Nearly ten years ago at the onset of Lost Tribe Sound, an artist emerged whose impact would go on to define our core direction as a label, to release music that leaves its tattered edges proudly in place, acoustic instrumentation blended seamlessly with dirty mechanics, timeworn sound worlds rooted in the muck and mire of the present. While we’ve traversed a wide variety of genres over the years, 2019 will find LTS returning to our origins, a label dedicated to exposing some of most beautifully bizarre beat-driven electro-acoustic music we can get our hands on.
With that said, who better to kick off the year, than Vieo Abiungo. Many know this artist by his proper name William Ryan Fritch, but those who have followed LTS for a while should instantly recognize Fritch’s more obscure moniker. A name thought to be long since retired, as it’s been over 6 years since Fritch released his last Vieo Abiungo album, ‘Thunder May Have Ruined The Moment.’ March 15th, will see the release of a new full length album ‘The Dregs.’
‘The Dregs’ was conceived over the last couple months to help along our 8 album series currently underway, titled, ‘We Stayed The Path That Fell To Shadow.’ The series hit some typical production lags, combined with a dose of personal tragedy. Fritch and LTS wanted something to offer our loyal subscribers that would bridge the gap until the arrival of his upcoming double album ‘Deceptive Cadence: Music For Film Vol. I & II,’ slated for release in late April 2019. We discussed resurrecting Vieo Abiungo, something we’ve entertained for a while now. We asked if we could dive into Fritch’s massive archive of music and unearth some our favorite Vieo Abiungo tunes from lost and abandoned albums. What we discovered were pieces that buzzed with the same raw and texturally unpredictability that first drew LTS to Fritch's music.
While arranging the album, we focused in on songs that showcased a side of Fritch’s musical personality that has rarely been heard. The aim was to make the distinction between William Ryan Fritch, the film composer and singer songwriter and his Vieo Abiungo project even clearer. In place of his signature sweeping strings and intricately layered orchestration, the thrum of plucked viola de gamba forms much of the backbone of the music, played in a style akin to a North African oud. In addition, ‘The Dregs’ stands out with its unusual percussion teasing out and tangling together poly-rhythmic lines that make for some of the most intoxicating rhythms we’ve ever heard from Fritch. A large arsenal of horns, marimbas, vintage keyboards, mbiras, and Tuareg-style electric guitars also find their way into the mix.
‘The Dregs’ draws comparison to Fritch’s 2017 soundtrack for GoPro’s ‘Eagle Hunters in a New World,’ though the music of ‘Eagle Hunters’ focused squarely on experimenting with techniques and sounds of Mongolian Folk music and its incorporation into the landscape of the film. ‘The Dregs’ is allowed to dance more freely, unbound to a specific region, genre, or stylistic concern. The album feels malleable, held in permanent motion by its shapeshifting beats and bombastic melodies. It’s filled with so much personality, don’t let the title fool you, while dregs by definition refers to the “leftover remains,” we could have easily named the album ‘The Cream,’ but that didn’t have the same ring to it. Every track on the album is pure gunpowder, explosive in both mood and delivery, with the exception of a couple somber and timely interludes meant to give pause, recharge and prepare the ears for the next expansive onslaught. ‘The Dregs' hits upon so many genres yet refuses to be defined by any of them. With any luck, ‘The Dregs’ will persuade Mr. Fritch to pull Vieo Abiungo permanently out of retirement and give us the next evolution in this immersive tale.