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"Rome wasn't built in a day, but several Wet Shoelaces CDs were..."  - Confucius





Wetshoelaces.com is the home page for the Umbref Collective, a loose-knit association of experimental-minded musicians and artists based in and around the Albany, NY area.


Wet Shoelaces is also the name of the oldest and most prolific sub-group of the Umbref Collective.  Its existence (and, consequently, this website) predates the larger Umbref Collective, which is why the website is called wetshoelaces.com, and not umbref.com or something.  We suppose we could do some kind of “re-direct”, but as you can see from the décor here, we're not exactly computer gurus.


The primary purpose of the Umbref Collective is to give members an opportunity to explore unconventional sounds, techniques, and concepts, which might lie outside the boundaries of their usual playing opportunities.  It's a mad scientists' lab, where the most radical experiments we can dream up are pursued to their mind-bending conclusions; conclusions that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, sometimes otherworldly, and yes, sometimes self-indulgent too.


The Umbref Collective is essentially two core subgroups named Wet Shoelaces and DLF, along with many satellite players.


Wet Shoelaces' core membership consists of Allen Bailey and Steve Gregory, each in various roles.  The core DLF trio also has Steve Gregory (primarily playing bass), along with Jeff “Bear” Bengston on guitar, synth, and sax, and Steve Zone on drums, percussion, and studio manipulations.


There had been many instances in the early years where the line had gotten pretty blurry between the two groups.  It may be fair to say that the Umbref Collective even precedes DLF, and was actually born during the sessions for the second Wet Shoelaces album The Name of Number Four (especially the track “Elevator Shoes”, which brings all four primary participants together for the first time in history) Eventually there were two full albums put out under the unwieldy band name Wet Shoelaces Meets The DLF.  Consequently, an “umbrella name” was needed, and The Umbref Collective was finally given a proper name.


That name derives from a long-running tradition.  Although all of this music can be simply downloaded freely from this site, small runs of CD-Rs are sometimes made and given away to those interested (mostly friends).  These CDs often make cheeky reference to “Umbref Records”.  It should be clarified that Umbref Records is not a label in any legal sense.  It is not a business.  Even the film scores were done in the spirit of “collaborative art” (read: for free).  Download as much of this music as you like, and do with it as thou wilt.  We only ask that if you re-purpose it in some creative fashion, we receive credit, and if by some anomaly in the space-time continuum you make a significant profit off of it, you kindly share what's fair.



*other Umbref participants past and present include E Aubrey Andrews, Astara, Lucas Bailey, Randy “Bear” Bradley, Sean Byrne, Keith Carpenter, John Drabek, Poohzen Dragonbear, Firewolfe, Flame, Chris Flynn, Funkmaster J, Marc Guthan, Breanne Harvey, Clarke Hingeford, Chris Jordan, Danu “Patches” Kelly, Karl Kelly, Mark “Lieutenant” Klein, Niki Lee, Tina Mayo, DJ Mindtrip, JP Scrawler, Kreg Thornley, and probably some others we've forgotten.