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GLENN BRANCA

LESSON NO: 1

SUPERIOR VIADUCT


Format: 2x12"
Cata No: SV039
Barcode: 857176003393
After cutting his teeth in the late ’70s no wave scene with
bands Theoretical Girls and The Static, Glenn Branca
made his first solo statement, Lesson No. 1, in 1980. The
inaugural release on legendary post-punk / dance label 99
Records, Lesson No. 1 unveiled Branca’s visionary guitar
concepts with two monstrous, side-long compositions that
helped forge NYC’s downtown art-punk sound and acted as
a massive influence on countless young groups, including
Sonic Youth and Swans.
The title track is easily Branca’s most accessible moment;
its driving beat and interlocking patterns resemble German
pioneers Neu! playing Phillip Glass. Never before (or
since) has minimalism sounded so euphoric. “Dissonance”
is the A-side’s polar opposite. Dark, skittish and unhinged,
Branca leads his band (guitar, keyboard, bass, drums and
sledgehammer) through block after block of industrial
terror, leaving listeners drained in the process.
Soon after the release of Lesson No. 1, Branca began to
work on ambitious, long-form symphonies. “Bad Smells,”
included here as a single-sided bonus 12-inch, was commissioned
in 1982 as a dance piece for choreographer Twyler
Tharp and originally released on a split LP with John
Giorno. Featuring Sonic Youth guitarists Lee Ranaldo and
Thurston Moore, “Bad Smells” is a thrilling multi-section
guitar assault that foretells much of Branca, Ranaldo and
Moore’s work for the next decade.

Tracks:

1. Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar
2. Dissonance
3. Bad Smells

Press:

 

Audio & Video:

N/A

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