Malcolm Mooney & The Eleventh Planet

Calgary, AB

Artist and musician Malcolm Mooney’s career is as daring as his wildly experimental music. For more than five decades, he has left an indelible mark on outré art with his multi-genre exploration and creative output.

Originally from New York, Mooney’s career has taken him across the globe and back. He was credited as a “linguistic space communicator” on Monster Movie, the 1969 debut album from legendary German krautrock band Can. The 20-minute album closer, “You Doo Right,” features Mooney chanting excerpts from a love letter while the band shreds, showcasing his unique style of intimate spoken-word performance.

In the biographical book All Gates Open: The Story of Can, founding member Holger Czukay says, “Can wasn’t sure which way to go musically until Malcolm Mooney jumped up to the microphone one day and pushed us into A RHYTHM.” Mooney also lent his wailed incantations to the final Can album Rite Time in 1986.

Outside of his work with Can, Mooney has recorded three albums with the San Francisco band The Tenth Planet and collaborated with artists such as Andy Votel of Twisted Nerve Records and percussion composer Sean Noonan. Now based in Calgary, he is an instructor of abstract painting at the Alberta University of the Arts, and his visual art showcases around the world. 

His new project, The Eleventh Planet, has finished recording a debut album, and the impressive new lineup features Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (drums), Ava Mendoza of Unnatural Ways (guitar), Daniel Moreno (percussion), Devin Brahja Waldman (sax), Peter Conheim (bass/electronics), and Alexis Marcelo (piano/keyboard), with the crucial voice of Malcolm Mooney front and centre. Though it’s just the latest sonic adventure for Mooney, it looks to be both a monument to a staggering career and a glimpse at a vibrant future.  

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