Walter Gross “Coward” | Luana Records
Walter Gross presents Coward with Luana Records this month and it is one of the most cerebral albums I have heard this year. Created like a collage piece, the surrealism is in high states with this DIY musing into the sophisticated and calculated mind of WG. Highly textured and woven into intricate patterns of tonality, there is a menacing tenacity into the outer reaches of the musical hemispheres of Coward that rides into dreams of endless tells. Gritty tones interact with beautiful touches of ambiance; a communication that sets the stage for something other worldly. Nothing is what it seems in the musical world of Walter Gross and it’s as if he is stretching out the inner framework of what music is and has let go of this pull with a release of massive amounts of energy.
Exotic and exploratory, Coward shows Walter Gross in the driver seat of a one man vehicle, recording all instrumentation, vocals and selecting all sample selections. The existentialism scales into the cosmos as Coward begins its voyage. As the music plateaus into euphoric fields right away, there is a passage into the antiquity of this world that leaves the music in a spiritual mood. It’s a spiritualism that is bridged into the 21st century with melodic sheeting and oscillation that can only be constructed with modern tools. The music builds into deeper states of meditation, creating infinite patterns of harmonic shapes that are laced into gentle brush stroke movements.
Slight traces of feedback and synth create an out of body atmosphere just as the music becomes completely encased inside of this state the music is shifted into an entirely new form of being. The inclusion of an old vinyl sample segues the music into a beat heavy, experimental hip hop vibe, a switch of platforms that touches on insanity. The dilated yet laid back feeling of Walter’s lyrical presence with effects added is a perfect counter-part to the intro’s ancestral state. Piano and synth subdue the song’s temperament and bring the music back into a blissful and strident motion. Presented in the analog realm of cassette tape, the remainder of Coward becomes a vibrant story of the many worlds as created by Walter Gross. The madness comes out in the end of the first side with a superb piano sample and head nodding drum and bass hits and the surreal raps Walter spits.
Coward spirals into infinite directions, accumulating an amalgamation of sounds that feels endless. 30 minutes in length, this record is a mind blowing experience of lo-fo composition work and elevates far beyond the conventional approaches to experimental music. Bass is spiked into the red, drums are sliced into unusual forms and the harmonic field breathes a language that is as unsettling as it is beautiful. When I listen to this album, I am immediately tuned in and feel like I am on the edge of my seat. It’s a record that is impossible to classify and comes with surprise after surprise from section to section. If you love what the Anticon crew was doing in the 90′s and early 2000′s, you have to hear Coward.