Volcano the Bear

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Volcano the Bear
OriginLeicester, England
Years active1996–present
LabelsVolucan, Pickled Egg Records, Misra, Beta-lactam Ring, United Dairies, Rune Grammofon

Volcano the Bear are an improvisational/experimental English band formed in Leicester in 1995. The group's members are Aaron Moore (drums, trumpet, vocals), Nick Mott (saxophone, guitar, vocals), Clarence Manuelo (tapes, electronics) and Daniel Padden (keyboards, guitar, clarinet, vocals). Although the principal roles of each member are as listed, the group use a large array of additional sound-making objects to create their music.

Early work[edit]

Their early work was characterised by theatrical live performances and unconventional recording methods; for example The One Burned Ma, their second full-length album, contains no tracks on which all four members appear. Having self-released a handful of cassettes and CD-Rs, several as every short-run limited editions with hand-drawn inserts, they came to the attention of Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound, who revived his United Dairies imprint to release The Inhazer Decline, their first full-length album.[1] However, a proposed collaboration with Nurse With Wound was not completed. They continued to release regular live CDRs on their own Volucan imprint, and later albums such as Five Hundred Boy Piano and much of The Idea of Wood were performed live in the studio.


A hiatus in group activity occurred in the early part of the 2000s with Mott and Moore reviving their pre-Volcano the Bear unit Songs of Norway. Manuelo created an album and EP as Earthtrumpet. Padden founded The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden initially as a solo project, later expanded to a quartet, with Chris Hladowski and Aby Vulliamy (both of Nalle), and Peter Nicholson. This unit has subsequently issued its releases as "The One Ensemble", with Padden releasing an album in 2006 of his solo material under his own name. Padden has also played with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.

Moore played drums on the 1999 L.P. Free Surf Music #1 by Alan Jenkins and The Thurston Lava Tube, drummed for The Nightingales for a while, and in 2005 formed the duo Dragon or Emperor with occasional VtB collaborator Stewart Brackley. He also released a solo album The Accidental on which Alex Neilson and Andrew Liles appear. He is currently a member of the Brooklyn band Freetime.


In early 2006 the band reconvened to release a double album Classic Erasmus Fusion to excellent reviews, and later that year released a live recording of their first performance as a full band in four years entitled Egg and Two Books.

The band released their first album for five years, Golden Rhythm / Ink Music, in April 2012.[2][3]

Musical style[edit]

The band's music has been described as "avant-garde drone rock",[4] "avant rock",[1] and on the album 500 Boy Piano British folk influences were noted.[5] Their 2012 album Golden Rhythm / Ink Music was described as pushing "well beyond the boundaries of rock music, incorporating elements of Middle Eastern music, American freak folk, jazz, and Dadaist literary absurdity".[2] They have been compared with The Residents, Nurse With Wound, and Faust among others.[6]


Year Title Format Label/Cat. No. Notes
Volcano The Bear
1996 Vol One Cassette Volucan 001 Limited edition of 25.
1996 Vol Tu Cassette Volucan 002 Limited edition of 50.
1996 Vol III (iii) Cassette Volucan 003 Limited edition of 20.
1998 Volfur CD-R/CD Volucan 004, later Beta-lactam Ring mt053.1 Limited edition of '50 - 60'. Recorded live February 6th 1998.
1998 Volve CD-R/CD Volucan 005, later Beta-Lactam Ring mt053.2 Signed limited edition of 50. Recorded live March 22nd 1998.
1998 The Inhazer Decline CD-R Volucan 006 Limited edition of 6.
1998 Volseptor CD-R/CD Volucan 007, later Beta-Lactam Ring mt053.3  
1999 Volwheat CD-R Volucan 008 Recorded live March 8th 1999 at the Y Theatre in Leicester.
1999 Yak Folk's Y'are LP Pickled Egg 7  
2000 The Inhazer Decline CD United Dairies UD055 Fewer tracks than 1998 version.
2000 The One Burned Ma CD Misra MSR006  
2001 Five Hundred Boy Piano CD United Dairies UD50  
2002 Guess The Birds 10" EP Beta-Lactam Ring mt028  
2002 Volnono CD-R/CD Volucan 009, later Beta-Lactam Ring mt0 53.4 Some tracks previously featured on Volwheat.
2002 Xvol CD-R/CD Volucan 010, later Beta-Lactam Ring mt053.5 Live in East Hampton, Massachusetts.
2002 The Mountains Among Us LP/CD-R Beta-Lactam Ring mt045/Volucan 011  
2002 Voleven CD-R Volucan 011 Only available with the Volucan edition of "The Mountains Among Us", features material by VTB and various other projects.
2003 The Idea of Wood CD/LP Textile Records TCD3/TLP3  
2004 All The Paint I Can Breathe 10"EP Beta-Lactam Ring mt059 Material from the first three Cassettes. Some with additional 7".
2004 Voldozer CD-R Volucan 012 Recorded live in Glasgow, Paris and Nijmegen
2004 "Shake Your Crow Remix" / "Tunnels And Wheels" 7" Gold Soundz GS#13 Limited edition of 310.
2005 Catonapotato CD Broken Face/Digitalis Industries DIGI14 Recorded live in Leicester, Sheffield, Paris and Norrköping. Only Mott & Moore appear.
2006 Classic Eramus Fusion 2xLP/2xCD Beta-Lactam Ring mt092a/b Some 2xLP sets come with an extra 7", and a special edition comes with a bonus LP and the 7".
2006 Volfurten LP Volucan 014 Limited edition of 300 with hand-painted covers.
2006 "Massive Furniture Invasion" 8" alt.vinyl Limited edition of 150.
2006 "Birth of Streissand" 7" NO-FI NEU001 Limited edition of 150.
2006 Egg And Two Books CD Vivo 2006026CD Recorded live at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester.
2007 Amidst the Noise and Twigs CD Beta-Lactam Ring mt204a
2007 Volquince CD-R Volucan 015
2007 11 Years of Yes CD-R Business Card Twisted Knister Flupp 025 One track, limited edition of 40 copies in cigarette packet.
2009 The Shy Volcanic Society at the Bear And Bird Parade CD Beta-Lactam Ring mt222 Split release with La Societe Des Timides A La Parades Des Oiseaux.
2009 That People Don't Know They Are Monsters / Bow Heavier My Lord 7" Quasi Pop QPOP REC 02
2010 Volrudolf / Grande Pfungst LP / CDR Volfurten 01 Limited edition of 105 copies with hand-painted covers.
2010 Volsechzehn CDR Volucan 016 Recorded live in Berlin, 2009 . Only Moore and Padden appear.
2010 Planetary Bethlehem LP Beta-Lactam Ring mt205 Limited to 330 copies. 30 in hand-painted covers.
2011 Hotbites Live at the Nighlight LP Blastocoel Sound 002 Limited to 100 copies. Live in Chapel Hill, NC, 2006.
2012 Golden Rhythm / Ink Music LP/CD Rune Grammofon
Other Projects
The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden (Solo and group works by Daniel Padden.)
2002 The One Ensemble of Daniel Padden CD Catsup Plate CPR714  
2003 The Owl of Fives LP/CD Textile TLP4/TCD4  
2005 Live at VPRO Radio CD-R Brainwashed Handmade Series HAND002  
2006 The Isaac Storm LP Ultra Eczema UE37 As "Daniel Padden". Limited edition of 400.
2007 Wayward The Fourth CD Secret Eye No. 32 As "The One Ensemble".
Songs of Norway (Improvised music by Aaron Moore and Nick Mott.)
2003 Despite The Cloak LP/CD Beta-Lactam Ring mt058 Some LPs with additional 7".
2004 The Great Work 3" CD Olwyn Plant SB007  
Earth Trumpet (Solo work by Clarence Manuelo.)
2000 Earth Trumpet CD Cenotaph Audio CT004  
2001 Roman 2xCD-R Beta-Lactam Ring mt053.6 One audio disc, one with QuickTime movie.
Guignol (Aaron Moore, Jeremy Barnes and Clarence Manuelo.)
2003 Angela, David and the Great Neopolitan Road Issue CD Cenotaph Audio CT009  
El Monte Aranos (Nick Mott and Aranos.)
2003 Allied Cooking But Not As You Know It! CD Pieros 003CD  
Aaron Moore (Solo project.)
2005 The Accidental CD Elsie & Jack No. 017 Some with additional DVD by Francesco Paladino with extra track.
Dragon or Emperor (Aaron Moore and Stewart Brackley.)
2007 Dragon or Emperor LP/CD Pickled Egg 64CD

Compilation appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Semprebon, Rolf "The Inhazer Decline Review", Allmusic, retrieved 7 October 2012
  2. ^ a b Houle, Zachary (2012) "Volcano the Bear: Golden Rhythm / Ink Music", PopMatters, 18 June 2012, retrieved 7 October 2012
  3. ^ Masters, Marc (2012) "Volcano the Bear Golden Rhythm/Ink Music", Pitchfork Media, 24 April 2012, retrieved 7 October 2012
  4. ^ Carlson, Dean "Volve Review", Allmusic, retrieved 7 October 2012
  5. ^ Semprebon, Rolf "500 Boy Piano Review", Allmusic, retrieved 7 October 2012
  6. ^ Wilson, Andy (2006) Faust: Stretch Uut Time 1970–1975, Mute Publishing Limited, ISBN 978-0955066450, p. 3

External links[edit]