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Corsano, Chris / Bill Orcutt: Brace Up! [VINYL] (Palilalia)

The first studio release after a series of live albums, the duo of Chris Corsano (drums) and Bill Orcutt (guitar), are heard recording in Brussells for 12 fierce, technically excellent, and powerfully fervent instrumentals as the two change up direction and intensity in a wealth of creative impulses played with exuberant enthusiasm on a wild ride.

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product information:

UPC: 843563106884

Label: Palilalia
Catalog ID: PAL 053LP
Squidco Product Code: 26438

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Les Ateliers Claus, in Brussels, Belgium, on Match 19th and 20th, 2018, by Christophe Albertijn.


Chris Corsano-drums

Bill Orcutt-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"First spellbound by freely improvised music in the mid-1990s after witnessing performances by TEST, William Parker, Cecil Taylor, and others, Chris Corsano began a long-standing, high-energy partnership with Paul Flaherty in 1998. A move from western Massachusetts to the UK in 2005 led Corsano to develop an expanded solo music of his own, incorporating sax reeds, violin strings and bows, pot lids, and other everyday household items into his drum kit. In February 2006 he released his first solo recording, The Young Cricketer, and toured extensively throughout Europe, USA, and Japan. He spent 2007 and '08 as the drummer on Björk's Volta world tour, all the while weaving in shows and recordings on his days off with the likes of Evan Parker, Virginia Genta, and C. Spencer Yeh. Moving back to the U.S. in 2009, Corsano returned focus to his own projects, most notably a duo with Michael Flower, Rangda (with Sir Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny) and solo work, now revamped to include synthesizers and contact microphones in addition to his drum set and home-made acoustic instruments.

In addition to the those mentioned above, he's also worked with, among others: John Edwards (released by: Clean Feed/Dancing Wayang), Jim O'Rourke & Akira Sakata (Drag City/Family Vineyard), Paul Dunmall (ESP-Disk), Nels Cline (Strange Attractors), Jessica Rylan (Load Records), Jandek (Corwood), Sunburned Hand Of Man (Manhand), MV&EE (Eclipse/Time-Lag), Vampire Belt (Open Mouth), Joe McPhee (Roaratorio), and Wally Shoup (Leo/Columbia Japan)."

-Chris Corsano Website (

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"Bill Orcutt (born February 2, 1962) is an American guitarist and composer whose work combines elements of blues, punk, and free improvisation. Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters in The Last Waltz, Orcutt began playing the guitar as a teenager in Miami. In 1992, he formed the band Harry Pussy with his wife, Cuban/American drummer and vocalist Adris Hoyos. The group recorded three LPs and toured the US frequently, often in support of indie bands like Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. Their music, which drew from American no wave, hardcore punk and free jazz was influential and "served as a progenitor for the Noise movement." In 1997 the band dissolved and the couple divorced. Orcutt moved to San Francisco and took a long hiatus from music, returning in 2009, with an LP of solo guitar entitled A New Way To Pay Old Debts which was well received, ranking 3rd of 2009 in the The Wire magazine's annual "Rewind" list. His follow-up release How The Thing Sings was similarly praised, reaching number 3 on NPR's The Best Outer Sound Albums Of 2011. Since 2009, Orcutt has toured often appearing at festivals in the US and Europe, including Hopscotch, Incubate, Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Donau and Big Ears. Typically a solo performer, Orcutt has also recorded or performed with Loren Mazzacane Connors, Chris Corsano, Peter Brotzmann and Alan & Richard Bishop."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Brace Up! 1:26

2. Amp vs Drum 1:13

3. Double Bind 4:31

4. She Punched a Hole in the Moon For Me 5:35

5. Poundland Frenzy 0:49

6. Clapton's Complaint 0:35

7. Bargain Sounds 0:38

8. Paranoid Time 1:25

9. The Secret Engine of History 5:02

10. Love and Open Windows 5:43

11. He Do the Police in Different Voices 3:04

12. Paris Spleen 2:45
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Mosh pit, brawler, ceiling fan, mushroom cloud. These images, which could have graced the 7" of any number of forgotten 80's hardcore bands, promise chaos, confrontation, detonation, and make up the cover of percussionist Chris Corsano and guitarist Bill Orcutt's studio debut, Brace Up!. While, from the rapidly degenerating protopunk of "Paranoid Time" to the lurching threats of "Clapton's Complaint," the album is, as expected, absolutely pummelling, it is also witty, sinuous, and even beautiful.

Corsano and Orcutt take two approaches on Brace Up!: short, jagged bursts of barely contained energy and exploratory mini epics. "Bargain Sounds," for example, is 35 seconds of what sounds like improvised chaos that unexpectedly stops on a dime. That whiplash-inducing stop, whether planned or improvised, is a neat, almost showy trick, one that underscores how Brace Up!, in contrast to their previous live recordings, is built around deep listening rather than reacting. For two players with such distinctive, frantic styles, Corsano and Orcutt demonstrate an impressive ability to find each other in the chaos each creates. "Poundland Frenzy," "Clapton's Complaint," and "Paranoid Time" are miniature showcases for Corsano and Orcutt's ability to operate as one destructive unit, tearing down everything around them in chaotic unison.

However it's on the longer pieces where Orcutt's idiosyncrasies shine through and push Corsano that Brace Up! is at its best. The twangy, rousing near-anthems that surface throughout "Double Bind" are clear byproducts of the time that Orcutt has spent burrowing into American folk, as is the sweet and spacious balladry that courses through the beautiful "Love and Open Windows." It's no secret that Corsano can play faster and louder than, well, anyone, but at this point in his career it's more exciting to hear him adapt his intensity to quieter, more spacious settings. Best of all is "She Punched a Hole in the Moon For Me." Jazzy, folky, soaring; noisy, battering, dense; this five minute track feels like a summation of Orcutt's increasingly omnivorous and distinctive style. Corsano is as always, a powerful player and a responsive foil, but these longer tracks are Orcutt's show.

There's a third, unadvertised instrument on Brace Up!: Orcutt's voice. Like Glenn Gould or Thelonious Monk, Orcutt seemingly can't help himself from groaning along. Your tolerance for Orcutt's feline yowls may vary, but like Gould and Monk, these yelps seem to be an integral part of his playing, one that helps him to find his way through his own melodic contortions and Corsano's maelstrom and land on his feet.

Brace Up! is every bit as intense as Corsano and Orcutt's live recordings, but it's tighter and more focused, evidence of a musical partnership that is growing in depth and subtlety. Corsano and Orcutt are two of the most frenetic players out there, but the risks they take with space and melody charge the record with a new, risker intensity and moments of unexpected beauty."-Isaac Olson, Dusted Magazine

"Over the past six years or so, drummer Chris Corsano has proven to be one of Bill Orcutt's most reliably flexible collusionists. Regardless of whether Bill is cluster-busting electric guitar strings, weaseling around with cracked electronics, or playing relatively spacious free-rock, Corsano is able to provide the proper base for his aural sculpting. A lot of Orcutt's instrumental work has traditionally felt hermetic even though he's exploring caverns of explosive ecstasy. One often got the impression Bill was operating in the way John Travolta did in the classic 1976 ABC television drama, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Orcutt's actual interaction with collaborators emerged not from communication so much as pure observation. While he was fully cognizant of his musical surroundings, his reactions to it were walled off. This approach did not encourage sonic dialogue so much as parallel streams of discourse. These streams could interact with each other, but not in particularly standard ways. On Brace Up!, their first ever studio release, this precept has changed considerably. Whether it's a function of emotional familiarity or an intellectual choice I dunno, but there's a whole new kind of duo exchange going down on this record. Bill and Chris are clearly playing off each other's moves throughout the album. And it really raises the level of the music to an all-time high. From the cop car see-saw of 'Poundland Frenzy' to the mutual pummeling of 'Paranoid Time' (possibly a Minutemen tribute?) to the lazychicken- gets-stung-prog of 'She Punched a Hole in the Moon for Me,' the sounds on Brace Up! display a constant flow of ideas and instantaneous conjugation of newly forged verbs. As great as Bill and Chris's previous duo records have been, this one's greater."-Byron Coley

Get additional information at Dusted Magazine
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
Free Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Guitarists, &c.
Percussion & Drums
New in Rock Forms
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