If rock history has taught us anything, it’s that a great (and unexpected) collaboration will send fans reeling and ultimately yield big dividends in the world of music lore. Take the pairing of Gridfailure and Megalophobe, the project spawned from the friendship of David Brenner (the former) and Benjamin Levitt (the latter).
The pairing returns for its second collaborative effort, Tasukete, which arrives on 5 October via the Nefarious Industries banner. Tracked in several sessions between 2017 and 2018, the album was created, top-to-bottom by Brenner at the Compound in Rockland County, New York, while Levitt worked at Forked Audio in Brooklyn. The friends ultimately emerged with eight tracks that span between two and nine minutes in length and employ a variety of music-making devices, including guitars (electric and acoustic), bass, drums, synthesizers, accordion, and harmonica and a range of vocal styles.
Brenner and Levitt employed the latter’s brother Rob for several numbers while the artwork was handled by Brenner and Paul Tierman.
“Tasukete”, the song itself is a noisy nightmare, a soundscape to the struggle of the soul in the contemporary urban climate, the sound of late capitalism trapped in a spit bubble and a discarded piece of chewing gum on a subway platform. It all comes together there, in the moments before we are hurled into a long tunnel. In the end, there is a light. It either carries us into the fires of our eternal tormentor or into the arms of a benevolent being who will coddle our baby souls with the sounds of Neurosis and King Diamond for the entirety of our afterlife.
This isn’t music as much as it is Cinema Verite as imagined by two auteurs who’ve been raised on a steady diet of Wolf Eyes and the sounds of Hell’s Kitchen in the early 1980s.
Levitt illuminated the track’s density and propensity for stirring emotions and the imagination, saying, “On the song ‘Tasukete’, we pour layers of processed field recordings and mistreated electronics into a tense four minutes and 20 seconds of madness. The lyrics, a twisted cry for help referencing the translation of the title (Japanese for ‘help me’), are delivered by both of us, our vocals bent and battered into near oblivion. We felt that as the title track, it should represent the eclectic character of the rest of the album and it manages to do that while, fittingly, it resembles none of the rest of it. As the industrial rhythm materializes and then melts down and oozes into the track’s end, it reveals itself as the perfect song to accompany a total breakdown; play it at work and see for yourself.”
Nefarious Industries will release Tasukete on all digital platforms and via limited-run eco-wallet CD on 5 October. The collection may be ordered at the label’s webshop, at Gridfailure’s Bandcamp page (where you can also stream the single “Agoraphobic Claustrophobia” with preorders) or here.
9/22/2018 house show – Warwick, NY w/ Tatiana Heuman, Bangladeafy
10/27/2018 Huggy Bear Manor – Philadelphia, PA