I met Kurt Uenala in the late 1990s when I was looking for a bass player to play and record with. Kurt joined the band and we toured around the country and in the U,K, over the course of a few years into the aughts. We recorded an album together: Don’t Get Smart, on Eastern Front Records. Kurt left the band shortly after to focus on his own band: My Favorite Relative–one of the best bands in Boston at the time. Kurt produced their first album On Holiday, which remains one of my favorite albums with its heavy pop sensibilities and fun lyrics. They got signed. They got dropped.
Kurt moved to New York City when his band dissipated, and began engineering, audio editing, song-writing, programming, composing, mixing and mastering for many well known artists, including Moby, Dave Gehan, Depeche Mode, The Kills, Metallica, Erasure, and Black Ryder. He started producing music as null+void and was signed to a German label before he moved to Iceland. Find him at kurtuenala.com
In November, 2022, I had him on my podcast, ‘funny,’ not funny, to talk about his work in music. He suggested I come to Iceland to record an electronic music EP. I balked at the idea. It seemed outrageous, but I had always loved the work of electronic crossover artists like Brian Eno and Beck and my original music work with Lionel Cassin was heavy on synthesizers and drum machines. I decided to go and see if we could get a few songs done in a week.
I was there for seven days, six of which were in the studio. In that time, Kurt and I recorded seven songs. We created one remotely with David Wilcox on guitars for an even eight. It was a recording experience unlike I have ever known. We were completely aligned in our process and the album came together almost effortlessly. Utopia Revisited is an indie-tronic album and will be released digitally June 16, 2023, streaming everywhere except Spotify, and later this autumn on vinyl.
8 songs based on the wakeful wanderer’s guide novels by Jim Infantino
Recorded at TónLab, Hafnarfjörður, Iceland 02.2023
produced, engineered, & mixed by Kurt Uenala
keyboards, sampling, & sequencing by Kurt Uenala
guitars, vocals, & additional keyboards & sequencing by Jim Infantino
additional vocals on one km high, utopia revisited & the tide by Sigurlaug Gísladóttir
additional guitars on the tide by David Wilcox
one km high, psychic xombies, wheel, hum, & the tide arranged by Kurt Uenala & Jim Infantino
spinning, nobody, & utopia revisited arranged by Jim Infantino
all lyrics by Jim Infantino
mastered by Jonathan Wyner at M-Works, Somerville, MA USA