“Their best to date – an album that takes tiny shards from all of their previous work and solders them together to create an electrofunk masterpiece” – Bandcamp
“A fresh batch of pieces for their art-rock puzzle” – Bleep
“One of the year’s most playful and beguiling pop records, an album that can claim a place with GT Ultra at the top of their catalogue” – Exclaim!
“A colorful and idiosyncratic pop explosion” – Stereogum
Analog synthesizers give tangible life to the works of Guerilla Toss. Whether it be the sound of a rocket ship, a kitten-with-a-wah, distorted dolphins, or a clavichord made out of honey-baked ham, the band consistently finds new ways to bring together the many ideas that combine to shape each new batch of art-rock puzzle pieces.
Twisted Crystal, Guerilla Toss’ new LP, feels more personal than ever for the band. Angular yet irresistibly catchy, this collection of pop songs pulls influence from powerful groups like The Slits, ESG, Gina X, and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux – combining this all into a twisted, crystalline concoction.
Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes, but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favorite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are molded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex networks of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.
Raised in a devoutly religious family, vocalist Kassie Carlson started performing at the age of five. She often participated in large pastoral choral performances, as well as her family’s four-part harmony gospel quartet, making her no stranger to the stage. Growing up under the fear of God leaves a distinct footprint on your perception. An omnipresent male dictates not only your present waking life but also the rest of your eternity. Discovering a rock band was more than self-expression for Kassie, it was a manifestation of a self-healing temple, a personal pipeline for power. What better way to part the waters of toxic sludge than a matriarchal shout?
Arian Shafiee, Guerilla Toss’ resident textural-guitar guru, is inspired by aspects of non-Western tuning and extended techniques. He designs moments of dense, glistening, pitch-shifted harmony and measured strumming that link classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. His recent solo work truly comes through on this new record, as he tethers fantastical surreality to noise rock to deconstructed Middle Eastern pop music.
Keyboardist Sam Lisabeth paws the keys with distinct virtuosity and expressive sass. A new member, Stephen Cooper (of the band Cloud Becomes Your Hand), binds the group with an urgent, disciplined, and melodic style. The hypnotic, ostinato-like basslines and up front rhythm tracks guide and grip each song like gravity, keeping the listener from swirling off into the cosmos.
In albums past, Kassie’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member. Twisted Crystal goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding. What is a twisted crystal? And who told you it would heal?
At times the listener wanders through mazes of dizzying, alternately pulsing time signatures, but the roads always bounce, meet and magically snap back together. That meditative groove, both live and in the studio, has become signature for Guerilla Toss, drawing deep influence from 70s krautrock and experimental rock music like Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu!, Cluster, Todd Rundgren, and La Dusseldorf.
A constantly evolving, living breathing entity, the band now presents the album Twisted Crystal. Enjoy the same surrealistic, kinetic healing energy of live Guerilla Toss, today in your own home.
With new album ‘Twisted Crystal’ taking the place of most spun LP on the Bleep office stereo this week, Guerilla Toss have packaged together some scorching art-rock influences that fed into this latest run for DFA. Bleep Mix #40 moves from a classic Serge Gainsbourg smoker into Kosmiche highflyers from La Dusseldorf and Cluster, before dropping in on Grace Jones, Aretha Franklin, Zazou, Bikaye and Cy 1 and even The Clash. To put it in plain words, it’s a proper party-starting mix of pre-post-punk and funk as heard filtering through the sparkling studio wall of a group well attuned to the street sounds of electro, dub and new wave.
09/17 Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
09/18 Montreal, QC @ l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
09/19 Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
09/20 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
09/21 Athens, OH @ The Union
09/22 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
09/24 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
09/25 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
09/26 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
09/27 Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse
09/28 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
09/29 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
09/30 Boise, ID @ Funky Taco
10/02 Butte, MT @ Covellite Theater
10/03 Spokane, WA @ Bartlett
10/04 Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
10/05 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/06 Eugene, OR @ Lorax
10/07 Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
10/09 Redding, CA @ The Dip
10/10 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
10/12 San Diego, CA @ Whistle Stop
10/13 Tijuana, MX @ Moustache
10/14 Phoenix, AZ @ LBX
10/15 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/19 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
10/20 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
10/21 Fayetteville, AR @ Smoke & Barrel
10/23 Nashville, TN @ The End
10/24 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
10/25 Durham, NC @ Wicked Witch
10/26 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
10/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10/28 Cambridge, MA @ Elk’s Lodge
10/30 Providence, RI @ Columbus Theater
10/31 Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel
JUST ANNOUNCED – DELIA GONZALEZ AND ERIC COPELAND AT NATIONAL SAWDUST
DFA Records presents a rare evening of live music with performances by Delia Gonzalez and Eric Copeland. Delia Gonzalez will be playing music from last year’s critically acclaimed ‘Horse Follows Darkness’, using its “blissed out synth heaven” (Backseat Mafia) to premiere a new, custom–made accompanying film. Later, the “blithe” and “unnervingly magical” Eric Copeland (Pitchfork) will be debut music from his new album, ‘Trogg Modal Vol 1.’ The concert will include dynamic visuals from Eric Timothy Carlson and Aaron Anderson for an unforgettable night of music and spectacle. Tickets here.