Sylphid Vitalizers is the debut full-length from New York-based banjo/guitar shredder, Brandon Seabrook. Named "NYC's Best Guitarist of 2012" by the Village Voice, his work has been profiled by NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Fret Board Journal, and the UK avant-music magazine, Wire. Seabrook's work typically reflects the energy, dissonance, and hardworking ethos of the creative rock underground, without falling victim to the aesthetic constraints of scene or genre. Sylphid Vitalizers is no exception, harnessing hyperreal technique and impeccable articulation to stratify ecstatic cacophony, bridging the realms of extreme rock and the classical avant-garde.
Recognized by the New York Times as "a man apparently hellbent on earning the title of World's Least Rustic Banjo Player." Seabrook’s aggressive punk appropriation of the four-stringed banjo is abundantly evidenced on Sylphid Vitalizers. Album opener 'Ballad of Newfangled Vicissitudes' opens with a series of multi-tracked, dissonant modulations, somewhat reminiscent of the classic guitar orchestras of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, before cresting the heavens and laying waste to the stratosphere. The tune is constructed on a framework that bookends expanses of wide-open texture with dissonant, startlingly fast runs, punctuated by pummeling drums (credited only to the enigmatic "Dr. Vitalizer").
The guitar work is equally formidable, rendering terms like 'shred' and 'speed picking' laughably inchoate. 'Cabeza Spams & Aural Championships' opens with chromatic flurries in lockstep with the programmed drums before transfiguring into a set of stacked chords, blossoming in both intensity and surreal beauty, manifesting an hallucinatory landscape. 'Mucoidal Woolgathering' is another blistering piece for banjo, marrying a prolapsing, tumbling pentatonic run to layers of gnarled droning banjo before spiraling out of orbit. Even when the music is at the peak of density and freneticism, the music is executed with inhuman precision and dexterity.
Brandon's work treads a broad swath through contemporary underground music, dealing in everything from avant-jazz with Gerald Cleaver's Black Host and trumpeter Peter Evans' groups, to klezmer with Naftule's Dream, and collaborations with legends like Anthony Braxton and Elliott Sharp. His own vehicle, Seabrook Power Plant, have released two self-titled albums, fittingly titled Seabrook Power Plant I (2009) and Seabrook Power Plant II (2011), released on Brooklyn’s Loyal Label. On June 24, 2014, cosmic sound imprint New Atlantis Records will release his solo guitar/banjo debut, Sylphid Vitalizers, and the bar for solo electric guitar/banjo composition and performance may never be set higher.
The record sports a cover collage by Brooklyn-based visionary artist/tattooer Matt Bivetto, and layout by legendary The Designer's Republic.
released June 24, 2014
Brandon Seabrook: Tenor Banjo, Electric Guitar
Dr. Vitalizer: Drum Programming
Mixed and Mastered by: Colin Marston
Cover Collage by: Matt Bivetto
Art Direction & Design by: The Designer's Republic
New Atlantis Records is an independent record label documenting exceptional creative music, from avant jazz and free
improvisation to vanguard rock music, and beyond. The ever-blossoming catalog features contributions from Elliott Sharp, William Hooker, Microwaves, Paul Dunmall, Blind Thorns, Dave McDonnell Group, Thollem McDonas + Sara Lund (Unwound), Hyrrokkin, Haitian Rail, Keir Neuringer, etc...more