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Gastr Del Sol


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Gastr del Sol (derived from a derby-winning horse called “Gato del Sol”) is an oft-cited stalwart of the movement of the 1990s. Based in Chicago, Gastr del Sol explored idiosyncratic sonic textures, veering from to atonal songcraft to Musique concrète to composition for small orchestra.

The group began as the brain-child of David Grubbs, an alumnus of the Louisville, KY punk rock scene that produced Squirrel Bait and Slint, the former of which he was a member. (Grubbs has been often mistaken as a member of Slint, and while he had many formal connections with the group, he was never an official member) A few years after Grubbs’s arrival in Chicago, his esoteric punk group Bastro metamorphosed into Gastr del Sol.

With the release of 1993’s The Serpentine Similar, Grubbs and his former Bastro colleagues Bundy K. Brown (bass) and John McEntire (drums) traded the more traditional arrangements of for a literate, meandering yet often poignant approach. The slippery tones of Brown’s bass provided a counterpoint to Grubbs’s clean electric guitar and naked piano. The appearance of drums was rare but satisfying.

In the following year, the guitarist, composer and all-around production guru Jim O’Rourke entered the fray and Brown (who at the time was busy enough with his other projects, including—with McEntire—the seminal post-rock act Tortoise) left the band.


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  • _duif

    How did they go from Gato to Gastr, though?

    22 Jul 4:47pm Reply
  • Zombak39

    Просто иди нахуй.

    19 Nov 2014 Reply
  • The_Ambience_Ed

    "For Soren Mueller" is essential math rock composition. Just perfection.

    28 Sep 2014 Reply
  • microstate

    great band. the proposed bandname origin in the bio is not true. they're named after a racehorse that won the kentucky derby (Gato del Sol). it's worth mentioning that there's no language called "Greco-Roman" !

    13 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Vince8946

    Upgrade & Afterlife is beyond amazing

    6 Feb 2014 Reply
  • fergalmc

    folkfag00, really....really?

    17 Mar 2013 Reply
  • redevol727

    Just got a new acoustic guitar that made me realize how much my playing is indebted to these guys, Jim O'Rourke especially. The man knows his way around a steel-string acoustic

    15 Nov 2012 Reply
  • BrianSoph

    regretful waste of butt

    4 Oct 2012 Reply
  • folkfag00

    regretful waste of time

    24 Sep 2012 Reply
  • redevol727

    Grubbs and O'Rourke really need to play together again :C

    9 Sep 2012 Reply
  • crackityjones92

    Upgrade & Afterlife is good :)

    20 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Corblimeyguvnor

    16 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Mannequentin

    bill murray is awesome too.

    14 Apr 2011 Reply
  • th1s1sm1n3

    Gastr Del Sol and Achewood are both awesome.

    13 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Mannequentin

    sure thing cassandra

    8 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Mannequentin

    there will never be guitar-based music smarter than this.

    27 Mar 2011 Reply
  • tommygundrums

    Too deep for me.

    13 Nov 2010 Reply
  • miikkrx

    David Grubbs's solo albums sound like the last 2 Gastr del Sol albums without all the stuff that made them magic. Pleasant and weird but not very memorable. Its remarkable how similar his and Jim O Rourke's melodic sense were though. They obviously had a lot of influence on each other.

    10 Nov 2010 Reply
  • sophteonal

    Yep, David Grubbs is an amazing artist all around, from Bastro, to Gastr Del Sol, to his varied solo work. Everybody seems to love Jim O'Rourke and worship Eureka and Insignificance, but it seems like Grubbs' solo work hasn't gotten nearly enough recognition, comparatively. If you're into O'Rourke's poppier stuff, check out Grubbs' Rickets & Scurvy, The Spectrum Between, or the folksier The Thicket for stuff along similar lines.

    18 Sep 2010 Reply
  • ilkae

    Actually, the sound at the start of "Blues Subtitled No Sense of Wonder" appeared first in Gastr del Sol's remix of "Nani" by Ground Zero.

    14 Sep 2010 Reply
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