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Time Out New York
“Mudville has done plenty of genre-hopping in their time…they’ve combined all these styles in an organic way, while incorporating an important new element: cool electronic atmospheres…The Glory Of Man Is Not In Vogue finds the duo’s sound deepened significantly…[Live,] the combination of Carino’s dramatic vocals the gal has serious chops and the band’s brainy, extended improvs triggers a potent fusion of jazz and space-rock. Think Julie Driscoll fronting Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, or better yet set your inner categorizer aside and just enjoy.”

Straight No Chaser
“The roll call of guest musicians (on Iris Nova) is testament to the immense respect that bassist Benny “Cha Cha” Rubin and singer Marilyn Carino carry in the underground musician-scene in New York City. “Wonder Boy” allows Marilyn Carino to deliver the vocal performance of a lifetime, powerful to the point of bringing you to tears. It’s a song that can rank alongside major-league acts like Radiohead, U2 or even R.E.M. for that matter. For those who are getting increasingly impatient waiting on the long awaited third album from Portishead, you need to download this now.”

American Songwriter
**** (four stars) “On Iris Nova, it looks like songwriter/vocalist Marilyn Carino and producer/bassist Ben (Benny Cha Cha) Rubin have gone superbly bonkers. The group decided to challenge itself, stretching the continuous, tripped-out vibes found on the last album, The Glory of Man is Not in Vogue, into a pageantry of maturing sounds and measures, confident attitudes and different genres. Whether it’s the sinister pop thump of “Duke”, lost-and-found love of “Brooklyn” or airy sway of “Sparkle”, Mudville isn’t trying to keep the listener at bay. Iris Nova challenges the listener as well, offering up 12 tracks of musical brain food that are for the realist and idealist alike.”

OKAYPLAYER.com
Smoldering like the remnants of a fire, or maybe the beginnings of what will become a blistering blaze, (the twelve tracks on Iris Nova are) a musical force… Adding to the a slow burn coaxed into well-fueled flames that produce considerable amounts of heat. Adding interest to Carino and Cha Cha’s chemistry are lyrics that are ethereal, quirky, and questioning, complementing the evocative production with ease. “Brooklyn” is a funk-rock romp that comes close to matching the grit and eclecticism of the borough of its title. The genre-blending that some musicians work so hard to achieve here seems effortless, genuine, and unique.”

The New Yorker
“In the hands of the smoldering vocalist Marilyn Carino and the producer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist Ben Rubin, down-tempo beats, haunted-matineé-style organ playing, and electronic flourishes coalesce into something familiar yet wholly unique.”

NYLON
“Mudville’s debut LP, The Glory Of Man Is Not In Vogue, snakes through esoteric rhythms and beats care of Rubin and soars with the whiskey sour illustrative harmonies of Carino. Unmistakable hits such as the opening track “Hero of the World” and the twangy early morning fog of “Surfer Girls” make Mudville an enchanting listen – a testament to the healing powers of rhythm [that] should not go undiscovered.”

Entertainment Weekly
“Marilyn Carino’s quirky wail is plenty spirited.”

The Deli Magazine
“Mudville is a sleek, slithering band that is going to eat you alive. Vocalist Marilyn Carino’s pipes are like nothing you’ve ever heard before . . . She combines Ani DiFranco‘s emotion and Billie Holiday‘s smolder in equal parts . . . Far from a throwback, you might wonder if you’ve gone a few decades into the future.”

Copper Press
“Mudville delivers a record made specifically for the hours between midnight and dawn with songs that feel as spiritual as they do sexual… Of a lineage that includes Bryan Ferry, Morcheeba and German prog-rocker-turned-drum-and-bass guru Helmutt Hattler, Mudville succeeds in delivering a captivating and emotionally-charged album, one that rises above expectations and then destroys them… Rarely is serious music this much fun.”

Providence Phoenix
​”Heard the album that Annie Lennox made with Daniel Lanois? No one has, it never happened. But Mudville’s The Glory Of Man Is Not In Vogue imagines the results of such a session.”

New York Post
“Mudville features Marilyn Carino’s sultry vocals pouring out poetic lyrics filled with imagery and set up against spooky pianos, haunting organs or subtle jazzy horns. The combo, along with some electronic loops, gives the music an other-worldly blues-jazz feel you’d hear in a lounge or in a Jim Jarmusch film.”

The New York Times (Jon Pareles)
“Marilyn Carino sings about troubled longings and bleak surreal visions, while Ben Rubin surrounds her melancholy voice with brooding, minor-key tracks that start with electric piano and venture into smoky, ominous lounge territory, somewhere between Fiona Apple and Morcheeba.”

Zink Magazine
** Band To Watch ** “[Marilyn] Carino and her bandmate Ben Rubin possess the kind of progressive and diverse musical inspirations that, if translated into the realm of politics, would be beneficial to world leaders…{Mudville] cook[s] up intoxicating, genre-defying grooves.”

Synthesis
“Mudville concentrates on creating great music… Dizzying electro beats, silky vocals and gutsy arrangements are central.”

Modern Fix
“Mudville surges with dark undertones, and lots of groove. It sounds like something you’d hear in a David Lynch picture. “

All Music Guide
“As the dark electronic brood of acid jazz, trip-hop (or whatever they’re calling it this third time around) comes back into favor, new groups are hard-pressed to distinguish themselves from the outfits of old (old of course being somewhere around 1996). Impressively, Mudville does just that, evoking the melancholy dirge of Portishead on the opener, “The Hero of the World” until the middle-eight reduces not to an unadorned hip-hop beat as expected, but rather a melodic piano refrain. It’s a small difference, but one that is almost shocking to your ears, pre-programmed to presume the obvious, given how formulaic most downtempo is. Those same subtle nuances highlight this debut record by the duo of Ben Rubin and Marilyn Carino, who between them have worked with artists as diverse as Neil Young & Crazy Horse bassist Billy Talbot and Killah Priest. Carino’s voice maintains the somber tone of Beth Gibbons, but her range matches the bluesy swell of PJ Harvey. Air-like keyboard phrasing drives a majority of the songs, with a warbling minor key ache that fits naturally with mildly synthesized percussive clicks and whistles, and of course the steady-as-a-rock drumbeat. The unit breaks free the most on “Surfer Girls,” which displays a musical breadth far greater than you would have ever imagined in the opening chords of this album, taking the funeral march some places it’s never before been, the ocean.”

DJ Cosmo Baker
Imagine if The Velvet Underground and The RZA got together and took a trip to Morocco, then buried themselves deep in a studio in Brooklyn.”

The Deli Magazine
“[Mudville] follows a musical itinerary far from trends and close to beauty.”

Kitty Magik
“Mudville could very well be the group to breathe life into the “so dead it went back underground” genre known as trip-hop. The grooves on Mudville’s full-length album take the lounge/after-hours vibe a step further… giving Marilyn Carino’s vocals even more ground to weave and twist around on. Mudville blends this beat heavy/warm melody genre into shape with lots of live instrumentation added to the electronic blend. Pianos, horns, and strings amid the drums and samplers create underground symphonies with an edgy, otherworldly quality, evoking after-hours in tiny, little lounges ’til dawn. All 10 tracks have a distinct personality and there’s no filler, only “groove with intent” throughout this album, a refreshing change from the “lounge music” craze that swept the mid-’90s when the biggest names in trip-hop blew up. Mudville resuscitates the sound for the 21st century with blasts of emotion and restraint all at once.”

Il Popolo del Blues (Italy)
“Before releasing an EP in 2002 co-produced by Billy Talbot (bassist of Neil Young & Crazy Horse), the New York band Mudville was born from the fortunate encounter between the bassist Ben Rubin and the vocalist Marilyn Carino (known for her collaborations with the Billy Talbot Band and Matt Piucci of Rain Parade). Marilyn Carino’s songwriting and the musical alchemies of Ben Rubin combine soul, jazz and electronic sounds to form the axis of The Glory Of Man Is Not In Vogue, Mudville’s debut album. The minds of Rubin and Carino has given life to a fascinating disc in which soul, electronic music and tasty vintage are stirred and they get confused wrapping the brain in nocturnal atmospheres and the books of martyrs on whose background sounds and influences move jazz. Therefore in the balance between the past of Curtis Mayfield and the future of electronic music, they detach the witnesses from poetic visions from the Velvet Underground to the films of David Lynch, all interpreted for you from the voice of Ms. Carino, Seamus Blake on the sax and Jim Campilongo on the guitar but above all Avi Bortnick, already in the band of John Scofield, who plays guitar on Blown. In “Stoned” the voice of Marilyn very closely reminds one of Annie Lennox, and the sonorous experimentations of “Sunshine Is On Me” which is nearly spoken-word, is accompanied by the jazz cues of Seamus Blake who outlines a most elegant line.”

Perfect Sound Forever
***** (five stars) “Carino shares with [Annie] Lennox the potent, smoky voice of the pop mezzo that introduces a compelling mystery in depth to such striking images as “diamond backs of surfer girls”, “flying bat-rat ponies” and other semi-surrealistic lines from this exquisite album … A trip past the limits of pop.”

The Ectophile’s Guide to Good Music
“Marilyn Carino has a deep, soulful voice, but there’s a touch of Mary Margaret O’Hara‘s amazing slippery hesitancies in her approach to singing … she also nails notes, stretches them and lets them swell like any soul singer. And Ben Rubin makes a wonderful textural music with its own quirks and power behind that voice. I was utterly fascinated by this from the moment the first sounds reached my ears and found myself staying up late listening to it even though I was desperately sleepy … Musically it’s compelling (both the deep evocative vocals and the creative instrumentation and tunes) and the lyrics are unusually sophisticated and intriguing as well. Highly recommended listening“.

AM New York
“Mudville plays some atmospheric, dreamy tunes that hint at the fact that there may be some joy in Mudville after all.”

Urban Ambiance Journal
“Marilyn Carino and Benjamin Rubin… make intelligent electronica that ranges from chilling and eerie to lamentful and moving. Lush basslines… provide a thick, syrupy backdrop for Marilyn’s seductive vocals. Their four track EP is a great introduction to the pair that leaves you wanting more. Lyrically, Carino is far ahead of the curve.”

ADD Reviews
Deep poetry meets the best sloshy, downtempo beats you’ve never heard.”

Detroit Music Outsight Magazine
“This is sophisticated trip-hop melding exquisite slow-soul vocals from Marilyn Carino with trashcan downbeat rhythms from an unhurried, post-industrial Benjamin Rubin. Mudville is Portishead pulled in the direction of classic West Coast cool jazz.”

Indiefan
“Definitive mood music. Marilyn Carino and Ben Rubin have created a truly unique sound that reaches into your soul and finds a home amongst your bittersweet memories and forgotten love affairs. Although their sound has been called down-tempo and drum & bass, I feel blues and jazz in a theatrical wrapper. This music is wet, dripping from the speakers, running around you and holding you. “Private Plane,” the album’s first track [gives] a sense of nighttime New York skyline seen from a balcony and city lights and a warm breeze swaying the patio lights. Marilyn’s haunting vocals whisper and wail like Annie Lennox at her best. Rubin constructs an aural landscape of break-beat percussion and melodic distortion that plays muse to Carino’s passionate lyrics in perfect symbiosis. I’m left wanting more and I imagine a live appearance would be an event.”

Zoundz
“…Affecting, erudite songs delivered in Carino’s compelling voice; an instrument which moves confidently with deliberate discord and breathy sweetness; Carino’s canny regard for language translates into songs of savory, picturesque imagery. The music hums and knocks with a subtle, cinematic drama that meets Sly Stone‘s snakey funk with P.J. Harvey‘s arty future-blues.”

Erasing Clouds
“…Singer/guitarist/songwriter Marilyn Carino stands in the music’s center as a riveting presence. Her voice is both sensuous and truly strange: like a jazz vocalist who never learned who to sing like the other kids, who always liked doing things her own way. In other words, her voice is forceful and capable yet also off-balance somehow; it rises and twists in ways you don’t expect. [The songs] envelop you and sweep you away . . . intoxicating enough that I keep putting the CD on, laying back and sinking into it.”

All Music Guide
Dreamy words and cool breakbeats… a Massive Attack-ian seducer, housing sultry combos of bob-and-weave beats with jazzamatazz. The group proudly embeds personal longing and private spirit that leave you with visions of the attractive loner in a candy-striper smoke room. Marilyn Carino and Benjamin Rubin put together poetics and electronics that are challenging and sweet. They jump start the brain with Carino’s lyrical majestics–sorely missed and overlooked in recent music. Chilling phrases like “A blaze of woman’s tears into your open mouth like a waterbird” are much of the highlights, escorted by Rubin’s bluesy bass, hypnotic vibe and clever beats.”

Impact Press
“Seductive vocals from Marilyn Carino lay comfortably over the top of post-industrial production by Benjamin Rubin, which comes off sensual on this EP of mellow beats and eerie vibes. Musical boundaries are played with when down-tempo electronic beats and keys make this four-song collection a nice introduction before a full-length is released. Live instruments accompany their sound with soft, high-pitched howls and poetic lyrics. If what comes next is better than this, we could be hearing more from these two.”

 

  1. Wicked Mudville 4:27
  2. The Hero of the World Mudville 4:29
  3. Blown Mudville 4:19
  4. Duke Mudville 5:35
  5. Highrise Mudville 4:33
  6. Surfer Girls Mudville 5:26
  7. Spirits in the Material World Mudville 4:59
  8. Sunshine Is on Me Mudville 4:44
  9. Private Plane Mudville 4:34
  10. Stoned Mudville 4:05
  11. Eternity Mudville 4:59
  12. Lotus Mudville 4:29
  13. Nothing Gets You Going (Live) Mudville 5:24