released: 2002-10-01 )
Each One Teach One
In 2000-2001, when this album was written, recorded, and conceptualized, Oneida was a pretty hectic organization, committed to confrontation and tragipsych and Wu-Tang and electro relentlessness. The record was made by the original quartet lineup of the band, founded in 1997; and the tour that followed the completion of the album in late 2001 was the final 35-date hurrah of this lineup. When the record finally saw the light of day in early 2002, the band hadn't broken up but was in a process of irrevocable transformation.
Oneida began as a project, then became a gang. Come On Everybody Let's Rock (2000) and Anthem of the Moon (2001) were absolutely gang work, and Each One Teach One was a logical final blow. We had been through some intimate dances on the road with the medical and legal professions by this point, and we'd left some blood in most US states – and not always on purpose. So in some respects this record is a baring of scars. Our original label, Turnbuckle Records, had closed its doors with no warning in 1999, giving rise to the oldest tune on the album, "No Label"; and both extended pieces on the record, "Sheets of Easter" and "Antibiotics", conjoin pain and possibility in some more metaphysical or metaphorical ways that absolutely reflect our collective state of disorientation at the time.
In fact, disorientation in a variety of guises might be the single dominating theme of the album, and the strongest link between Oneida and the history of "psychedelic" music. There's a lot in that term that doesn't fit Oneida, but this band's teeth are sharpest when we abandon rationality and embrace alternative approaches to interpreting the moment.
The music on Each One Teach One was recorded in several different locations, under different circumstances, and using different compositional techniques. In a 2010 "oral history of Each One Teach One" with the online publication Drowned in Sound, I explained some of this:
"It was really three different studios that were used, two of which were ours. Partway through the recording of Anthem of the Moon, the album preceding [Each One Teach One], we were working at a rehearsal studio building in Williamsburg. We put a makeshift recording and rehearsal studio into a room there; [later] we ultimately were able to find our own space and build our own studio. Some of the recordings that are on Each One Teach One, the last side of the album -- 'No Label' and 'Rugaru' and 'Black Chamber' -- the bulk of those recordings are from that original rehearsal space. Some of the stuff is recorded in our later studio space -- that would be the original recording of 'People of the North', which had come out on Anthem of the Moon -- the one that's on Each One Teach One is the earlier recording. 'Sneak Into the Woods' and 'Number Nine', those things were mostly recorded in that second space, the same place we did some following albums, until we lost that space as well, and built our real studio, the Ocropolis [in 2006]. Part of 'Antibiotics' was recorded in our first studio and part of it was recorded along with 'Sheets of Easter' and 'Each One Teach One' at Peter Katis's Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where we'd done a bunch of work prior to that and had mixed a bunch of albums. We mixed the whole thing at Tarquin with Peter."
Some of the songs were built piece by piece through the recording and editing process; some were conceptualized ahead of time and approached with some science; and some were pure instinct. All four members of the band worked on composing - like I said, this was a gang doing gang work - and the final result, this album, is an accurate document of Oneida following the turn of the century.
Written by Bobby Matador
The annals of Jagjaguwar have most unfortunately left a lot of cherished albums and projects from our catalogue long out of print on wax. Others are in need of a first-ever, proper vinyl pressing. The Jagjaguwar Reissue Series seeks to right these wrongs. The cornerstone alumni and albums upon which the House of Jag today stands can now reach new hearts and minds wherever turntables keep turning. ʇ