subway ride through a ghoulish electric zoo…”–from my notes on track one, “In The Pit,” from the new URKAS album.

Two of the best 3″-mini cdr releases from the early days of KSE were by Parashi and Xanthocephalus,  so we are happy to welcome them back as the duo URKAS, with their new full-length album STAMEN AND PISTIL. The state of New York has produced many great noise/drone/free-improv artists in recent years, and we’ve got both Albany (Mike Griffin, aka Parashi) and Brooklyn (Russ Alderson, aka Xanthocephalus) represented here with URKAS. The previous URKAS releases on a variety of labels have been among my favorite albums of recent years (some of them are pictured at the bottom of this post), so we’re proud to present  STAMEN AND PISTIL, this brand-new collection of four long sound sculptures that capture the best qualities of these cutting-edge artists. The richness and variety of sound one gets from the most interesting noise artists; the trippy shamanic feel associated with the best drone-psych music; the inventiveness and thoughtful juxtapositions and artful use of space one finds in contemporary electronic composition; and the excitement of improvisation, as both of these men have long careers in live performance and understand the transcendent beer-soaked alchemy that happens with a live and hungry crowd. That’s ALL in here.

Mike and Russ, of course, go back a long way to the legendary noise-trio THE WOBBLIES, who issued the classic 2002 album PADRON. I had the privilege of working with Mike Griffin (Parashi) live in a poetry-and-electronics duo in Albany and in Hudson, NY, in May 2011, so I know first-hand what a talent he is, not forgetting the stack of PARASHI cassettes and cdr’s I keep close at hand, near the stereo. Russ also has an impressive body of work, from the stunning post-rock ALDERTONE album (which you can probably still find on Discogs or a similar source) from 2006, with its novel approach to bass playing, an approach also found on track 3 of STAMEN, through his ornithology-influenced work as XANTHOCEPHALUS. Perhaps the time spent in the woods becoming one with nature, listening and drinking up the juxtapositions and patterns of natural sound, has helped Russ cast aside the routine and wipe the slate clean and create thoughtful and unexpected music with rich textures and multiple dimensions. Whatever, Russ is really an artist to watch…and if you are near Brooklyn, to see live. Russ has been invited to do a full-length XANTHOCEPHALUS album for KSE in 2015 (his earlier release with us was a 3″ mini cdr), so keep your eyes out for that. And we hope to have another Parashi release in the future too, but for now, it’s all URKAS!

Call it what you will, the new album of URKAS is contemporary sound sculpture of the highest order, and we are proud to offer it here at Kendra Steiner Edition. Hand-numbered, hand-cut and assembled DIY edition of 99 copies, so get yours now. URKAS provided us with a band statement and some comments on the album, and here they are:

Urkas grew out of the corpse of a dead band, like a fungus. Leaving structure and form behind, Mike Griffin (Parashi) and Russ Alderson (Xanthocephalus) began to experiment with improvised sound. Modular synthesizer, bass, and a variety of tapes and percussive devices serve as their primary instruments these days; from these sound sources Urkas wring dark and occasionally punishing long-form improvisations. This CD-R for KSE reveals a more delicate side to these NY state noisemakers in tracks like “Baited Switch” and “Avoid Liars”, while “In the Pit” displays the type of unsettling sonic dread that has characterized the duo’s work to this point.


“Stamen and Pistil”

KSE #277         CDR album

URKAS is the duo of Parashi (Mike Griffin) and Xanthocephalus (Russ Alderson)

edition of 99 copies

$8 postpaid US / $11 postpaid outside US

payment via paypal to   DJANGO5722(at)YAHOO(d0t)COM

And while you are ordering  STAMEN AND PISTIL, why not pick up a few of our other offerings

Also available from KSE:

full-sized CDR’s ($8.00 each, ppd. in US—outside US $11 )


KSE #285 (CDR) SMOKEY EMERY (aka Daniel Hipolito), “LIve At The Hideout Theatre”

KSE #289 (CDR) A. J. KAUFMANN, “Stoned Gypsy Wanderer” (cover art by Justin Jackley)

KSE #275 (CDR), ALFRED 23  HARTH, “China Collection”

KSE #281 (CDR), FOSSILS, “Wooly Bully” (a co-release with Middle James Co., only 20 copies available from KSE)

KSE #279 (CDR), ERNESTO-DIAZ INFANTE, “wistful entrance, wistful exit


KSE #268    (CDR ), CATHAL RODGERS (ex-Wereju), “Instrumental Conditioning”

KSE #271 (CDR), FOSSILS/BILL SHUTE, “Diesel Fallout Dixie Stampede”

KSE #264 (CDR), EGG, EGGS, “Off Yellow Soft Pillow” 

KSE #288 (CDR, spoken-word poetry), BILL SHUTE, “Worried Men and Wooden Soldiers: Bill Shute reads selected 2013-2014 poems,”  produced by Marcus Rubio

and a limited reissue of an old classic KSE 3″ mini-cdr, now on a full-sized cdr reissue

KSE #283 (CDR), SMOKEY EMERY (aka Daniel Hipolito), “Incident At Town Lake” 


OTHER  poetry chapbooks ($6 each, ppd. in the US, $7 elsewhere…):

KSE #290 (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Jaywalkers: ducal poems, three”

KSE #287 (poetry-and-photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “The Fellowship of the Frog”

KSE #282 (poetry-and-photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Hot Combination”

KSE #276 (art-and-poetry chapbook), DAVID PAYNE & BILL SHUTE, “Blues With A Bridge”

KSE #280 (poetry and photography chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Guide Dogs and Bartenders on the Gulf Coast”

KSE #273  (poetry chapbook), BILL SHUTE, “Someplace on Anywhere Road” (Sound Library Series, Volume 75)

KSE #250 (poetry chapbook), DOUG DRAIME, “Dusk With Carol” (cover art by Wyatt Doyle)

KSE #249 (poetry chapbook) A. J. KAUFMANN, “Hosannah Honeypots” (Sound Library Series, Volume 72)

KSE #236 (poetry chapbook)  JIM  D.  DEUCHARS, “Thelonious Fakebook”  (Sound Library Series, Volume 71)

 payment via paypal to       DJANGO5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

please include a note w/ your order listing the items you are ordering and confirming your mailing address….

As always, thanks for your support of KSE and all independent, non-aligned DIY lo-fi arts collectives everywhere…







previous KSE albums by PARASHI and XANTHOCEPHALUS (both out of print)


xanthocephalus, cover




urkas (1)

URKAS photo


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