It's All New

For MT
It might seem inconvenient that one of music's most talked-about bands doesn't release any albums. But when the British group The Bays returns to Moscow to play at 35MM this Friday, there will probably be a lot of forgiving.

The four-man electronic outfit, which has never released an album and has no plans to do so, improvises each and every one of its songs in concert. After a trance-heavy show that brought 2,000 fans to the Gaudi Arena last summer, the ensemble plans a "more academic" set this time around, Afisha has reported.

And The Bays on Friday may well be a difficult study for anyone who was at the Gaudi show, given that the band shifts its sensibilities greatly from one gig to the next. Moving from house beats that would sound at home in Fabrique to soothing trip-hop offerings that fall apart toward the end like a robot that's drunk a glass of milk, The Bays have covered a wider range of electronic subgenres than almost anyone else.

The band, like so many other unplanned things, began in a pub. It was 2002, and drummer Andy Gangadeen, who had laid the beats for Massive Attack's "Inertia Creeps," pulled together a few other respected but little-known sessionists and road musicians in London.

The group's calling card of live, unrehearsed music was itself improvised. It was "not preconceived at the outset, [but] now seems like the obvious course of action," Gangadeen has said on the band's web site.

Since then, The Bays have gigged it up relentlessly. From large British festivals like Glastonbury and The Big Chill to concerts in Mexico and Sri Lanka, the quartet has traveled far and wide, and crisscrossed their native England many times over.

While The Bays don't put out albums, they do release recordings from their concerts via their web site, Gangadeen has noted that with traditional record companies rapidly losing ground to MP3s, it doesn't make sense to put out albums and focus on "the recreation of a moment long past" while playing live.

Hopefully, their Moscow fans won't mind the inconvenience.

The Bays play Fri. at 8 p.m. at 35MM, located at 47/24 Ulitsa Pokrovka. Metro Krasniye Vorota. Tel. 917-1883/5492.