CUP is the duo of Nels Cline (the guitarist/composer best known for his work with Wilco) and Yuka C Honda (the composer/keyboardist/programmer best known for her work with Cibo Matto). Combining aspects of electronica, folk, improvisation, and some heated rocking, this debut recording—perhaps predictably—defies easy categorization. But fear not! Contained within this package is a sometimes sweet, sometimes jarring, but always compelling excursion into what a shared sensibility sounds like, and after taking the journey that is ‘Spinning Creature’ it all feels just right as CUP’s music veers from the accessible to the abstract and back.
‘Spinning Creature’ was recorded in about three days in Brooklyn. In the last several years, Nels and Yuka had performed some of the songs included on this record, while always leaving room for improvisation in their sets as well. This recording was approached with those same parameters. Thus, one hears songs with lyrics and some semblance of song structure as well as pieces that were created spontaneously. A significant bonus factor in the recording process is that Yuka could take tracks to her home studio and give them the “Eucademix” treatment, meaning to sculpt details of the tracks, adding her often meticulous sound production while still honoring the live performance aspects. This balance is what CUP music is all about. Nels and Yuka (who are married, by the way) even sing a little here and there as they enter their singular sound world. And now you can enter it, too!