The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


An audio introduction to Ava Mendoza

April 2019

The Brooklyn based guitarist hand-picks a selection of tracks from her back catalogue

“This playlist serves as an introduction to my recent work” writes US musician Ava Mendoza, over email. “The tracks span my two most active and consistent projects as a 'leader' — Unnatural Ways and my solo work (leading yourself is hard!). They also include two ongoing collaborations; a duo with Nels Cline and a trio with John Dikeman and Onno Govaert (Cactus Truck).”

Mendoza has been playing guitar for 27 years, during which time her approach has constantly evolved. Starting out with classical training she has since gone on to experiment with free jazz, prog metal, blues and psychedelic rock. Ending a long run of instrumental releases, Unnatural Ways’ latest album The Paranoia Party, features Mendoza's vocals on every track. The lyrics tell a politically charged sci-fi tale . “It is about aliens and being alien” she continues; “political paranoia, inclusion, exclusion, migration, immigration, border crossing, alter egos and alternate realities.”

Unnatural Ways’ The Paranoia Party is released by Sleeping Giant Glossolalia. Ava Mendoza is interviewed by Phil Freeman in The Wire 423. Subscribers can access the full article via the online archive.

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