Unease gets turned to sound on the new album Uninvited Savior, which is the first 2020 drop from the label Nefarious Industries and features the collaboration of David Brenner and Christian Molenaar. Get an exclusive first listen below!
Brenner normally performs under the moniker of Gridfailure, while Molenaar is a part of the avant-garde group Those Darn Gnomes. Here, they found three lengthy tracks on a bed of perfectly nauseating, droning tones upon which they build jagged edges of sonic twists like strangely melodic guitar strums that by themselves might actually make for a catchy tune. Here, they’re mangled into what feels like the disorienting soundtrack that might be playing in the waiting room outside an executioner’s chamber. The tracks easily feel that intensely foreboding.
The duo hide a startling array of textures in their latest sound constructions. Brenner shares that this includes vocals, electric/acoustic/bass/pedal steel guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, organs, xylophone, harmonica, 1970s cult field recordings, resynthesis, tape manipulation, contact mic, and power electronics effects.
Check out the piece below! (It officially drops January 31.) Find pre-orders at this link, and read on for an explanation from those behind the album.
Brenner explains the following about the development process:
“Having provided a plethora of wide-ranging contributions to Gridfailure titles over the past few years, Christian and I were discussing a full-on collaboration between Those Darn Gnomes and Gridfailure. As we traded a few tracks, these droning passages felt removed from the collaboration we’d discussed; more ethereal, amorphous. We decided to back-burner the previous idea and began finalizing these tracks for a new piece. It had a spiritual, churchlike atmosphere, and each track grew longer than the prior track. I layered/mixed several tracks of instrumentation for each song on my end in New York, shipping everything out to Christian in California who handled the main mix. I created the cover art from photographs I took and manipulated, and filmed/edited video accompaniments for the songs.”
And Molenaar adds:
“Dave and I have worked on a lot of material together before, with him mixing my contributions into several Gridfailure records. This record started in much the same way, with my organ solo on “Burial Delirium” initially planned to be part of another track with several other collaborators before Dave decided it should stand on its own. He picked up on a certain funereal, liturgical vibe in my playing which we decided would form the basis for the entire project. He dubbed in layers of noise over which I recorded a pedal steel guitar solo.
“Transfixed” was primarily a Brenner-led creation; he laid the basic themes on which I supplied variations. I performed some granular resynthesis of his tracks and overlaid a heavily processed sample of a decree from the 70s cult the Church Universal and Triumphant.
“Hallelujah (27 Years)” began as a recording of Pope John Paul II reading the Rosary played through my Library of Congress tape deck. These machines are designed to play recorded written materials for the blind on tapes recorded at double speed, so when I played the rosary tape it was slowed to a crawl. I ran this through a variety of pedals and effects and came up with a dark audio collage onto which Dave recorded even more instrumentation and we had our album’s largest piece already in place. I still felt it was missing something, so I added in an extra sample of an exorcism by the revivalist A.A. Allen, which gave the piece a vital narrative arc.
This album is an undeniably gargantuan piece of work and I know most people aren’t going to bother listening to the whole thing, but I think there’s a depth and weight to it that can prove deeply affecting if you’re ready to just let it wash over you for 80 minutes.”