Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sandy Ewen / Weasel Walter "Idiomatic" CD

"Almost 80 minutes of jarring, surreal, raw improvised music by the duo of Sandy Ewen (guitar) and Weasel Walter (drums/live electronics) captured on this clear, powerful studio recording. The recording session was 3 hours long from set-up to tear-down and the music was mixed in several hours during the following day. There is no production per se on this cd - what you hear is a very indication of the sounds and dynamics the players created in real time.  Each musician speaks a distinctively deconstructed language on their respective instrument and their interaction is often surprising, always relentless and subtly alien. Sandy Ewen's approach eschews the obligatory mounds of effects pedals (save one for panning) many guitarists use, instead concentrating on direct physicality, extended techniques and non-standard approaches using various simple preparations made with ordinary objects. Weasel Walter's articulate, fleet drumming aims to constantly disrupt continuity, creating chaotic scaffolds of focused illogic, and his use of simple live electronic processing blurs the roles within the soundscape. This is fast-paced musical Modernism in action by two unique voices in modern improvisation."

Sandy Ewen:

"When I began playing improvised music, I immediately started experimenting with objects on my guitar. In the context of group improvisation, my rudimentary rock guitar skills lagged in speed & timbral responsiveness. My growing collection of magnets, bolts, rods & chalk stretched out my sonic palate and allowed me to respond to the music instantaneously. Over the last 15 years, I’ve been developing these techniques, exploring nuances in objects and actions. I feel this path is somewhat unique for a guitar player. A more traditional path would have explored guitar pedals and computer processing, or would have worked to develop traditional fretting/strumming/fingerpicking approaches. My playing is also quite different from table-top prepared guitar. The physical distance with that approach creates music that is cleaner and more clinical. With the guitar on my lap, my music and my body are physically linked. My muscles strain, my body shakes, my arms mute or brush the strings - I am connected. My only pedal pans my sound between two amps. A very simple interface between my mind, body, sound & space. Weasel Walter is similarly committed to immediacy and directness. Our duo lives millisecond by millisecond; either of us are capable of a changing direction instantaneously. Our low-tech setup encourages quick responses and clarity. The music is always active & present."

Weasel Walter:

"Free improvisation potentially allows the most abstract musical relationships possible to flourish, especially when strong, distinctive languages intersect. I believe that Sandy Ewen and I have a very coherent sonic partnership, due to the fact that we share some specific ideals. Like Sandy, I am interested in obtaining the widest timbral possibilities with the simplest tools. I try to extend the possibilities of the drum set with extended techniques and preparations and I am interested in the widest range of possibilities with the LEAST amount of equipment. I don’t claim to be doing anything new in this regard, but what I hope I offer is a very well thought out and consistent approach to abstract modernism on my instrument. For a some time, I have used a primitive electronic setup to broaden my palette. In a nutshell it consists of a crappy microphone, volume pedal, a couple of cheap delays, preamplification and a small digital synth that only has a handful of crude presets which I find acceptable. The system is raw, specific and limited, insuring that the ideas come from ME, not the gizmos. I don’t want to get lost in pedals and loops and bullshit like that. I don’t want what I do to depend on overly specific or expensive items. As with pretty much everything else in my life, I don’t want endless possibilities - I want to know my tools and control them with clarity and confidence. My imagination is the main instrument, and my setup is merely a tool kit to express it. Sandy’s stripped down approach mirrors this perfectly.  Playing with Sandy allows complete counterpoint, to the point of hilarious obtuseness. She isn’t terribly interested in tired tropes like imitation, so I know that any decision I make will be allowed to exist in a more sophisticated paradigm than is common with many other players. There’s no need at this point in history to prove the obviousness of our “listening to each other” to anybody. There’s no need to make any gestures in our music to prove we can “play our instruments” in any way other than exactly the way we want. Our ability to generate longer arcs and forms comes from our mutual love of contrast and surprise. There is a blatant bloody-mindedness to it. We are loud and vicious, but it comes out of a sensitivity and a need for a highly cultivated, alternative sort of communication which is less common. We offer a friendly “forget it” to the obvious. When it comes down to it, we both just do what we like, and we really like this music we make together. It does exactly what we want to do with it."



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Weasel Walter "A Pound Of Flesh" 4 CD box set (or download) out now!

"A Pound Of Flesh" is a tour de force solo offering by musical polymath Weasel Walter. Known for his wide ranging work with ensembles like The Flying Luttenbachers, Cellular Chaos, XBXRX, Behold The Arctopus, and Lydia Lunch Retrovirus, as well as his prolific career as an improviser, producer, and composer, Walter reveals almost 5 hours of long, abstract forms in this monolithic set. Ranging from detailed electro-acoustic music to athletic solo drumming, skronkily deconstructed power trio improvisations to minimalistic horrorscapes, harsh noise walls to solo guitar deconstructions, "A Pound Of Flesh" is a manifesto of internal coherence and brutal aesthetics. This box contains 4 CDs as well as a full color 12 page booklet discussing the compositions. The numbered/signed edition is limited to 100 copies only.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

First Flying Luttenbachers shows in 10 years in France March 2017

 The Flying Luttenbachers is a seminal band which originally existed between 1991 and 2007 and ran a renegade stylistic gamut from hardcore Free Jazz improvisation to rigorous Modernist composition, uniting many threads of outsider aesthetics under the dictatorship of composer and instrumentalist Weasel Walter. Alumni of the group include experimental rock heavies like Ed Rodriguez (Deerhoof), Mick Barr (Krallice), Jonathan Hischke (Les Butcherettes, Hella) and Alex Perkolup (Cheer-Accident), as well as noted improvisers Fred Lonberg Holm, Jeb Bishop, Hal Russell, and Ken Vandermark. Over the course of 16 official releases, The Flying Luttenbachers stood for everything bracing and cathartic in modern music before the project ended.

March 2017 marks the first Flying Luttenbachers performances in more than a decade. The new New York City-based trio, featuring Weasel Walter (drums), Tim Dahl (bass guitar) and Chris Welcome (guitar), will focus on new interpretations of classic material, keeping the thread of the project while expanding the sonic possibilities into the present.…/artistes/the-flying-luttenbac…

Friday, November 25, 2016

Yet Another Brand New Weasel Walter Solo Release - On Cassette!

I have some copies of my most recent solo cassette, "Expensive Taste", for those of you outside of the US who asked about it.

USA folks can order direct from the label at KITTY PLAY

This release features 6 tracks of deconstructed skronk. It's a bit much. I recommend it. I wouldn't have released it otherwise.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

New Weasel Walter solo release on Tombed Visions

"Having commissioned Weasel Walter for a release for Tombed Visions, I wasn’t disappointed when he sent me back the riotous, unrelenting and rhythmically audacious ‘The Inevitable’. What simply astonished me, was that this was a solo a recording. Exactly. I literally had to triple check this fact with him. This a not the sound of a well-oiled, well giged and near telepathic trio, but the sound of one man playing with the ferocity and inventiveness of 20. A man that has such a complete vision of his own language that he literally able to perform, improvise and summon the sound of band that have been playing together for decades all on markedly different instruments, clawing out the most extreme sonics from Double Bass, Drums and Guitar. And that’s because Weasel has been doing exactly this for decades. Both sides rush by like an express train to pain. Even in the moments when the drum grooves become stuttered and shards of space are cleft in the sound, the double bass carving out deep, coagulated earthen rumbles, these pockets of seeming rest are permeated by a kind of amphetamine rush, waiting to kick back in and turn you synapses into cinder. And there is so much groove in this record. Weasel’s skin shearing, acidic surf guitar is perhaps the guiding force of the record, spraying the battle locked drum and bass with sheets of sounds that’ll sting your eyes with the amount of sweat they’ve been produced with. Although seemingly unremitting and sustained in its sonic attack, the aptly titled ‘The Inevitable’ has so much worthy of revision in it. Of course, it’s a by the throat record, but repeated listens, when you focus the individual patterns, licks, contrapuntal elements involved in the maelstrom your ears are bleeding from, there is a real mastery to be detected. So much detail is in the ferocity, which makes it all the more alarming. This is a beating administered by someone who knows exactly what they are doing. And you should just accept and submit to it." - Tombed Visions press blurb

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weasel Walter "Curses" released today on CD/digital formats

My new album, "Curses", is released today. It is a 79 minute long, 99 track program in four long movements. "Curses" is technically a work of electro-acoustic music involving percussion and electronics. It is probably somewhat unlike anything else people would associate me with. It is detailed work focused on timbre and structure. The program can be played either in sequence or in shuffle mode. It should be played at a fairly loud volume.

links to the digital and CD versions are below.