Ui was formed in 1990 by Sasha Frere-Jones and Clem Waldmann. For several years, the band rehearsed at David Linton’s space on Baxter Street in Chinatown, and Frere-Jones DJd the Haus of Ouch! shows there under the name Calvinist. In late 1992, Wilbo Wright joined and showed up with a truck full of instruments for the first session, conducted in spring of 1993 at Excello Recording. This began the long tradition of Ui using the Korg MS-20, Wright’s synth of choice. In the fall of 1993, The 2-Sided EP was issued on vinyl (only) by Hemiola. In 1994, Frere-Jones received a call from Douglas McCombs, bassist and member of Tortoise, who invited Ui to do some live dates, along with Labradford. Along the way, the band played in Chicago and met Danielle Soto and Cece Stelljes of Southern Records. Henry Bogdan of Helmet had passed a cassette of the as-yet unreleased Sidelong to Stelljes, and the band ended up signing with Southern. Over the next few years, Ui played at The Cooler and The Spiral and McGoverns and Brownies and many other clubs that have disappeared. (The band’s first show, in 1991, was at the Pyramid Club on Avenue A, which still exists.) In 1996, Ui received a call from Stereolab, and joined them on a tour of America. The following year, Ui invited Stereolab to cover Brian Eno’s “St. Elmo’s Fire,” and they recorded together at Southern Studios in London. Their version made it into The Pitchfork 500, a list of all the songs that are good. Ui made Lifelike in 1998 and all the other bands gave up, which was sad. Ui toured with US Maple and Trans Am, and recorded Answers, with added member Erik Sanko, in 2003. In 2010, Dan Friel joined the band to play the All Tomorrows Parties stage at Primavera Sound 2010.