• 01 Bolander
  • 14 Puzzle Dust
  • 18 Earthing

Montana Fix

Montana Fix is the fourth commercial release by the Chicago-based group Gunnelpumpers. All 19 instrumental tracks were created in two days by seven highly accomplished musicians. The musicians themselves are an amalgam of an incredibly diverse set of styles: traditional, progressive and kraut rock, “world” music, nu jazz, experimental music, and traditional and contemporary classical.  The musicians on Montana Fix integrate these influences into something quite unique. Most of the tracks on Montana Fix are live studio recordings with only a small handful of overdubs of any kind.

It has been quite the journey to bring this project to completion, and the end result is intended as a rewarding one for the listener. There’s no explicit plot or storyline, but the music travels to places far and wide.

The title “Montana Fix” was inspired by bandleader Douglas Johnson’s being born in the state of Montana, Big Sky Country, “back in the day”, as well a tip of the hat to John Cage, a major influence on him, and, as the group’s leader, on Gunnelpumpers as well. There are stories behind the track names, too. “Bolander” is an homage to a bassist and friend who died of cancer far too young, Scott Bolander Davis. “d’bass’d” outlines the song’s chord changes and features a wild solo on Clevinger (upright electric) bass. “Buffalo Jump” was inspired by Ulm Pishkun, a Montana state park sacred to Native Americans. The title “Zaftundzwanzig” is a German “neuwort” combining “juicy” and “twenty”. “Puzzle Dust” was inspired by jigsaw puzzles, and if you piece them together yourself, you know what this refers to!

“Earthing” is a special track unto itself. Constant lightning charges make the earth and its ionosphere ring like a mammoth gong, albeit at levels well below the human threshold of hearing. The strongest of these “Schumann Resonances“ is what some call the “Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF).” There are many facts and fictions about this frequency of 7.83 Hz, but one fact I derived independently is that it is a slightly sharp “B natural”. When Gunnelpumpers decided to record a track centered around Doug Brush’s bronze Thai rain drum, it became apparent that the drum was a slightly sharp B natural. Everyone in the group tuned up to match, and, knowing of the ERF, dedicated this song to Mother Earth. One magical take later, “Earthing” was born.

For nerds, one would tune to A-446.447 instead of A-440 for B natural to be “in tune” with the earth. Additionally, the ERF corresponds to the color green (7.83 Hz doubled 46 times equals 551 THz). It’s probably a stretch, considering the differences between light waves and sound waves, but it’s pretty cool that the earth seems to be saying “B green and B natural!”

Montana Fix will have its official CD release party on July 24, 2013, at Martyrs’ in Chicago, Illinois. At that time it will become available physically and digitally through Bandcamp, CD Baby, as well as digitally through iTunes, Amazon, etc. The group’s web site also features over 12 hours of live recordings.


Montana Fix

Montana Fix