By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 07, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Friendships ebb and flow with time, but two new releases from members of Milwaukee indie-rockers Decibully give testament to the timeless bond between certain musical partners.

While the stories behind Ryan Weber's new project Eric And Magill, and Nick Sanborn's electronic trio Cedar AV differ, there is a symmetry in their tales of friends and musical collaborators separated by time and distance who reconnected through music.

Eric and Magill, is a new project comprised of Ryan Weber, Eric Osterman and Brian Zimmerman; three-fourths of long-defunct Milwaukee indie rock outfit Camden. The recordings on their tremendous debut record "All Those I Know" mark the friends first musical collaboration in the decade since the bands acrimonious breakup.

Camden came to a sudden and unexpected end when Osterman decided to move to Ann Arbor, Mich. To be with the woman he would later marry. Under the circumstances and on the heals of a successful tour with The Promise Ring, Weber and the rest of the band were not pleased about his sudden exit.

"We pretty much had a week to adjust, so we weren't stoked," said Weber, who went on to form Decibully with Camden band mate BJ Seidel.

But as time went on, hard feelings vanished and Weber and Osterman began collaborating over the internet sending bits and pieces of songs back and forth through email.

"We reconnected inevitably...I think technology just made it easier for us," said Weber.

The result of their musical reunion are 10 songs of textured indie-folk that draw comparisons to the lush orchestration of bands like Midlake and Grizzly Bear.

And while the core of the songs are the work of Weber and Osterman, there are dozens of contributions from out-of-towners like members of American Football, Dirty Projectors, Headlights.

Songs like "Old Man Winter" and "Vegetable Gardeners" feature choruses swelling with vocal tracks emailed in by dozens of their friends and local music luminaries.

"To be honest I really like mixing bands," said Weber, "It doesn't really matter how they sound to me because I feel like I can manipulate it so much that it's just like whatever. Do it, and I will make it sound like I want."

Sanborn, Weber's partner in Decibully, and his electronic collaboration with longtime friends Erik Schoster and Nathaniel Zabriskie also suffered under the strain of time and distance.

"We played on WMSE to promote a show we were playing in 2006 and in that interview we were like 'Yeah our record is almost done,' and right after that Erik left," Sanborn said, recalling Schoster's sudden departure.

After several years spent globe trotting, Schoster returned to Milwaukee in May, spending several weeks on Sanborn's couch before the the friends headed into the basement to practice again, finishing off songs left idle for years.

"That's the weird thing about it. It was like the back burner of the back burner project," said Sanborn,"It's weird to listen too, because when he came back we started working on stuff again because why not. But on some of them I can pick out guitar takes that I did in like 2004."

The fittingly titled six-song digital e.p. "At Long Last" harkens back to poppy electronic indie acts like Postal Service and Album Leaf that flourished in the early aughts.

While the band has mutated into more of a droning improvisational live act these days, Sanborn said it was cathartic for the friends to put those old songs to rest.

"We realized we were really close to being done with it. So we recorded some new songs and remixed all the old ones and just put it down," said Sanborn, "So now we can rehearse live stuff and write new songs and not feel bad to have these songs sitting around."

Both records are temporarily available  at their respective websites as free downloads, with "All Those I Know" soon turning to a pay what you want download.