New York experimentalists GRIDFAILURE and MEGALOPHOBE will release their third collaborative album, Harbinger Winds, through Nefarious Industries next week, today issuing its third single, a video premiere for “Alterations Of Symbiosis,” which sees its debut through a piece at Nine Circles.
GRIDFAILURE’s David Brenner and MEGALOPHOBE’s Benjamin Levitt created Harbinger Winds over a five-year span, delivering a wide array of vocals, guitars and basses, keys, synth, drums/percussion, accordion, theremin, cello, harmonica, electronics, tape manipulation, nature recordings, and more. The visuals were created by Brenner with additional material from Levitt, and the album was mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering (Kool Keith, Lost Dog Street Band, Thetan).
Harbinger Winds also features wide array of guest contributors helping shape its post/avant lo-fi jazz direction, including platinum session musician/performer Mac Gollehon (Duran Duran, Chaka Khan, Buddy Rich, David Bowie, Blondie, Onyx), Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Ionophore), Sally Gates (Titan To Tachyons, ex-Orbweaver), Christian Molenaar (Those Darn Gnomes), Morgan Evans (Walking Bombs), Matt Bacon, Rosa Henriquez, Rob Levitt, and Denise Fillion. The fourteen-minute closing title track sees all nine guest collaborators converging with Brenner and Levitt.
With “Alterations Of Symbiosis,” Brenner reveals, “We consider this to be one of the defining songs of the album. The base recording was captured in a cozy but precarious live improv jam with Rosa Henriquez on clarinet, while Ben played his accordion through a chorus-driven pedal arrangement, and I torqued a light-sensor-activated Frankenstein theremin and pedalboard setup. Attempting to balance the delicate nature of recording Rosa’s woodwind through a condenser mic in the same cramped half-room where otherworldly effects were playing through monitors required restraint. Ben and I were blown away by Rosa’s gorgeous clarinet performance and we instantly had a vision of what we wanted to do with this record. Subsequently, Ben and I added bass, primary vocals, and nature recordings, Denise Fillion sent some incredibly well-placed piano tension, and Leila Abdul-Rauf provided some lovely background vocal aura.”
Levitt adds, “This recording inspired a lot of what we did for the rest of the record. Rosa’s oneiric clarinet floating over the accordion with Dave’s damaged electronics like an anchor to something buried deep. We kept my spoken word track just out of reach, the way a dream disappears as soon as you try to remember it, playing off the nightmare Dave invokes. Just like with so many of the contributions we got for the album, the parts Leila and Denise did fit so perfectly, it was like they were always there.”
Nine Circles writes, “As their previous collaborations have been extraordinarily avantgarde in nature, this one ups the ante in every possible way… Gridfailure and Megalophobe defy easy categorization with their cinematic approach to harsh noise, avant-jazz, and psychedelic dark ambiance. That much has previously been well established. However, the choice here to focus on the psychedelic cinematic side was an excellent one. The slow build of tones and moods collide with jarring imagery that wouldn’t be out of place in the fantastic Nic Cage film Mandy. In case you missed it, that’s a compliment and fits this horrific ride of neon soaked sights and terrifying instrumentation. The duo’s visual presentations have always been striking, to say the least, and here is no exception. It’s a ride though a hellish landscape of visuals coupled with a soundtrack that is extremely heavy in mood and atmosphere that lends itself perfectly to complete immersion, which after all, is the point.”
Watch GRIDFAILURE & MEGALOPHOBE’s “Alterations Of Symbiosis” video first through Nine Circles RIGHT HERE.
Harbinger Winds will see release next Friday, September 9th through all digital providers, and a limited run of hand-numbered cassettes which includes a printed lyric sheet. Find preorder/merch options at Nefarious Industries where videos for “Burn Pits” and the title track are playing HERE.
Watch for additional videos from Harbinger Winds to be issued over the weeks ahead.
GRIDFAILURE has announced its first show since March of 2020, days before NYC lockdowns were put into place, confirming a gig with Darsombra in Brooklyn on September 7th. Watch for additional live news to post shortly.
9/07/2022 Mama Tried – Brooklyn, NY w/ Darsombra, Breeeze
Shortly after both acts formed in 2016, GRIDFAILURE’s David Brenner and MEGALOPHOBE’s Benjamin Levitt began recording together and became incredibly close-knit, contributing to each other’s albums, Levitt being a live member of GRIDFAILURE, Brenner creating videos for MEGALOPHOBE, and so on, and they issued their first collaborative album, Dendritic, in April of 2017. By the time Dendritic saw release, they had already amassed additional material, and ideas began flowing, expanding upon some of the more ambient and jazz elements of Dendritic. The Harbinger Winds concept was born, and additional sessions immediately took place, yet, during the process, some of the material became more volatile and spastic, than the concept they’d envisioned: Harbinger Winds was put on hold and the two created the schizophrenic Tasukete, releasing the album through Nefarious Industries in October of 2018. Returning to the Harbinger Winds material, the album was finally completed in February of 2022, concluding nearly five years of work.