Released October 13, 2023
CD – deluxe 6-panel digipak on heavyweight stock, with additional artwork & notes by Ava Mendoza & Devin Hoff on the inner panels.
LP – beautifully printed & pressed limited vinyl edition of 1000. Includes a full-resolution download card/code of the total work. Notes by Ava Mendoza & Devin Hoff on back cover.
Ava Mendoza: electric guitar, compositions
James Brandon Lewis: tenor sax
Devin Hoff: electric bass, compositions
Ches Smith: drums
1. Dyscalculia - 07:06
2. Echolocation - 06:45
3. Interwhining - 06:50
4 . Babel-17 - 05:45
5. New Ghosts - 05:02
6. Diablada - 04:44
7. The Stumble - 06:53
8. Ten Forward - 06:09
LP edition features :
Side A – Dyscalculia / Echolocation / Interwhining
Side B – Diablada / The Stumble / Babel-17
* and includes bandcamp-hosted download card/code of all tracks.
2, 3, 5, 6 by Ava Mendoza (BMI)
1, 4, 7, 8 by Devin Hoff, Jessie the Dog Songs (ASCAP)
Recorded by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios, Brooklyn
Mixed & Mastered by John Dieterich at Strawberry Macaroni Studios
Produced by Ava Mendoza & Devin Hoff
Project Coordinator & Production Assistance: Steven Joerg
Art & Design by William Mazza Studio
Echolocation is the astonishing debut album from Mendoza Hoff Revels, an electric & formidable new unit led by Ava Mendoza (electric guitar, compositions) & Devin Hoff (electric bass, compositions) and featuring James Brandon Lewis (tenor sax) & Ches Smith (drums).
While Mendoza and Hoff have floated around each other's musical orbits as individuals for decades, the original impetus of this group was Mendoza’s, based on the love she and Hoff shared for aggressive and polyglot electric avant-garde ensembles – artists like mid-80's Black Flag and Ornette Coleman's Prime Time bands revolutionized the way they heard music. As they state in the liner notes, "we shared the writing of these pieces, though without the sizable stamps of both James and Ches, they would sound nothing like they do here.” The result is remarkable – 21st Century progressive rock played by punk rockers with serious improv skills and a deep jazz feel. And, vitally – non-stop wicked catchy tunes, riffs & grooves.
Strong sonic references on our initial hearing at AUM Fidelity were The Stooges’ Funhouse, rendered by a whole band readily adept at rapidly swinging rhythmic & harmonic shifts, plus tenor sax on every track! -&- Minutemen, both their whole body of music & their fundamental egalitarian punk ethos. A higher combo accolade to any band playing with electricity we cannot bestow.
Ava Mendoza is a singular guitarist–composer–songwriter best known for her solo guitar/voice performances & as leader of experimental rock band Unnatural Ways. Over the past decade, her prodigious & long-honed six-string skills have illuminated numerous projects, very recently w/ Bill Orcutt's Guitar Quartet & William Parker's Mayan Space Station. Fellow master guitarist Marc Ribot wrote of Ava’s work, “beautiful, powerful and highly original - a new sound, a new voice".
Devin Hoff is a bassist–composer–arranger who has worked extensively with creative musicians & bands spanning genres & generations, incl. Sharon Van Etten, Julia Holter, Nels Cline, Yoko Ono. Hoff has appeared on over 100 records, major festivals worldwide, and on multiple network television programs. Devin's Solo Bass is on record as being one of Laurie Anderson's Top 5 Albums of All Time.
James Brandon Lewis is a tremendously gifted tenor saxophonist–composer, with a wide-open mind to the cosmos of Music and the ability to give powerful new voice to same. His Red Lily Quintet's Jesup Wagon swept the #1 slot in all major U.S. Jazz critics polls in 2022. Its follow-up, For Mahalia, With Love, releases in September 2023.
Ches Smith's exceptionally deep & distinctive gifts on all manner of percussion have led to great work together with Tim Berne, John Zorn, Darius Jones, and, among his own creations as a leader is the remarkably beautiful, Path of Seven Colors, a bountiful fruit of his devout study of Haiti's Vodou musical traditions.