I’m the founder and last remaining member of the original band that formed in Mexico City under the name Radio Silence in the early 90’s. For many years I used to brag about not sleeping. Not anymore. I also stopped drinking strangers under the table and feeding many other illicit and insane habits. I am a musician, a composer and a theoretical physicist. I love the secret language of nature, and I am still here, speaking; against all logic and reason, disproving prophets and pissing off my enemies I remain out of thermodynamic equilibrium with the Universe. I’m an inmate in this gravitational prison, orbiting at 30 km/s round the Sun where not even the dead go free. But it’s our only home in space, and after a half a century of war I’ve come to realize that I love the joint; I just have real differences with many of the other human inmates. I hurtle through space, but I’m afraid of heights, so I bass to keep me safe and low. Just a human. Being.
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The past is but prologue.
Back in the early 90’s, three science students from the national university in Mexico City, Andres Aullet, Ricardo Gómez and Luis Nasser got together to form a band called RADIO SILENCE. From 1991 to 1994, the band played on, gaining a large cult following and a reputation for intense, unpredictable live performances. Inevitably, the band broke up, but the music and the meme lingered on.In 1995, Nasser and Gómez moved to the East Coast of the USA under the pretense of pursuing scientific doctoral degrees, but all they really wanted was to find other players and continue what RADIO SILENCE had started. Two fruitless years later the search was abandoned and the two drifted apart; Nasser sulked in his apartment and alternated between writing music and working on his dissertation, while Gomez jammed and played with a number of different bands, ranging from punk rock to Spanish baroque troupes (which included the stretchy pants and full peacock garb).
In 1997, Nasser auditioned for a Baltimore-based band KURGAN’S BANE, led by guitarist Pete Laramee and his brother, drummer Jeff Laramee; a crisp, crunchy hard rock band of exceptional musicianship that had parted ways with their bassist and were on the eve of recording their debut album “Search from Sea to Sea”. These sessions resulted in a a good friendship between Nasser and John Grant of Secret Sound studios in Baltimore, and the later discovery of a vast network of websites promoting underground prog rock made him curious to find out what the internet crowd might think of the material performed by RADIO SILENCE, back in the smoggy, boozy daze of Mexico City.
Nasser and Grant set upon the task of embellishing a demo of original material recorded on 8-track tascam tape machine for release. During the course of this project, Nasser invited Gómez and Aullet back to the fold, and the end result was a disc called “Laughter In The Dark” which, to everyone’s astonishment, earned rave reviews, sold out in months, and inked the band a record deal with the now defunct indie label “Moonchild Records”.
Nasser’s musical chemistry with Jeff Laramee made his addition to the band as a full member in 1998 inevitable, and certain unfortunate legalities forced the band to re-name itself as SONUS UMBRA, which in pig latin roughly means “Shadows Made Of Sound”. Since then, they have released three more critically acclaimed albums: “Snapshots From Limbo” in 2000, “Spiritual Vertigo” in 2003 and “Digging For Zeros” in 2005.
SONUS UMBRA went on indefinite hiatus due to the stress of continued existence in spite of vast geographical limitations: Gómez returned to Mexico City in 2000 where he is professor of mathematics at the National University. Nasser is a professor of physics at Columbia, Chicago and remains committed to recording and performing with his main band MIGHT COULD. Aullet is coding furiously in Sandy Point Idaho and Laramee remained steadfast in Baltimore, drumming with Pete Laramee and running a warehouse with his unusual gifts as both stunt fork-lift driver and a master of depraved English.
Working intermittently with his close MIGHT COULD bandmate Andy Tillotson, he and Nasser wrote music that eventually became “Winter Soulstice”. The process began in late 2008 and concluded in April, 2013. A new incarnation of the band was formed with some of the most accomplished veteran musicians of the Chicago rock music scene, a group that have since toured throughout North America, recorded and released the well received “Beyond the Panopticon” in 2015 and are working toward a 2020 release of its sequel “A Sky Full of Ghosts.” In the slightly twisted words of Neil Peart:
Shadows on the road behind.
Shadows on the road ahead.
Nothing can stop us now.
Come hear us live, form your own opinion.
To seek the null beyond the half ley line.
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