Hellier Ulysses is part of an exploding Atlanta scene that's incubated a new generation of avant-rock acts like Warehouse, Faun And A Pan Flute, and Red Sea (with whom Hellier Ulysses share members). The economy of their songs, averaging less than two minutes, coupled with their thematic disjunction and tight execution jarred me as I devoured their debut self-titled EP. Now they're back with Prime Example, a new tape slated for release on Blanche Blanche Blanche's Zach Phillips' label OSR. The title of "Genesis is Dispersion" references a lecture by poet Fred Moten on recently deceased, self-taught Alabama artist Thornton Dial, whose work often incorporated found objects which he arranged into abstract statements about the contemporary African-American experience. Like Dial positioning driftwood and bone on canvas, Hellier Ulysses build their sound out of the rubble of desperate elements as abstract musical ideas are jump-cut together, becoming hyper-active sonic pastiches that testify to the frustration facing artists searching for new modes of musical expression within well-established forms.
Prime Example is out March 15th on OSR Tapes.