|Branca, Glenn / Lesson No. 1|
|Add Date:||2004-06-28|| ||Pull Date:||2004-08-30|| |
|Week Ending:||22 Aug||15 Aug||8 Aug||1 Aug||25 Jul||18 Jul||11 Jul||4 Jul|
Originally released in 1980 on the famous 99 Records record label this was Branca’s first solo record after playing guitar for two No Wave bands, the Theoretical Girls and The Static. This was also the first record I ever heard that combined the repetitive minimalist ideas of Steve Reich with odd guitar tunings, dissonance and what I would later learn was indie rock. Branca has a lot in common with Rhys Chatham who were/are contemporaries in the NYC scene. Both were some of the first to write longer “rock” pieces for guitar orchestra. There are some some noisy, clanking type tracks but for the most part you get oddly tuned guitars playing repetitive chords creating some beautiful sounds. The bonus track is from 1982 and also has Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth and a couple other guitarists for a total of 5 guitars, bass and drums. |
**1. Beautiful repetitive dual guitars with some nice organ playing by Anthony Coleman (E Costello, Anita Baker, Blackalicious, ESharp, etc). The Buildup takes it’s time, guitars ring and the melody is wonderful.
2. Sounds improvised to begin but I doubt it is. Percussion is done partially on something other than a normal kit. Guitar is extremely discordant at the beginning with a single wonderful chord played over and over. Just when it builds up and you think they are going to let lose they come to a halt and start over. They build again and stop and start over again. They slow down slowly with about 4 minutes remaining then kick into some noisy percussion and guitar for the last 2 minutes and even have another short tense buildup.
***3. A longer piece which was done for a dance group and includes 5 guitarists! Surprisingly, this has a more obvious rock sound and prominent bass. Builds in intensity for the first 7 or so minutes then jumps into dreamy quiet guitars for a minute then continues on with the intertwined 5 guitars building. About 8 minutes in there is a angular, very no wave section that gets very discordant sounding. The track spends most of the last 5 minutes getting further away from rock. Lots of quiet parts and stop-start guitar.
Excellent stuff -mph