Happy the Man

Happy the Man is an American symphonic-rock band that released the 1977–78 Arista albums Happy the Man and Craft Hands, both comprised of lavish, intricate pieces (mostly instrumental). Their near-completed 1979 third album appeared posthumously in 1983 as 3rd – “Better Late…” Keyboardist Ken Watkins joined Camel for their 1979 album I Can See Your […]

Univers Zéro

Univers Zéro is a Belgian chamber-rock/Zeuhl ensemble that has been sporadically active since the mid-1970s. Led from its inception by drummer Daniel Denis, the group released five albums between 1977 and 1986. After a decade-length pause in activity, the nameplate relit at the cusp of the millennium. Members: Daniel Denis (drums, keyboards), Guy Segers (bass, […]

Chainsaw Jazz

Chainsaw Jazz was an American jazz-rock band that released the album DisConcerto on Cuneiform in 1993. Members: Mark Stanley (guitar), Christian Nagle (guitar), Mark Smoot (bass), Mark Gilbert (saxophone, clarinet), Ed Maguire (violin, electric mandolin), Paul Sears (drums) DisConcerto was released on Cuneiform Records (cat# RUNE 46) in 1993. It features 15 songs and a […]

The Muffins

The Muffins were an American jazz-rock band that released two proper albums: the Canterbury-style Manna / Mirage (1978) and the No Wave-inspired 185, both on the avant-garde DC label Random Radar Records. Tracks from their earlier incarnation (circa 1975–76) later surfaced on the Cuneiform CD Chronometers. They backed Fred Frith on his 1980 Ralph Records […]


Cartoon were an American avant-rock band from Phoenix that released two albums and a live disc on self-press Twelve Tone Productions between 1981 and 1983. Three-fifths of the band subsequently recorded two further albums as PFS. Members: Scott Brazieal (keyboards), Mark Innocenti (guitars), Gary Parra (drums), Herbert Diamant (reeds), Craig Fry (violin) Discography: Cartoon (1981) […]

Djam Karet

Djam Karet are an American band from Claremont, Calif., that released more than 20 titles on self-press HC Productions between 1984 and the 2010s, in addition to five discs on Cuneiform. Members: Gayle Ellett (guitar, organ, percussion), Mike Henderson (guitar, synthesizer), Chuck Oken, Jr. (drums, percussion, synthesizer), Henry J. Osborne (bass, keyboards, percussion, 1984-?), Aaron […]

U Totem

U Totem were an American symphonic/avant-rock supergroup from Los Angeles that released two CDs on Cuneiform between 1990 and 1994. Members: Dave Kerman (drums, percussion), James Grigsby (guitar, bass), Emily Hay (flute, piccolo, vocals), Sanjay Kumar (keyboards, piano, sitar), Eric Johnson (bassoon, soprano saxophone), Steve Cade (guitar) Discography: U Totem (1990) Strange Attractors (1994)

The Motor Totemist Guild

The Motor Totemist Guild were an American avant-rock band from San Francisco that released two albums, a standalone single, and a live disc on self-press Rotary Totem between 1984 and 1986, followed by titles on the RēR-affiliates No Man’s Land, Auf Dem Nil, and Cuneiform during the subsequent 13-year period. The band’s participation in the […]


Curlew were an American avant-rock/jazz band from NYC that debuted with an eponymous release on Landslide Records in 1981, followed by the album North America on the German Moers Music label in 1985. The band’s 1988 release Live in Berlin kicked off a seven-disc run on Cuneiform over the ensuing 15-year period. Members: George Cartwright […]


However were an American symphonic-rock band from McLean, Va., that released the album Sudden Dusk on Random Radar in 1981, followed by Calling on Cuneiform in 1985. Members: Peter Princiotto (vocals, synthesizer, piano, bass, clavinet, guitar, bass, pedals, kalimba, autoharp, bells, violin), Bobby Read (vocals, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, log drum, bells, xylophone, […]

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic were an American avant-rock band from Boston that released two EPs and the album Magnetic Flip on small-press Ace of Hearts between 1983 and 1985, followed by a string of discs on Cuneiform between 1989 and 2006. Members: Erik Lindgren (piano, synthesizer, Farfisa organ, sampling, percussion, drum programming, trumpet), Roger Miller […]

Doctor Nerve

Doctor Nerve were an American avant-rock band from NYC that released the album Out to Bomb Fresh Kings on Punos Music in 1984, followed by five discs on Cuneiform between 1987 an 2000. Members: Nick Didkovsky (guitar), Greg Anderson (bass), Leo Ciesa (drums), Yves Duboin (soprano saxophone), Rob Henke (trumpet), Michael Lytle (bass clarinet, contrabass […]

Forever Einstein

Forever Einstein were an American avant-rock trio from New Milford, Conn., that issued a cassette-EP on guitarist C.W. Vrtacek’s Leisure Time label in 1989, followed by five albums on Cuneiform between 1990 and 2005. Members: Charles O’Meara [C.W. Vrtacek] (guitar), John Roulat (drums), Marc Sichel (bass, 1989-90), Jack Vees (bass, 1993-2005), Kevin Gerety (bass, 2005-present) […]

A Thinking Plague

A Thinking Plague are an American avant-rock band from Denver, Colo., that released two albums on Endemic Music between 1984 and 1986, followed by In This Life on RēR in 1989. Four further discs appeared on Cuneiform during the subsequent three decades. Members: Mike Johnson (guitar, drums, percussion, vocals), Rick Arsenault (drums, 1982-83), Sharon Bradford […]

Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co.

Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co. were an American electronic band from Ithaca, NY, that released a self-titled album on Earthquack in 1973, followed with Like a Duck to Water in 1976. Further material, much of it archival recordings from the 1970s, was later released on Cuneiform. Members: David Borden (Moog, Minimoog, electric piano), Steve Drews […]

Kombinat M

Kombinat M were an Austrian avant/space-rock quintet that was active for six years, starting in 1987. The band released its singular album, Hybrid Beat, in 1993 on Cuneiform and disbanded soon thereafter. Members: Andreas Heidu, Andreas Leikauf, Erwin Redl, Lukas Ligeti, Walter Hollinetz Discography: Hybrid Beat (1993)