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MMW Prepare for the End of the World

Medeski, Martin & Wood (MMW) will release its new album, End of the World Party (just in case), on Blue Note on September 7, 2004. The 12-track release was produced by John King (of Dust Brothers, Beck and Beastie Boys fame) and takes an approach that Billy Martin has dubbed “groove-driven minimalism.”

End of the World Party is MMW’s first album since 2002’s Uninvisible. The album resulted from a series of informal jams that took place over a period of several months that eventually shaped into songs. The album was recorded at Shacklyn, MMW’s converted loft and recording space in Brooklyn.

The album shows the band taking a decidedly atmospheric direction on expansive tracks including “Anonymous Skulls,” “Bloody Oil,” “Mami Gato” and “Ice.” According to keyboardist John Medeski, “the word soundtrack has come up a lot” as a description of the work, however Medeski says “that’s really a reflection of a conscious attempt to create a mood-to take the listener on a journey.”

A few guest musicians show up for the End of the World Party. Guitarist Marc Ribot plays up on four tracks, and slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein and saxophonist Briggin Krauss (of the downtown NYC band Sex Mob) add something extra to “Sasa.” Producer King also has a guest musician credit, albeit a vague one. He’s listed as playing “a little of this, a little of that.”

End of the World Party track list:

1. Anonymous Skulls

2. End of the World Party

3. Reflector

4. Bloody Oil

5. New Planet

6. Mani Gato

7. Shine It

8. Curtis

9. Ice

10. Sasa

11. Midnight Poppies/Crooked Birds

12. Queen Bee

MMW formed in New York City in the early 1990s and features John Medeski on keyboards, Chris Wood on bass and Billy Martin on drums and percussion. The group self released their debut album, Notes From the Underground, in 1992, followed by It’s a Jungle in Here in 1993 on Gramavision. After two more releases, constant touring and two collaborations with the jam band Phish, MMW caught on in the jam scene by 1996. MMW began collaborating with DJ Logic, who became the band’s unofficial fourth member, later that year.

MMW will be touring this summer and fall, including dates with the Roots and 311, as well as numerous festivals. For tour dates and more information on MMW, visit

Originally Published