Blood Quartet was formed in early 2015 in Barcelona, after I was asked to collaborate with Catalan underground rock band Murnau B. to play at a party for Shookdown magazine to celebrate a special issue about No Wave. The encounter went so well that we decided to keep it going. The name, our own sound and a set of songs followed quite naturally.
In May 2015, after our first concerts as Blood Quartet, we released an EP, Dark Energy, on cassette and online on Bandcamp.
'Dark Energy' EP
Exactly a year later we went back into the studio to start working on a full album - re-recording several of the songs from Dark Energy, which had matured considerably in concert, as well as a number of new ones. The result is Deep Red, now available on CD, LP and most online platforms.
Blood Quartet “Deep Red”
LP Edition of 500, in transparent red vinyl (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS USA)
CD digipak Edition of 500 (HANG THE DJ RECORDS - Barcelona)
Release Date ? Oct.18th, 2016
Mark Cunningham - Trumpet, Guitar
Lluis Rueda - Guitar, Synth (Blood House)
Kike Bela - Bass, Synth ( Soma) Guitar (Blood House)
Candid Coll - Drums, Voice (Only Lovers)
Debut LP, following a cassette, by Mark Cunningham’s latest unit, Blood Quartet. Based in Barcelona, the mostly-instrumental band plays insanely great avant garde rock music, with Mark’s electro-Miles trumpet spread across the top like brass icing.
Cunningham has been based in Spain for many years now, and his groups there (Raeo, Bestia Ferida, etc.) have been excellent, but Blood Quartet seems like the apex of a musical quest he started with Don King, following the dissolution of his legendary NYC band, Mars. The music they play has a similar cinematic scope to the material Mark composed for his solo LP, Blood River Dusk (FTR 098). But where that album created an ominous soundtrack for living, Blood Quartet makes an explosive syncretic fusion. Angular no wave guitar lines weave through bass-heavy rhythms, and Mark’s trumpet achieves something akin to what Chet Baker might have done if he’d flipped out and gotten into the French acid scene in ’68. Light, strangely wound tones that really don’t sound like anyone else I can name.
Candid Coll’s post-tongue vocals, and the synth work by both Kike Bela and Lluis Rueda completely flesh everything out in a spectacular way. The music on Deep Red starts off sounding subtle, but it grows in power with every spin, and will eventually suck you down into its magnificent vortex.
-Byron Coley, 2016
"If you find noise rock and experimental improvisation too formless, then you’ll enjoy the rhythmic anchor that gives a semblance of structure however far out Blood Quartet go. If you find jazz too abstract and ‘noodle-y’ then you’ll appreciate the jigsaw-like precision with which all the parts fit together. But if you enjoy experimental noisemaking and ‘out there’ rules-free jazz, you’ll discover no end of freedom in the playing; especially live. Put simply, Blood Quartet seem to pull off a very tricky balancing act with no apparent effort: it’s foot-tapping, beard-stroking, and head-shaking all at the same time."
A Jazz Noise - blog
"Fascinant unio, la que han segellat Mark Cunningham i els membres de Murnau B. Blood Quartet, es diu el projecte, i evoca el llenguatge de Coltrane, Coleman i Cherry. Hi va haver un temps en que el jazz era precisament aixo. Encara ho es en certa manera, si obviem exercicis d’estil i exhibicionismes insulsos, pero hi va haver un temps en que la mare de totes les musiques contemporanies consistia exactament en aixo. En mirar endavant, en cercar i obrir nous camins, en penetrar territoris desconeguts sense cap mena de por. No es que Blood Quartet sigui (tan sols) un combo de jazz, en absolut: el bagatge dels seus components apunta al punk, al hardcore, a les formes mes inquietes del rock, a l’electronica, a generes amb prefix post i a diverses manifestacions de caracter avantguardista. Pero es que el seu disc de debut, “Dark Energy” (2015, Jacquard Recs/Hang The Dj Records/Boston Pizza Records), parla el mateix idioma que Coltrane".
Brubaker.cat - blog
"Mark Cunningham, el mito del los subsuelos anti-rock, sigue con el viaje que lo canonizo en ruido eterno al frente de Mars. Para esta nueva mutacion como Blood Quartet, Cunningham se ha acompanado de los tremendos Murnau b., que siembran un cosmos amorfo sobre el que planea su trompeta a la deriva. Por momentos, podriamos pensar en el Miles Davis oceanico de "In A Silent Way". Un what if? que cobra forma desde los primeros no-compases de Dragon Tree - pero tambien dibuja moldes de haikus imposibles: tormentosos (Dark Energy) y espirituosos (Luminesce)..."
"The New York no wave group Mars have been described as deconstructing rock to little more than noise. For ex-Mars member Mark Cunningham, after decades of playing trumpet, guitar, and electronics in collaborations and solo projects, deconstruction of music into noise is now a choice. Most recently he teamed up with rock trio Murnau b. also based in his adoptive hometown of Barcelona, as Blood Quartet, and when they deconstruct they do so with a degree of elegance. Dark Energy shows a great deal of empathy between the four players, and an attractive feature of their playing is how it coalesces in odd and deliberate ways. On the title track terse episodes of free playing by Kike Bela on bass and both Cunningham and Rueda on guitar are driven like wedges into Candid Coll's snare rolls and cymbal work, so that they all cohere with jumpy momentum"...
Directed by Edoardo A. Gonzalez, Written by Edoardo A. Gonzalez and Marina Palomer