Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Naúx: Light, Traps and Exploding Wires

Here is Light, Traps and Exploding Wires, the only solo album by "Naúx" (Juan Maciel). Naúx is pronounced "nah-ooj," apparently based on a reversed spelling of his first name. Naúx was a guitarist for Richard Hell during the Destiny Street sessions, and was a member of the core duo (with bassist Steve Cohen) of China Shop. China Shop has enjoyed a retrospective digital download release from Anthology Recordings, but Naúx's solo album remains a vinyl-only rarity. Light, Traps... was the second release on the Noise New York label (NNY 002, no year listed but probably 1983), recorded at Noise New York studio by Eddie Ciletti "when it was located on 34th Street above La Polpetta (the Meatball) and owned by Frank and Dwight Eaton (pre-Kramer)" (per Ciletti). It has all the hallmarks of the No Wave catchall: jagged guitar lines, funky basslines, lyrics of alienation, and an all-around artiness; you know, the style introduced by Talking Heads on Fear of Music and Remain in Light. Other musicians on the album include Fred Maher, Robert Quine, Sussan Deihim, Richard Horowitz, and Frank Eaton. Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deihim would go on to release exquisite albums of synth-heavy Western/Middle Eastern fusion; Fred Maher was the original drummer in Material; and Robert Quine is well-known as Richard Hell's main guitarist, and for his guitar work on Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend". Come to think of it, Maher was a guitarist as well as a drummer, and he and Quine released an album together called Guitar Men. Steve Cohen may play bass on at least one track, as he shares a songwriting credit too. So whatever happened to Naúx? I can't find any evidence that he continued in music after the mid-80s. He was still alive as of 2006, when he supplied some China Shop history to Anthology Recordings. I would have liked to hear more music from him. In closing, I will direct you to WMA files of four more Naúx songs on this page of Eddie Ciletti's website.

Get it here.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog, I can't believe I didn't find it sooner. You have a ton of fantastic stuff posted. I can't wait to sift through it all. Please repost this. Thanks.

Fantod said...

Glad you like it; I've replaced the link for the Naux album, it should work now.

Steve Cohen said...

Steve Cohen here. Was just doing something I never do, Google China shop with different band members included to see what results I'd get. Thanks for taking the time to cover this material, it's greatly appreciated as I've lost my only copy of the album. This band also had Mike Allison from China Shop. Naux did stay in music, and eventually ended up in Providence RI, where he played blues, some covers, and plenty of his own songs. He played some Delta styled songs solo, by artists like Robert Johnson. Naux has made a lot of recordings over the years and made a cd that is more of an offshoot from Lights traps and exploding wires, called Satan in Heaven. Naux is not well, and is limited in what he can do as energy has become an issue. He's always been a very unique quirky in your face kind of character, and I mean this in a very good and special way. He also has a way with words and tends to run the pace of flow of most conversations.
He's always had a great sense of humor, and should be noted for fusing Funk, Punk, Rock, Jazz, and ACID in a very unique concoction. Our groups of friends and players were probably never meant to go that far in the business world, but there's some very special features in our past. On this Album I love the song To Much Sex. Atlantis which may not be labeled right is a China Shop song and recording. When they come to get me is another favorite, and he hasn't changed his tune since then. Listen to that song, and think to much from China Shop and you'll get a lot of insight into Naux's world. In addition to Atlantis, I played a small keyboard part in To Much Sex. Thanks so much for putting this out there, and for bringing this one back to me, It's great appreciated! best regards, Steve

Fantod said...

Steve, thanks for the note! It's great to get the missing facts filled in after 20-odd years of wondering. I am sorry to hear that Naux is not well. I did find some YouTube videos of Naux performing in Providence as John "Crawlin' Snake" Mac. I hope some more turn up.

marnie said...

wow, you've got a lot of amazing material up here, tahnks for the good work. yeah, i heard that naux is not well too and even though i haven't seen him in years he's a great musician. i remember seeing china shop at cbgbs in their later years playing with a young john fell on drums who really kicked it out and made them fierce. he ended becoming a real staple in new york supergroups. steve cohen was the bassist then and had a wall of bass coming from a 5 or 6 string (i can't remember) bass. that show will stick with me forever and it was the best lineup for me even though most would say it was past their prime. i saw them so many times and those songs were so good but they needed the forceful playing that that steve and john did. naux was like a delicate dancer on top of a volcano of drums and bass. amazing band.

Scott said...

Dateline: February 9, 2009.

Late last night, Naux passed away after a long illness in the company of friends and family. He lived an extraordinary life which impacted many people through is music, art and personality.

We are fortunate that over the years, he amassed a large catalogue of music and art that will keep his spirit alive in friends and strangers alike.

Fantod said...

Damn, I am so sorry to hear that; he was way too young. Notice that Naux's album is the first post on this blog: it was my desire to spread his music that led me to start the blog in the first place. I am grateful for the fantastic music he left behind.

Anonymous said...

Another Naux fan salutes you. We will miss him but know he is always here now.

Anonymous said...

Another Naux fan salutes you. We will miss him but will know his spirit is everywhere. PS. Jane says hello to Kevin and to Scott, wherever you may be now...glad to know you were with Naux and Jenifer at this time.

Anonymous said...

There will be a remembrance and listening retrospective in honor of NAUX on March 14, 2009 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Everyman, 311 Iron Horse Way, Providence, RI.