Sterling Basement formed after Jason Glasser -- then a member of indie/ alt-country band Clem Snide -- suggested to artist and experimental instrument designer John Roach that they try creating music incorporating some of Roach's invented instruments. Right from the beginning, Sterling Basement -- initially a quartet also including Erin Elstner and Glasser's brother Jonathan -- produced really striking and sensitive experimental music, which combined Roach's Band-O-Phone (featuring bowed rubber bands) with cello, violin, organ, vibes, bells, and other bric-a-brac. I've given you three 2001 studio recordings by this original quartet version of the group.
The Roach-A-Phonic Band-O-Phone:
Sterling Basement quickly slimmed down to a trio employing new Roach instruments such as the Band-O-Fly, then went into hibernation -- until being revived by Roach in 2008, with new members, including sound artist John Hudak. This later version of the band performed at Issue Project Room at a night I curated, and can be heard on FMU's Free Music Archive here, while the album I've given you three tracks from can be experienced in it's entirety over yonder.
- Tony Coulter (WFMU)