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Ultra Letizia

by Joe McKee

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 14 Salmon Universe releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of How To Breathe, Complicities And Entanglements, Auteur Theory, Empty For Hundred, Ultra Letizia, Your Card Has Been Declined, Memory Circa (EP), Voices, and 6 more. , and , .

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  • Limited Edition Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    Limited Edition Cassette, packaged in white Norelco case, with vinyl stickering, 4 panel colour inlay and frosted white cassette shell with onbody print. Shipped in shrink wrap.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ultra Letizia via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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IMO 9731717 01:38
Ultrabulk 03:03


Musician, field recordist, and explorer Joe McKee has documented and created the other-worldly musical experience of ULTRA LETIZIA - a cargo ship, on which he crossed the North Pacific ocean from Japan to Vancouver, Washington, on almost a month long journey. Alien, and idiosyncratic musical forms shape the album, made from the direct sounds of the 60,000 tonne shipping vessel, creating a kind of metaphysical experience, reflecting a time at sea.

Joe describes the experience:
“We were at sea for 3.5 weeks. Encountered storms, pods of dolphins, whales, cannibal birds, biblical sunsets/rises and zero connection with the outside world.

The sounds you are hearing were collected from me "playing" the ship like a giant gamelan. I hit, scraped, listened and spoke to the strange industrial beast. Also field recordings from the journey, including school children singing at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima (ground zero of the a-bomb drop). I also recorded a song by the Fillipino janitor on the ship (a love letter to his two year old son, whom he would not see for 18 months due to his sea-faring profession).

These sounds were recorded on a basic zoom field recorder with a shot gun mic and then fed into ableton and minimally manipulated. I refrained from taking them too far from their original sonic essence, so the spirit of the strange metal animal wasn't entirely lost.... they were then fed through tape machines back in LA and dubbed out a little.”

Some of the music was then used as the score for the documentary Are The Green Fields Gone? The documentary is about the process of creating work in isolation while aboard the ship, acting as a symbol for our rampant consumerism. The film was shown at multiple film-festivals, and features footage of Joe collecting sounds, drumming on all parts of the ship, blowing into tubes and pipes, recording the reverb deep in the hull of the ship, collecting the engine room pistons spitting out poly-rhythms.
The cassette version of the album contains photos of the journey to accompany the sounds.

Joseph Denis McKee was born in London in 1984, and grew up in Whadjuk/Witjari Country, Western Australia. Currently he is based between LA and the Mojave Desert. From the ages of 16-26 he was in Australian band Snowman who released three critically acclaimed albums, then split in 2011. Joe McKee has since released two albums, An Australian Alien and Burning Boy, under his own name.

Today he makes art primarily from collected/found/reconstituted sound - pieces that are typically accompanied by a tangible object. He is the founder of Open Source Community Choir, in Los Angeles, and co-founder of Babyrace Records. He is a father and also enjoys gardening.

Film premiere on AQNB: www.aqnb.com/2021/01/28/produced-during-a-voyage-across-the-north-pacific-joe-mckees-ultra-letizia-pulses-with-the-immensity-of-life-on-the-open-sea/


released February 5, 2021

All music by Joe McKee
Additional Production: Chris Nelson
Mixed by Chris Nelson & Branden Stroup at Sound Space
Mastered by Jared Hirshland
Tape master by Richard Pike
Cover art by Rick Milovanovic


all rights reserved



Salmon Universe London, UK

London tape label.

Ambient and future music. Curated by DEEP LEARNING (Richard Pike) and JQ.

Gig bookings and
demos: info@salmonuniverse.com

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