With bands such as Cajun Dance Party and Yuck, solo projects such as Hebronix and Oupa, and numerous collaborations, singer/songwriter Daniel Blumberg established himself as an adventurous talent in the English indie scene of the 2000s and 2010s. First known as part of the energetic indie pop group Cajun Dance Party during the second half of the 2000s, he founded Yuck, a much moodier alternative rock group, in 2009, which he led until 2013. During the decade, he released more experimental music under several additional projects, including Oupa, Hebronix, and GUO. His debut release under his own name, a bleak, dissonant full-length titled Minus, appeared in 2018.
Blumberg's career began in 2006 with the London indie pop outfit Cajun Dance Party, which formed while Blumberg was still in his teens. After the release of the band's 2008 album The Colourful Life, he and bandmate Max Bloom left Cajun Dance Party and formed the '90s indie rock-influenced act Yuck in 2009. The band issued its self-titled debut in February 2011; a few months later, Blumberg released Forget, a collection of piano ballads that introduced his solo project Oupa.
Early in 2013, Blumberg left Yuck to focus on his own music. He started another solo project, Hebronix, whose eclectic debut album Unreal arrived in July 2013 and featured production by Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux and the Howling Hex. The pair then collaborated as Heb-Hex and released a split single that November, and Blumberg also performed as a member of the Howling Hex. Amidst all this activity, Blumberg found a home base for his experiments at London's Cafe Oto, performing and recording with the collective's musicians on written and improvised material. During this time, he also studied traditional drawing at the Royal Drawing School and worked with saxophonist Seymour Wright as GUO, releasing a pair of improvised recordings in 2017. Blumberg also worked on solo material with Cafe Oto musicians who included violinist Billy Steiger and double bassist Tom Wheatley. They, along with Dirty Three drummer Jim White, backed Blumberg on Minus, his first music released under his own name. Capturing his anguish over the end of a long-term relationship as well as his battle with mental illness, the album arrived in May 2018 via Mute Records. Later in the year, the label issued Liv, a previously unreleased Hebronix album recorded in 2014 which featured Steiger and Wheatley as well as synth playing by Kohhei Matsuda. Originally issued in a limited edition at the end of 2018, Liv was given a full release in March 2019. ~ Heather Phares