Protect-U – ‘U-Udios One’

Posted by on October 10, 2017

u-udios one

Late this summer, Protect-U’s Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo unveiled U-Udios, “a cassette/digital label meant to document live performances, jam sessions and collaborative works recorded at Protect-U’s studio in Takoma Park, MD.” To start things off, Leitko and Petillo shared a recent live set from Baltimore and an inaugural cassette, U-Udios One — they’ve since posted an even older live archive from a 2014 at DC’s U Street Music Hall. The two call U-Udios One “a clearing of house/hard drive” and the collection sometimes has that feel, but it’s a fair risk, maybe even implicit in seguing from the “radical optimism” they say characterized their debut long-player, Free USA, on Future Times.

Though some similar experiments could blur together into a blissful, heady sensation of pulse, most of the tape seems to wobble between streaks of stoic acid weirdness and tight techno miniatures. It’s a satisfying balance, and one that if anything tends to remind how difficult and worthwhile it can be to experiment with the “album” format in the vein of house and techno.

Regarding the more recent live set (from a July show for Baltimore’s EMP Collective), Leitko and Petillo warn that there’s some “distortion present in the last 10 minutes when we were really ‘going for it,'” so start there if you’re in a rush.

Order U-Udios One (miraculously still in print as of my writing) via the label’s new Bandcamp.