having apparently been a part of the NY no wave scene at some point (he also played as part of Rhys Chatham‘s ensemble for five years or so), Bill Brovold brought his sensibilities to Detroit in the mid-90s and started Larval with fellow guitarists Erik Gustafson and Beth Wilusz. although the line-up shifted over the years, this eponymous debut on Avant Records shows signs of the no wave past along with an eye toward the future of more symphonic, so-called-“post” rock bands to follow. thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly accessible.
get it here
bit of a “phone-it-in” day with this one… we all know who he is and what else he’s done… yes this was part of the Avant catalog… “cheap-pitch-shifters, talkboxes and twiddling; oh my!”
a 1996 Avant outing from this well-known merchant of grind (O.L.D.), doom (Khanate) and outright insanity (Phantomsmasher) finds him on “calmer” terms in comparison to much of his other work. guest vocals from Ruth Collins and production assistance from Mick Harris (whose own Scorn would be an apt point of comparison for this) seem to assist him in combining elements of dub and ambient with some of the prog tendencies that also came through in his Flux projects for Relapse in the 90s, which I recall sounding somewhat similar to this. not much else to say really, except that if you’re not familiar with his work by now, it might be time to get busy.
may as well start here
having been part of the SST stable during the 80s, this group made their final and most accomplished outing on Avant in the early 90s. I think they’re well enough known to preclude much of a preamble on my part… their dub elements play a larger part here and the intricate, Stravinsky-influenced chord progressions in their heavier moments can perhaps be interpreted as a precursor to/influence on the likes of Iceburn. great album.
get it here
probably another case of “no introduction needed”. this album, the group’s only output for the Avant label, has seen some criticism from their fans for sounding too “polished” and not as raw in the production department compared to most of their other releases. musically as well, it shows a lot more restraint than some of their later material. regardless of all that, I still personally enjoy it and can see how it might serve as a sort of “bridge” to their more “difficult” output for the uninitiated. at any rate,
released almost 15 years ago now and having actually occurred another 11 before that, this disc was one of Avant’s first outings and was probably, for a good while there, the longest playing release one could find from this band. of course, that honor now belongs to the far more thorough DNA on DNA collection released by No More records in 2004, which is superior to this document in a number of ways… in light of that fact, this particular album now exists as much as a document of the label that released as it does of the band itself. but regardless,
ps – thanks to Scott for this as well as many of the other Avant releases I had missed, which should keep us busy here for a while to come.
a short outing on Avant here by this Canadian Plunderer, showcasing a slightly more sophisticated/experienced technique than his more (in)famous release. I really feel that Oswald needs no introduction at this point, but if you’re unfamiliar and google doesn’t help, feel free to ask.
or, you can just hear his work for yourself
taking a short break from the Avant releases today to bring you a gem I had obtained a while back from yet another recently-downed blog… it seems like ages ago now that I posted the younger Brötzmann’s Koksofen release, but this one stands right up there with it. fans of early Swans material know that they laid the ground for a lot of musical evolution that followed them, from the slow industrial-grind of Godflesh to the hate-filled sludge of Eyehategod and their countless imitators. but picture the Swans‘ sound during the height of their mid-80s nihilism and bombast, then put that in the hands of free-jazz progeny and you get what we have here.
anyway, forget my pointless babbling and listen to this album already…