New York based solo/collaborator projects GRIDFAILURE and MEGALOPHOBE unveil their third collaborative album together, Harbinger Winds. Confirming the jazz-influenced record for early September release through Nefarious Industries, the label has issued the album’s artwork, track listing, guest contributors, preorders, and a video for the massive title track.
Culminating nearly five years of unpredictable progression, regression, erosion, and transformation, Harbinger Winds was finally completed in February of 2022, a wide array of guest contributors helping shape this album’s post/avant lo-fi jazz direction. Engineered, recorded, and mixed by GRIDFAILURE’s David Brenner at The Compound in Rockland County and MEGALOPHOBE’s Benjamin Levitt at Forked Audio in Brooklyn, the two contribute a wide array of vocals, guitars and basses, keys and synth, drums and percussion, accordion, theremin, cello, harmonica, and more, electronics/effects, tape manipulation, nature recordings, and more.
Joining Brenner and Levitt on the album are platinum session musician/performer Mac Gollehon (Duran Duran, Chaka Khan, Buddy Rich, David Bowie, Blondie, Onyx, more), 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 cover art, photography, and videos for Harbinger Winds were created by Brenner, with additional photos and video by Levitt, the album then mastered by Dan Emery at Black Matter Mastering (Kool Keith, Lost Dog Street Band, Thetan).
Levitt writes, “This one was a long, long time in the making. We gathered up the original recordings and gathered them together because we heard something like a coherent record in there somewhere. Some years, and a whole other collaborative record later, we finally went back and listened to what we had. We stripped everything down and, for me at least, that was when the sound and the vibe of Harbinger Winds really emerged. Everything we added after that point — instruments, field recordings, vocals, all of it — was all chasing that vibe. Moody, sexy, dark with some shards of light piercing through. Then to have so many friends and collaborators add their sounds elevated the whole thing. We are so lucky to have these amazing musicians listen to these strange tracks and know just what they needed to do. We’re stoked to have them on the record and are incredibly excited to finally, after all this time, put this out into the world and have everyone else hear it.”
The fourteen-plus-minute title track closes Harbinger Winds with a massive amalgamation of sounds where all nine outside collaborators who appear on the album converge, the song presented to the masses through an intense, psychedelic video.
Watch GRIDFAILURE & MEGALOPHOBE’s “Harbinger Winds” video and find other streaming options for the single RIGHT HERE.
Harbinger Winds will see release September 9th through all digital providers and as a limited Opaque Red cassette. Find preorder/merch options at Nefarious Industries HERE.
Harbinger Winds Track Listing:
1. Tuning For The Inevitable
2. Alterations Of Symbiosis
3. A Cadaveresque Breeze
5. Something Foul
7. I Have Friends Up There Redux
8. This Dirge Requires A Murder
9. Burn Pits
10. Harbinger Winds
Watch for additional videos from Harbinger Winds to be issued over the weeks ahead.
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.
Then returning to the Harbinger Winds concept, Brenner and Levitt expanded upon their initial perception of a jazz-influenced album, stripping the initial sessions back down to their core, and focusing on the duality of the “winds” concept by infusing brass and woodwind instruments, as well as actual recordings of wind, storms, fire, and other gusting outdoor field recordings. Two sessions from 2017 would define the entire direction of Harbinger Winds; a live improv jam with Rosa Henriquez on clarinet bore “Alterations Of Symbiosis” and other segments of the album, and a gathering with world renowned trumpeter Mac Gollehon which became “This Dirge Requires A Murder.” Further sessions at The Compound with Gollehon on other instruments as well as guitars from Levitt’s brother Rob Levitt were conducted. Additionally, the two recruited a sect of friends from across the country, including vocals and trumpet from Leila Abdul-Rauf, trombone from Morgan Evans, guitars from Sally Gates and Matt Bacon, organ from Christian Molenaar, and piano from Denise Fillion. With these elements scattered throughout the album’s ten expansive tracks, the closing title track sees all nine outside collaborators joining Brenner and Levitt in a colossal finale.