Weasel Walter

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Weasel Walter
Weasel Walter at Club W71 in 2017
Weasel Walter at Club W71 in 2017
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Todd Walter
Born (1972-05-18) May 18, 1972 (age 49)
Rockford, Illinois, U.S.
Genresexperimental, free jazz, no wave, death metal, noise rock, prog, new music, hardcore punk, free improvisation
Occupation(s)composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, record label owner
Instrumentsdrums, guitar, bass, clarinet, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, mellotron, organ, piano, synthesizer, electronics, vocals
Years active1991–present
LabelsugEXPLODE, Thirsty Ear, Skin Graft
Associated actsThe Flying Luttenbachers, Cellular Chaos, Lydia Lunch, XBXRX, Lake of Dracula, Behold... The Arctopus
Websiteugexplode.com

Weasel Walter (born Christopher Todd Walter, May 18, 1972) is an American composer, improviser, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and founder of ugEXPLODE Records.[1] Walter's work has been informed by techniques and traditions of music including no wave, free jazz, extreme metal, punk, noise, new music, and free improvisation. He coined the term "brutal prog" to describe the aggressively dissonant strain of prog played by groups like his band The Flying Luttenbachers.[2]

Known as an unrelenting[3] and abrasive[4] provocateur whose performances trend toward overblown antics and "nihilistic glee",[5] Walter has been described by renowned guitarist Mary Halvorson as "completely manic and extraordinarily sensitive"[6] and by The Chicago Reader as "a splinter lodged beneath the fingernail".[7] Avant-garde artist Glenn Branca once called him "one of the greatest rock composers who ever lived".[8]

He has performed as leader and sideperson in a number of bands, including Cellular Chaos and Lydia Lunch Retrovirus.[9] Walter has worked with Marshall Allen, John Butcher, Tim Dahl, Peter Evans, Mary Halvorson, Henry Kaiser, Joe Morris, Jim O'Rourke, Evan Parker, Elliott Sharp, Ken Vandermark, and William Winant,[10] as well as in bands including Sharon Cheslow, Bobby Conn, Cheer-Accident, Cock E.S.P., Curse of the Birthmark, Erase Errata, Harry Pussy, Lair of the Minotaur, Quintron, The Chicago Sound, The Scissor Girls, U.S. Maple, and XBXRX. He has produced albums by AIDS Wolf, Arab on Radar, Glenn Branca, Burmese, Lydia Lunch, Coachwhips, and Total Shutdown.[11]

Career[edit]

In 1990, Walter moved to Chicago to work with free jazz composer Hal Russell (born Harold Luttenbacher) at Columbia College.[7] The following year, Russell joined Walter in co-founding the band the Flying Luttenbachers; saxophonist Chad Organ played in the early trio lineup.[12] Russell left the band in the summer of 1992, and shortly after Ken Vandermark took his place for the recording of the band's first 7".[13]

Walter was highly involved in cultivating what he deemed the "Chicago No Wave" scene,[7][14] meeting new musicians and collaborators through the Luttenbachers' art rock-continuum gigs and the experimental improvised music series he ran at Myopic Books.[15] He graduated from Columbia College in 1995, with a final project, "Un-nerve", performed by a nonet including Ken Vandermark, Gene Coleman, Jim Baker, Kevin Drumm, Jeb Bishop, and Gustavo Leone.[16]

A prolific performing and recording artist, Walter was a founding member of projects including Miss High Heel (with Jim O'Rourke and Azita of The Scissor Girls), Lake of Dracula (with Marlon Magas and Heather M. of the Scissor Girls), To Live and Shave in L.A. 2, 7000 Dying Rats, and Hatewave.[17]

Walter moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003,[18] where he reformed The Flying Luttenbachers with the addition of bassist Mike Green, guitarist Ed Rodriguez, and later Mick Barr. The Flying Luttenbachers officially disbanded in 2007.

In late 2009, Walter announced that he was moving to New York City to join Behold... The Arctopus as the band's second drummer.[19] He played on Horrorscension, released in 2012, and in two tours before leaving the band in 2013. Walter continued finding new collaborators and formed a number of groups in New York, among them Cellular Chaos, a band with Marc Edwards, Admiral Grey, and Ceci Moss.[20]

In 2017, after a ten-year hiatus, the Flying Luttenbachers played several shows in France, with a new trio lineup of Walter, on drums, joined by bass guitarist Tim Dahl and guitarist Chris Welcome.[21] In 2019, a quartet arrangement of the band released Shattered Dimension, with Walter and Dahl joined by saxophonist Matt Nelson and guitarist Brandon Seabrook.[22] Over the next several years, the varying lineup also included bassist Evan Lipson, guitarist Henry Kaiser, guitarist Wendy Eisenberg, guitarist Katie Battistoni, guitarist Alex Ward, and drummer Sam Ospovat.

Discography[edit]

As solo artist[edit]

  • Revolt Music (ugEXPLODE, 2006)[23]
  • Early Recordings 1988–1991 (Savage Land, 2007)[24]
  • Firestorm (ugEXPLODE, 2007)[25]
  • Large Group Performances 2007-2009 (ugEXPLODE, 2009)
  • Apocalyptik Paranoia (Gaffer, 2009)[24]
  • Invasion (ugEXPLODE, 2010)[1]
  • Ominous Telepathic Mayhem (ugEXPLODE, 2011)[24]
  • Improvised Music Sampler (2014)
  • End Of An Error (2014)
  • Fragments (2015)
  • Half-Death (2015)
  • Tribute To 'B' and 'C' List Musicians From The Early Years Of MTV, And G.G. Allin (2015)
  • For Andrew Ortmann (2015)
  • Seriously: Fuck The Entire World (2015)
  • Igneity: After The Fall Of Civilization (2016)
  • Curses (2016)[26]
  • She's So 60 Minutes of Heavy (2016)
  • The Inevitable (Tombed Visions, 2016)
  • Expensive Taste (Kitty Play, 2016)
  • Skhiizm (ugEXPLODE, 2018)[24]
  • The Best of the Worst (ugEXPLODE, 2020)

As band member[edit]

with Behold... The Arctopus
with Burmese
  • Colony Collapse Disorder (Rock Is Hell, 2009)
  • Lun Yurn (ugEXPLODE/Rock is Hell, 2011)
with Cellular Chaos
  • Demo Live 5.12.11 (ugEXPLODE, 2011)
  • Cellular Chaos EP (ugEXPLODE, 2012)
  • Cellular Chaos (ugEXPLODE, 2013)[28]
  • Diamond Teeth Clenched (Skin Graft, 2016)
  • Dirty Girl (ugEXPLODE, 2018)
with Encenathrakh
  • Respekt The Demo (Rectomorph/Dense(s)/Lindung, 2013)
  • Encenathrakh (P2/Dense(s), 2015)
  • The 2 Song Promo 19 (P2/Lindung, 2019)
  • Live Album (P2, 2020)
  • Thraakethraaeate Thraithraake (P2, 2020)
with The Flying Luttenbachers
with Hatewave
  • Demo 1997 (1997)
  • Hatewave (Up Jumps The Devil/Tumult, 1998)
with Lake Of Dracula
  • Lake Of Dracula (Skin Graft, 1997)[38]
  • Four Teachers / Violators 7" (Kill Rock Stars, 1998)
  • Skeletal Remains (Savage Land/Roccoco Records, 2006)[39]
with Lydia Lunch
  • Retrovirus (ugEXPLODE, 2013)[40]
  • 3x3 EP (2015)[41]
  • Urge To Kill (Rustblade/Widowspeak, 2015)[42]
  • Live In Zurich (Widowspeak, 2016)[43]
  • Brutal Measures (Widowspeak, 2016)[44]
with XBXRX

Collaborations[edit]

with Sheik Anorak & Mario Rechtern
  • The Forbidden Beat (Gaffer, 2010[46]
  • Bass Bass Bass Bass (Gaffer, 2010)
with Josh Berman & Aram Shelton
  • Last Distractions (Singlespeed, 2009)[47]
with Jeb Bishop & Alex Ward
  • Flayed (ugEXPLODE, 2019)
with David Buddin
  • Quodlibet (2015)
with John Butcher & Damon Smith
  • Catastrophe of Minimalism (Balance Point Acoustics, 2017)[48]
with Charity Chan, Peter Evans, & Tom Blancarte
  • Cryptocrystalline (ugEXPLODE, 2013)
with Nels Cline, Henry Kaiser, Jim Thomas, & Allen Whitman
  • Jazz Free (There Records/A Train, 2012)
with Kevin Drumm & Fred Lonberg-Holm
  • Eruption (Grob, 2004)[49]
Marc Edwards / Weasel Walter Group
  • Mysteries Beneath The Planet (ugEXPLODE, 2009)[50]
  • Blood Of The Earth (ugEXPLODE, 2010)
  • Solar Emission (ugEXPLODE, 2011)
with Martin Escalante
  • Lacerate (ugEXPLODE, 2018)
with Peter Evans
  • Poisonous (ugEXPLODE, 2018)
with Peter Evans, James Fei, & Damon Smith
  • Eponymous (ugEXPLODE, 2008)[1]
Peter Evans / Weasel Walter Group
  • Oculus Ex Abyssus (ugEXPLODE, 2008)[25]
with Sandy Ewen
  • Idiomatic (ugEXPLODE, 2018)[51]
with Sandy Ewen & Damon Smith
  • Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter (ugEXPLODE, 2012)
  • Live In Texas (Balance Point Acoustics, 2016)
  • Untitled ug 79 (ugEXPLODE, 2020)
with Den Svarta Fanan (Nonoko Yoshida, Ron Anderson, Joe Merolla, Walter)
  • Den Svarta Fanan (ugEXPLODE, 2013)
with Maria Faust & Tim Dahl
  • Farm Fresh (Gotta Let It Out, 2019)[52]
with Paul Flaherty
  • Particles (2009)
with Paul Flaherty, C. Spencer Yeh, & Steve Swell
  • Dragonfly Breath (Not Two, 2013)
  • Dragonfly Breath III: Live At The Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus (Not Two, 2016)[53]
with Michael Forbes & Andrew Scott Young
  • American Free (ugEXPLODE, 2009)
with Michael Foster, Steve Swell, & Brandon Lopez
  • Throes are the Only Trouble (2017)
with Gianni Gebbia & Damon Smith
  • Lichens (ugEXPLODE, 2007)
with Vinny Golia & Damon Smith
  • Großes Messer (ugEXPLODE, 2009)
with Forbes Graham, Greg Kelley, & Paul Flaherty
  • End of the Trail (ugEXPLODE, 2008)
with Mary Halvorson
  • Opulence (ugEXPLODE, 2008)[1]
with Mary Halvorson & Peter Evans
  • Mystery Meat (ugEXPLODE, 2009)
  • Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear, 2011)[54][55]
  • Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear, 2012)[56]
with JeJaWeDa (Jeb Bishop, Jaap Blonk, Walter, & Damon Smith)
  • Pioneer Works vol. 1 (Balance Point Acoustics, 2019)
  • Pioneer Works vol. 2 (Balance Point Acoustics, 2019)
with Henry Kaiser & Charles K. Noyes
  • Ninja Star Danger Rock (There Records/ugEXPLODE, 2011)
with Henry Kaiser, Paul Plimley, & Lukas Ligeti
  • The Starbreak Splatterlight (There Records, 2012)[24]
with Henry Kaiser & Damon Smith
  • Plane Crash (ugEXPLODE, 2009)[57]
  • Plane Crash Two (New Atlantis, 2015)
with Henry Kaiser, Damon Smith, Vinny Golia, & Ra-Kalam Bob Moses
  • Astral Plane Crash (Balance Point Acoustics, 2018)[58]
with Yoni Kretzmer & Pascal Niggenkemper
  • ProtestMusic (Outnow Recordings, 2014)
with Dominic Lash & Alex Ward
  • Trapeze (spoonhunt, 2015)
with Matteo Liberatore & Elliott Sharp
  • L'Ora Del Pasto (2020)
with Jacob Lindsay, Ava Mendoza, & Damon Smith
  • Jus (Balance Point Acoustics, 2008)
with Fred Lonberg-Holm & Jim O'Rourke
  • Tribute to Masayuki Takayanagi (ugEXPLODE, 2000)[59]
with Kenny Millions & Damon Smith
  • Fuck Music... Tell Jokes - You'll Make More Money (Unhinged, 2018)
with No Mor Musik (Nandor Nevai, Walter, Keshavan Maslak)
  • No Mor Musik (ugEXPLODE, 2010)
with Phonon (Elliott Sharp, Álvaro Domene, Colin Marston, Walter)
  • Alloy (ZOaR, 2020)
with Chris Pitsiokos
  • Unplanned Obsolescence (ugEXPLODE, 2012)
  • Drawn and Quartered (One Hand, 2015)
with Chris Pitsiokos & Ron Anderson
  • Maximalism (Eleatic, 2013)[60]
with Sam Weinberg & Henry Fraser
  • Walter/Weinberg/Fraser / Maestro Day split (Renfusa, 2017)
  • Grist (ugEXPLODE, 2020)
with Sam Weinberg & Teté Leguia
  • Weinberg/Leguía/Walter (Buh Records, 2018)
with Sam Weinberg & Sandy Ewen
  • Ventricles (Renfusa, 2020)
with Nate Wooley, Damon Smith, & Scott R. Looney
  • Scowl (ugEXPLODE, 2011)[61]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Masters, Marc (26 July 2019). "A Beginner's Guide to Brutal Prog". Bandcamp. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
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External links[edit]