Mikey Wehling
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Mikey Wehling

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF

St. Louis, Missouri, United States | SELF
Band EDM Acoustic

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"Mikey Wehling - 'Forest of Reverb' review"

Mikey Wehling
‘Forest of Reverb’ review
Blownspeaker Records

With his first genre-bending EP ‘Reverbs of My Mind’, the virtuoso guitarist and keyboardist Mikey Wehling set out to create a series of releases, called The Reverb Trilogy, that would take the best of retro and and transform it into something modern. With Forests of Reverb, the third and final release, he has succeeded masterfully in making music that is at once provocative and thoroughly groovy.

‘Forests of Reverb’ integrates the best of funk, techno, soul, acoustic, and even a little Appalachian mountain. From the infectiously funky “From Root to Fruit” to the rhythmic “Near the Canyon Walls,” it would be the perfect soundtrack to a party in 1960s Laurel Canyon. With the ethereal tracks “Forest of Reverb II” and “Barn Owl Bucolic,” Wehling’s masterful riffs conjure up a young Jimmy Page, combining beautiful acoustic playing with a psychedelic dreaminess reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. Proving there’s no genre he can’t transform and make uniquely his own, Mikey Wehling has produced one of the most interesting and edgy releases of this summer—the perfect coda to a musical trilogy that has gotten better with each release.

By Gina Sigillito
- Eleven Magazine


"Mikey Wehling Talks Lo-Fi and Going To School with Midlake"

Interview By Kiernan Maletsky Apr. 14 2011

?Mikey Wehling's newest EP, Galaxy Reverb, came out earlier this week and can be downloaded for free on bandcamp. It's a studiously homemade affair, recorded on a four-track in Wehling's basement using equipment he scrounged up at places like garage sales. The results are at once heartfelt and alien: The prevailing tone here is retro blips and bleeps, but the melodic folk of his past shines through. We chatted with Wehling about why he records analog and what the record means to him.


RFT: You recorded this whole thing analog?

Mikey Wehling: Yep. On a Tascam 4 track tape deck in my basement

RFT: Is that how you've always done things?

MW: Yep

RFT: It's obviously much easier to do all of this digital -- why do you stick with analog?

MW: Well, I think the fewer options you have, the more creative you must be. Jack White spoke about that.

RFT: I see. Freedom in restriction.

MW: I've made big records with tons of tracks and I wanted to see what I could do with the minimum amount of options, using stuff you can buy at a garage sale.

It always makes me smile when my buddies who work at big studios ask me how I got such good sounds.

RFT: Did you actually buy the equipment used at a garage sale?

MW: Yeah, some. The four track and some of the Casiotone keyboards used

Both my new EP and Reverbs of My Mind were done the same way: Tape in the basement, just me, simple and organic. In fact, a lot of the tracks contain "improvised composition." Meaning I didn't have any plans before pressing record, I improvised a melody or chord progression and dug it, so I kept it.

It's surprisingly coherent for that sort of recording method

MW: Thanks! I have a degree in music. Shh!

RFT: Ah yes: the ol' official training.

MW: I went to University of North Texas in Denton at the same time as the Midlake fellers.

RFT: Did you know them?

MW: Yep. They used to come to my gigs. Me and McKenzie (the drummer) used to gig out around town.

RFT: Have you kept in touch at all?

MW: Yep. Hung out with them when they were last in STL. Great band. I saw them when they were a jazz/funk band. No joke. They were all jazz dorks like me. Tim Smith was in the One O'clock Lab Band on sax.

Sweet cats, really. Will Johnson (Centro-Matic, Monsters of Folk) was always around, too. The early Centro-Matic tracks were a very lo-fi affair also.
Denton and Portland have greatly influenced me

But make no excuse: Galaxy Reverb is a STL album. I tried to make an album that reflected the grit and beauty of the city, if it existed in a parallel world that was both in the future as viewed by the 1980s

RFT: Amazingly, I can hear that. "Ferns and Maples" and the title track stand somewhat apart, soundwise, for the obvious reasons.

MW: Yes. Well, I grew up in a musical family. My father and uncle were folk musicians: Acoustic guitars and hammer dulcimers. But they still fit in the same world. My view is I like lots of different kinds of music. So do most folks these days.

So if your iPod can go from Nick Drake to Bone Thugs, why not "Ferns and Maples" to "Robots Like U"? And those tracks are weird also. Put them on some headphones. It gets strange

It's all me both soft and hard. It really opens it up. I had planned a lot of the recoding for those few folks who listen on headphones these days

I always just make music I like and I'm humbled if anyone else digs it. I'll probably be making these records for the rest of my days in my basement. But if people like it sweet. Like any artist, I'd love for my work to reach the most ears possible

RFT: Anything else you'd like to tell me about this record?

MW: The cassettes will be pressed and available for sale by the end of the month. - Riverfront Times


"Homespun: Mikey Wehling"

By Christian Schaeffer Thursday, May 5 2011

While vinyl fetishists may have breathed new life into an old medium with their limited edition seven-inches and multicolored wax and what have you, a smaller subset of musicians continue to resurrect an even grainier format: the cassette tape. Tapes have long been the provenance of noise artists and their ilk, but Mikey Wehling's dedication to the form brings an appropriately retro and funky feel to tape culture. He recorded Galaxy Reverb, the second installment of his planned Reverb Trilogy, on his Tascam four-track tape recorder, and while this seven-song set is also available in digital form on his website, Wehling is planning a limited run of cassette tapes for his fellow analog purists. Best known as a guitarist and keyboardist for the adventurous instrumental outfit Messy Jiverson, Wehling uses antique preset drum machines, vintage keyboards and, as expected, barrels of reverb to craft his fun, slightly trippy tunes.

It's best not to think of this release as an album (or even an EP) in the strictest sense. Wehling's songs tend to set the mood for a minute or two before moving onto the next fixation. The string synth chords and wobbly bass on opening track "Willie McGee" feel light-years away from the simple, bucolic folk patterns of the largely acoustic title track that closes out Galaxy Reverb. In between, distorted and disorienting drum patterns, detuned keyboards and heavily processed vocals create a very '80s vision of what the future was supposed to be like. The white noise and booming low-end on "Blownspeakersolarsystem" sound like an Atari console programmed by Suicide. These tracks feel like they would be well suited as bumper music for Adult Swim's commercials or as the soundtrack for a discerning indie film. It's mood music for when you want to a take brief, funky trip to outer space. Just make sure your rocket ship has a cassette deck. - Riverfront Times


Discography

All available for free download at www.mikeywehling.com

Forests of Reverb - Sep 2011

Galaxy Reverb - Apr 2011

Reverbs of My Mind - Apr 2010

Free Speech Tourists - Jun 2009

Speakers in Trees - May 2008

Popeye Jones - Apr 2004

Photos

Bio

Music created on a 4 track, retro-electronic. Mikey has been making music since a young age. He attended the University of North Texas in Denton Tx. and studied Jazz guitar. After spending time in Portland, Oregon; he re-located back to his birthplace, St. Louis Mo. Wehling's music is a combination of danceable vintage drum machines, melodic synths, tape echo, reverb soaked vocals, and pastoral acoustic guitars. The music is written, recorded, and released on cassette. He has recently released an EP trilogy "Forests of Reverb" "Galaxy Reverb" and "Reverbs of My Mind" In the live setting he is joined by Chris Stevenson on Keyboards/Laptop and Gavin Duffy on Bass/Sampler

"Tapes have long been the provenance of noise artists and their ilk, but Mikey Wehling's dedication to the form brings an appropriately retro and funky feel to tape culture. Wehling uses antique preset drum machines, vintage keyboards and, as expected, barrels of reverb to craft his fun, slightly trippy tunes."

- Christian Schaeffer, Riverfront Times, St. Louis

"Wehling's masterful guitar riffs conjure up a young Jimmy Page, combining beautiful acoustic playing with a psychedelic dreaminess reminiscent of Led Zeppelin."

-Gina Sigillito, Eleven Magazine, St. Louis