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Moving from Oakland to Brooklyn guitarist Ava Mendoza's improvising rock trio Unnatural Ways with Tim Dahl (bass) and Sam Ospovat (drums) release their first Tzadik album of blistering psychedelic blues based instrumentals, wonderfully deformed, cutting edge rock.

Unnatural Ways
We Aliens

Unnatural Ways: We Aliens (Tzadik)

Label: Tzadik    
Released in: USA    

"A lynchpin of the Oakland rock/improv scene and now based in Brooklyn, Ava Mendoza has been taking Downtown NY by storm, performing with many of the best musicians around and leading her own dynamite bands. Her cutting edge guitar playing is front and center here in nine hard-edged and steely blues-tinged rock instrumentals. With a twisted sensibility and plenty of shredding, psychedelic effects and surprises, the music features Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, Pulverize the Sound) on bass and Sam Ospovat (Enablers, Beep, Naytronix) on drums. Unnatural Ways is a tight, exciting new band out of the burgeoning Brooklyn scene."-Tzadik

"Unnatural Ways is the main project of Brooklyn-based guitarist Ava Mendoza. The group was originally formed in early 2012 in her longtime home of Oakland, CA as a trio with west coast musicians Dominique Leone- keys and Nick Tamburro (Dead Science)- drums. The trio toured steadily in the U.S. and Europe before Mendoza relocated to NY in 2013. Soon after the move, she reformed the group with NY musicians, and the new lineup toured in the U.S., Canada and Europe surrounding performances at the 2014 Victoriaville Festival in Canada and the 2014 Moers Festival in Germany. The current trio of Mendoza- guitar, vox / Tim Dahl (Lydia Lunch, Child Abuse, Yusef Lateef)- bass /Max Jaffe (Normal Love, Killer Bob) has developed a highly personal sound; sharp, heavy, and psychedelic. Drawing from complex rock, avant jazz and warped blues music, the players push the boundaries of their own vocabularies and of the written music to put on powerful and unpredictable live shows. The self-titled Unnatural Ways full-length LP will be issued in Feb. 2015 by the New Atlantis label (William Hooker, Microwaves, Elliott Sharp). A full-length CD release by the new lineup on John Zorn's Tzadik label is slated for late 2015."-Ava Mendoza Website

Biography for: Tim Dahl

"Tim Dahl is a professional electric and double bass player, vocalist, keyboardist and composer living in New York City. He is best known as the bass player of the noise-rock band Child Abuse and Lydia Lunch's Retrovirus. He also writes and performs for the jazz ensemble Pulverize The Sound.

Dahl has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. He has performed with many notable musicians, composers and performers including Yusef Lateef, Archie Shepp, Eugene Chadbourne, Tatsuya Yoshida, Von Freeman, Stanley Jordan, Mary Halvorson, Malcolm Mooney, Marc Ribot, Brian Chase, Hamid Drake, Elliott Sharp, Weasel Walter, Marni Nixon, Peter Evans, Kevin Shea, Mick Barr, Lydia Lunch, Jan Terri, The Bureau of Atomic Tourism, Ava Mendoza etc.

As a bass player he is notable for unique style and technical savviness. Clifford Allen of Tiny Mixtapes' wrote "Tim Dahl [...] approaches his well-worn axe with a battery of pedals and loops, combining determinate speed with murkier sonics to create a landscape not unlike a harsh, speed-freak variant on Hugh Hopper."

Dahl currently lives in Brooklyn and is an active member in the music scene there."

-Wikipedia (

Biography for: Ava Mendoza

"My name is Ava Mendoza. I play guitars and stompboxes and write music. Currently I'm based out of Brooklyn, NY. I have played guitar for most of my life and been active for the last decade playing my own music and in many different groups. In any context I try to bring expressivity, energy and a wide sonic range to the music I play. I've toured throughout the U.S. and Europe and recorded or performed with a broad spectrum of musicians including singer Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Fred Frith (Massacre, Henry Cow, Art Bears), Nels Cline, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Weasel Walter, Tune-Yards, and more. I've played on recordings released by labels Weird Forest, Tzadik, Clean Feed, NotTwo, ugEXPLODE, Resipiscent, New Atlantis, and others.

Friendly critics have called me "Oakland's avant-jazz virtuoso" (Brad Cohan, Village Voice), "a versatile and virtuosic guitarist" (The San Francisco Film Society), "a wizard on a semi-circle of effects pedals, but… equally adept with FX-less technique," (Lars Gotrich, A Blog Supreme/NPR Jazz). I was recently named one of Guitar World‘s “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know”.

My main project these days is UNNATURAL WAYS .


Scott Amendola (Nels Cline Singers, Charlie Hunter Quartet), Liz Allbee, Vijay Anderson, Bran(...)pos, Carla Bozulich (The Geraldine Fibbers, Evangelista), Sheldon Brown, Tony Buck (The Necks), members of Caroliner, Nels Cline (Wilco), George Cremaschi, Tim Dahl (Child Abuse, Lydia Lunch), J.A. Deane, Marco Di Gasbarro (Squartet), John Dikeman (Cactus Truck), Thomas Dimuzio, Shayna Dunkleman, Marco Eneidi, Luc Ex, Ben Goldberg, Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Massacre), Vinny Golia, Phillip Greenlief, Franz Hautzinger, Jacob Felix Heule, Devin Hoff (Good for Cows), Gerri Jager (Knaalpot), Darren Johnston, Henry Kaiser (Crazy Backwards Alphabet), Annette Krebs, Thollem McDonas, Lisa Mezzacappa, Butch Morris, Matt Nelson, Hexlove aka Zac Nelson, Kanoko Nishi, Nick Podgurski (Extra Life), Porest aka Mark Gergis, Gino Robair, Aram Shelton, John Shiurba, SF Sound, Damon Smith, Moe! Staiano, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Raphael Vanoli (Knaalpot), Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers), Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE), Wobbly (Negativland), Tune-yards, William Winant (Mr. Bungle), Kenny Wollesen (Sex Mob), Theater of Yugen, dancers Leyya Mona Tawil, Yuko Kaseki, and Manuela Tessi."

-Ava Mendoza Website (

Biography for: Sam Ospovat

"Originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, I played piano and sang in boys' choir before picking up my first pair of drumsticks in 5th grade. Late nights spent improvising in friends' parents' basements eventually revealed to me the wisdom of moving to the Bay Area, where I studied percussion with William Winant, Peter Magadini, George Marsh and lately with the Haitian master drummer Daniel Brevil. Recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY, I play drums in Beep, Naytronix, Timosaurus, Passwords (duo with Lorin Benedict), CavityFang, Young Nudist, Enablers and my solo project PIKI. I was lucky to play with Cecil Taylor, Leo Smith, and Maryanne Amacher at Mills College, where I received my MFA in percussion performance. Since then I've worked with Tuneyards, William Winant, The SF Contemporary Music Players, Aram Shelton, Ches Smith, members of Rova Saxophone Quartet, Bill McHenry, Angelica Sanchez, Phillip Greenlief, and Ava Mendoza."

-Sam Ospovat Website (

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Product Information:

UPC: 702397781424

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: TZA-CD-7814
Squidco Product Code: 22492

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded Nfo.Studio in Erding, Germany by Simon Kummer.


Tim Dahl-Bass

Ava Mendoza-Guitar, Vocals

Sam Ospovat-Drums

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Track Listing:

1. Cosmic Border Cop

2. Tinfoil Hats

3. Most of All We Love to Spy

4. Surveillance Superstar

5. Blowback Blues

6. Extraterrestrial Suicides Are on the Rise

7. Control of the Outmost Colonies

8. Is This a Refuge

9. Terraforming

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