Braintrust of Fiends and Werewolves brings together two prolific, innovative and experimental guitarists – the Buenos Aires-based Alan Courtis, of Reynols fame and known for his guitar duos with Kawabata Makoto and Tetuzi Akiyama or the duos with deep listening pioneer Pauline Oliveros and Norwegian noise wizard Lasse Marhaug, and American, Brooklyn-based David Grubbs, of the post-rock Gastr del Sol fame, and known for his duos with like-minded artists like Ryley Walker, Manuel Mota, and Jan St. Werner. The album was recorded at Deep Dive in Brooklyn in November 2022.
Courtis and Grubbs did share a bill before, and, as Grubbs puts it, listened to one another’s work forever, but never had the opportunity to pick up instruments and go at it. Courtis came to the recording session with a junior-sized Squier Strat and after laying down hours of recordings, he and Grubbs picked up six free improvised pieces, each one with a different, quite hypnotic vibe and immediate and organic dynamics that weave naturally their distinct palettes of sounds.
The opening piece «Hinterhalt» plays with repetitive, noisy and monolithic riffs on electric guitars; the title piece sketches a gentle, spontaneous folk melody related to a traditional Argentinian song; «Room Tone of One’s Own» offers a wide open, breezy and lyrical scenery with acoustic guitars; «Song Of A Fence Grown Through A Tree» builds a mysterious, distorted but hypnotic drone; the minimalist «Varsovia y Esparta» (Warsaw and Sparta) is a beautiful, emotional ballad that plays with resonant, sounds; and the last, epic, 16-minute «Airborne Particles of the California Central Valley» allows Courtis and Grubbs to stretch and experiment with fragmented rhythmic patterns and fleeting melodies, weaved into an enigmatic texture that stresses the rich sonic imagination of Courtis and Grubbs.
Alan Courtis (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), David Grubbs (electric guitar, acoustic guitar)