Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 (1980)


Info: Lesson No. 1 was Branca’s first release in which he delved more fully into instrumental sounds that melded the dissonant rock of his former outfits with the heavy, massed sounds that he would later explore with groups of anywhere between ten and a hundred guitarists. Originally issued on 99 Records in 12” format, Lesson No. 1 contained two songs, one on each side.

This cd reissue contains those tracks, “Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar” and “Dissonance,” as well as “Bad Smells,” a dance score previously available on a split LP with poet John Giorno. In “Lesson No. 1…,” Branca first exhibits the formula that would serve as the basis of his next LP, The Ascension, a combination of heavy, repetitive, rhythmic statements overlaid with a chorus of guitars that begins in an almost stately mode before rising into a celestial frenzy.

The more aggressive “Dissonance” also builds on a straightforward, repetitive rhythm, though the clangy interjections from the guitars and percussion, and the mechanical yet furious strumming that follows take the track in a new direction in which the different parts of the piece hurtle along together like a locomotive, then battle in and out of rhythmic phase with one another. The twitching rhythms suggest Was (Not Was) and James Blood Ulmer, but the five guitarists, including Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, revel in the darker side of the naked city, sinister and slashing. (dustedmagazine review)



6 Responses to “Glenn Branca – Lesson No. 1 (1980)”

  1. Dave Says:


  2. gianni Says:

    track 1 a guitarelectronic dream.
    something between manuel gottsching and uk 90s psych sounds.
    wonderful, thank you.
    hope to see more and more quality posts like this and the previous ones

  3. krautlands Says:

    If you krautlovers have a kraut album that is missing here please mail me about it!

  4. Marcus Says:


    i am wondering if you can update the blog link you have of my blog, to this address:

    sometime world is back, but with a new link!

    I have your blog on my bloglist still, if you could help me out and update your sometime world blog link i would very much appreciate it!

    Marcus |


  5. Gleen Branca Says:

    this is holyshit post ever!!!!

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