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Gastr del Sol biography
David Grubbs formed Gastr del Sol as his main vehicle of work. His sophisticated post-rock began with the 1993 EP "The Serpentine Similar". Their works have stretched out into 1998 featuring excellent experimental orchestral and textured rock pieces, and featuring many different people on the albums. GASTR DEL SOL is a very eclectic group as well, you can hear this throughout their works.

1998's "Camoufleur" is an excellent album, including sounds of avant-garde, folk, film score, and even jazz. An intricate and layered affair.

Recommended to post-rock lovers and good experimental music lovers alike.

Why this artist must be listed in :
Eclectic Experimental/Post-Rock group, a fresh new sound in the genre.

The Serpentine Simlar (1993)
Crookt, Crackt, or Fly (1994)
The Harp Factory on Lake Street (1995)
Upgrade & Afterlife (1996)
Camoufleur (1998)

20 Songs Less (1993)
Mirror Repair EP (1995)

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GASTR DEL SOL Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to GASTR DEL SOL


Upgrade & AfterlifeUpgrade & Afterlife
Drag City 1996
$4.85 (used)
Drag City 1998
$26.06 (used)
Crookt Crackt Or FlyCrookt Crackt Or Fly
Drag City 1994
$2.59 (used)
Mirror RepairMirror Repair
Drag City 1995
$2.65 (used)
The Serpentine SimilarThe Serpentine Similar
Drag City 1997
$29.98 (used)
Harp Factory on Lake StreetHarp Factory on Lake Street
Table of Elements 2006
$4.99 (used)
Harp Factory on Lake Street by Gastr del SolHarp Factory on Lake Street by Gastr del Sol
Table of the Elements
$16.55 (used)

More places to buy GASTR DEL SOL music online Buy GASTR DEL SOL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

GASTR DEL SOL discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

GASTR DEL SOL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 6 ratings
The Serpentine Similar
2.67 | 3 ratings
Crookt, Crackt, or Fly
3.92 | 5 ratings
Upgrade & Afterlife
3.42 | 10 ratings

GASTR DEL SOL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GASTR DEL SOL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GASTR DEL SOL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GASTR DEL SOL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Twenty Songs Less
1.17 | 4 ratings
The Harp Factory On Lake Street
3.00 | 3 ratings
Mirror Repair


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Serpentine Similar by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.84 | 6 ratings

The Serpentine Similar
Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Honored to write the first review of Serpentine Similar (until now there are no review and only 4 ratings). Gastr Del Sol is a rather extreme group: David Grubbs sings and plays guitar; Bundy K. Brown plays bass. In some songs, John McEntire plays percussion. Nothing else. The music of this Lp is made of electric guitar and bass. Vocals (Grubbs) and drums (John McEntire) are presents only in few songs.

The opener, "A Watery Kentucky", almost nine and a half minutes, is a slow-core ballad. Not an exciting beginning. Good sound but to much homogeneous. The drums arrives at the eighth minute: too late, it would have been useful before. The passage is difficult, arduous. You immediately understand that this is not pleasant music to listen to: it requires effort and motivation. Moreover this song is long, unlike the others. Rating 7,5.

"Easy Company", one minute, is vocals and acoustic guitar. Not finished. "A Jar of Fat", two minutes, is piano and bass, then arrive a distorted guitar. Rating 7,5/8. Here it seems John Cage style contemporanes music. It is difficult to evaluate the single song, put a rating, because they are not songs, they are sonic fragments.

"Ursus Arctos Wonderfills", almost five minutes, just guitar and bass, it's already something that resembles rock for the sustained rhythm. It recalls some passage country-western of the Shadows. Rating 7,5/8. "Eye Street", almost two minutes,It looks like jazz piano, it's sung but it ends immediately. Rating 7,5.

Music appears devoid of any descriptive, narrative or melodic content, and is reduced to pure abstract sound. From the emotional point of view this music sounds completely devoid of any hooking. This record needs a listening not as a public rock, but as a cultured contemporary music audience, or at the very latest avant-garde or jazz audience.

"For Soren Mueller", almost four and a half minutes, is a guitar and bass ballad with some heavy passage on drums very interesting. Rating 8. "Serpentine Orbit", 44 seconds, is vocals and some passage of guitar. "Even the Odd Orbit", almost seven minutes, it rotates from beginning to end around the same bass tour, with Grubbs guitar occasionally starting with some abstract riffs. Rating 7+.

Here ends an extreme record, which breaks down the rock into its sonic essence, producing sound sketches, not songs, improvisations without form, it is an operation by subtraction, aimed at making only the skeleton remain, I would say incomplete skeleton, fragments of some sound and rhythmic passages typical of rock. Extreme disk by subtraction. We are near to the silence of Cage. Minimum pleasure and emotional involvement in listening. Strong motivation to listen from beginning to end. We need to appreciate this intellectual austerity in order to please it. In my case, I appreciate the operation and I am fascinated by the overall sound but I miss the emotional part to get excited.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,58. Rating album: 8,5. Four Stars.

 Camoufleur by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 10 ratings

Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A fairly highly respected album in the Post-Rock genre this was released back in 1998. A rather large cast of musicians offering up four different types of horns, two violinists and one of them playing viola. Lots of acoustic guitar, reserved male vocals, keyboards and the usual rock instruments. This one is kind of all over the place and yet you know it's the same band if you know what I mean. I can't say this grew on me at all, in fact it was almost a chore to get through it despite reading many glowing reviews across the web. Just my tastes I suppose.

"The Seasons Reverse" has an uptempo beat with acoustic guitar and laid back vocals early on. A catchy track and one of the better ones but I'm not even really into this one. Some dissonant horns after 2 1/2 minutes and an almost island vibe. It calms and slows right down before 4 1/2 minutes before ending with a funny conversation between and English adult and a French kid. Best part of the album.

"Blues Subtitled No Sense Of Wonder" has pulsing sounds as relaxed piano joins in. Vocals before a minute with experimental sounds. Laid back horns replace the vocals after 2 minutes. Suddenly it turns fuller with vocals at 3 minutes. It settles right down again before 4 1/2 minutes to the end. "Black Horse" is a song most seem to love but I don't like it early on with the violin giving it an almost Country vibe. Soon before 2 minutes picked guitar takes over that's impressive but it goes on too long ending before 4 minutes as a calm takes over to the end.

"Each Dream Is An Example" just isn't my thing with the relaxed piano and horns. Some vocals 3 minutes in and harmonies before 4 1/2 minutes. "Mouth Canyon" has relaxed picked guitar and atmosphere. Some crying guitar and vocals to match will follow. "A Puff Of Dew" is kind of dark, slow and experimental. Reserved vocals after a minute and more join in. The vocals stop after 2 minutes as it continues to be experimental and slow. Vocals are back before 4 minutes. "Bauchredner" has acoustic guitar melodies lasting for 4 1/2 minutes when drums kick in then horns a minute later. Catchy stuff.

This was the last we heard of this American band and this was their fourth studio album. Again the bottom line is that I had a hard time appreciating what I was hearing.

 The Harp Factory On Lake Street  by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
1.17 | 4 ratings

The Harp Factory On Lake Street
Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars Ten years have passed since the last Gastr del Sol review was posted in this site. Maybe the name still is unknown to so many people and only recognized within the post-rock realm, maybe it is because the project vanished almost twenty years ago, but well, it is important to know Jim O'rourke participated here. The music of this project has a blend of post-rock, electronic and experimental music. If you are going to listen to them, please go and dig their Upgrade & Afterlife or the Camofleur albums.

But most important, please avoid listening to this EP. I did it because I found it with a bargain price so I didn't hesitate and bought it, however, the few times I've tried to dig it I've finished with a "wtf" as reaction. Maybe I am not that experimental, I don't know, but the 17 minutes of THE HARP FACTORY ON LAKE STREET are senseless and worthless. There are so many pauses, a forgettable use of synth that works as background and an strange use of brass instruments, all lead to nowhere, there are no paths to follow so you can lose the interest in any moment.

It's been a long time since I published my last 1-star review. Unfortunately, this EP deserves it.

 Camoufleur by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 10 ratings

Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Gastr Del Sol, still with the shifted pivotal pressure on Jim O'Rourke, but also featuring, once again, a plejade of talented artists (some instruments are actually tough to be discovered, in the entire orchestral grieve this album can have), lives its best years and its keenest music surpass in the later albums, mixing style and experiment to the max and forgetting about any logic of being un-special and un-present in anything except the great mind of progressive spontaneity (which happened a lot, better or worse, till these years of comfortable excellency). Camofleur itself is regarded the best of all the creations and the spot-drop into all the ecstatic meaning and pleasure of Gastr Del Sol (and, outside all, there's even a question of why stopping here, since the band hasn't joined forces to compose other music albums ever since this convincing or foremost attitude, the years of silence and stoppage becoming increasingly saddening). Even if I myself will stick to having Upgrade & Afterlife as my favorite album, Camofleur is a strong (even threatening, at effect) presentation for something in it to face a defeat of music or many flaws, rejecting a lot of the easy post-rock stuff, enjoying a lot its tangled art (which, essentially, has become art), being the eclectic taste always surprised, but rarely solidly seized...and kicking a lot of power in the usual experiment that, in a corespondent manner, is Gastr Del Sol's "greatest twist".

If it's all an interesting design and a powerful grasp, then the only interesting thing (this to complement and to dissipate the album's power and quality, in reasonable kind) is the music. Full of sparkle, it's also got programmatic full intentions, which ultimately aren't too enourmous, but allow the music and the experiment to have the prime secret. Viewed entirely, Camoufleur is an album of extreme eclecticism, going from sound to rock, from post-mentality to modern-frustration, indulging real forms of avant-melody, folk, instrumental beat or progressive shoe gaze (doesn't this last one simply sound risky?). By pieces (7 at number, and all very fruitfully desired), the dedicated space is even better eclectic, lively entertaining and entwining.

The Season Reverse is pure excitement, in a rock rhythm fledged impression and some acute vocal twists; it's to be called typical for Gastr Del Sol hazy dynamicism, but also very well composed. Blues Subtitled No Sense of Wonder is literally an abstract contemplation. The word play is simple and unsubtle, but the deep is almost twice the grasped idea. In all, the slow tempo and ambient-deranged background music fakes a "blues" or a "melancholic" drift/forgetfulness. "Black Horse" is a trippy quasi-folk theme, with lots of vivid instruments to back a "modern dance", but also with a refined sense in keeping the experiment (or the sound break alive); exciting, but moreover sticking in your head for some time. Each Dream Is An Example starts endorsing a ballad guitar harmony line, while the essence is linear and undisturbed; the greatest moment happening in it (it's rather a calmed down anorexic piece, honestly) are Stephen Prina and Edith Frost's lyrics, making it a "chant". "Mouth Canyon" is shortly and simply a "post-rock" numb and artificial passage, with lots of keyboard strangles and a bit of fresh post air into its minor color. A Puff Of Dew finally outrages the experimental sound, out of striking effects and different prismatic flesh-tones. Bauchredner is probably the best piece, despite another calm session of acoustic guitar sonorities, turning afterwards in an epilogue of energy and creative sound lust.

Repeating the recommendation, Camoufleur is a strong, eclectic and sound-scrumptious project by Gastr Del Sol, in a period where the group has become better than ever, whether concerning the experimental upreared essential drift, the rock moderately accentuated passions or the post-music important impact. An album which, speaking out of a broadened genre experience, isn't radical but simple, with totally enjoyable (and awakening) music. Three point fives stars, always recommended.

 Upgrade & Afterlife by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.92 | 5 ratings

Upgrade & Afterlife
Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the third official studio solid album of Gastr Del Sol, called Upgrade & Afterlife, at which point there can be no more dubiousness or digressions, regarding any experimental confusion, drought art, havoc pallid play, strange and foreign connection or other different negative, too splashing or too out-of-context qualities of the band. For me personally, all the handicaps or the simply uninteresting marks of their past recordings get a decent wipe starting such an album (and an voluntary new or refreshed expression), where the broadened craft is mixed with more of a deep and perfect resonance. Fans of Gastr Del Sol being purely (or even excessively) experimental and wrench-sounding might still find good stuff in the early music explosions, but, for a fact, this album and the next Camoufleur are the quintessential standard for Gastr Del Sol, in which all the dynamic and all the brainstorm meets a good layer of rock, effect and tune-tone.

The arrangement and the music design in Upgrade & Afterlife is somehow aggressive, afterwards random or experimental, mixing nevertheless some music with some eclectic technical work, some sound with some perspective, some deep favorite meanings with some post-wrecked confusions (of a clear and shiny emotion). To an extent, the first part is made out of entire luxury and influence of rock and harmony, due not only to the simple guitar works that are exercised (a mutual, already, feature in the gentle side of Gastr Del Sol), but also in the evoking passion, rhythm, bluesy pale imitation of music or different harmonious alternative gestures; afterwards, these exact types of ballad experimental movements complicate themselves: Our Exquisite Replica Of Eternity has a middle improvisation of noises and hallow roots of unearthly touches, Rebecca Sylvester goes from rhythmed to cold showered, being music of a tired energy; and The Sea Incertain has entire drafts of melody acuities, but also a feverish rock slide.

The styles changes (and it might be felt abrupt or sharp) with Hello Spiral, a great and worthy piece in the catalogues and the usual rustle of experimental/post compositions. It is the most keen on noise, experiment and separated-out tones, whilst its impeccable rhythm is progressive drawn from all the bits of craft and lonely (or singular) hyacinth melodies. The impact of the last minutes is, probably, the essence of the album, but also the typical way to build and after-taste an entire post rhythm ruse - examples of such an experimental delight existing in many analogies or influences. After the spiraling epic, the mood goes back to some silence waves, to some delicate - yet considerable articulate - rock (guitar) techniques, to some massive sound fabrics that seem orchestral but are only worked inside and outside, as a tough machine play, and some ambient or fluid expressions. The second epic isn't a rival to a first, nor an interesting audible emotion, yet the impression is purely eclectic and rock-e-relic. Finally, you can't say that Upgrade & Afterlife wouldn't include an entire calisthenic impression of a music inspiration and exploration, but the rock, the ambient-post, the meditational-rough or the spiral rhythms are still the essential grip and the most worked upon effects.

Good stuff, and my favorite Gastr Del Sol album. Maybe not because the band finds, finally, a way to comply to greatest ideas and most satisfying webbed experiments, nor even because of a great art being discovered or interactively interpreted; but because it's very clear and dry in language, very accurate in its contraction, and very pleasant in its downright challenge. Even more essential it remains to be said that Gastr Del Sol enter their best shape till now with this album (and the previous EP, partly), without losing the curiosity, the trademark eclecticism or, though I've noted it changed throughout the review, the beatnik bare experimentalism.

 Camoufleur by GASTR DEL SOL album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.42 | 10 ratings

Gastr del Sol Post Rock/Math rock

Review by bamba

5 stars This is the one of the few masterpieces in the experimental/post rock subgenre. By this time the Jim O'Rourke band have reached a very mature level of experience and the collaboration of John McEntire (Drums) from Tortoise make this even better.

The music played here is hard to categorize, they have roots from jazz, folk and avant grade music, all of this mixed with post rock feeling that the album have. The album contain 7 track's each one have its own feeling and Different's Characteristics; you can almost perceive that you are listening to another album. The acoustic guitar here plays the principal role and the excellent technique of O'Rourke guitar always make a plus in every song. An example of this is the folk/jazz song "black horse"; this song in special starts with some folky Arrangements and then the O'Rourke guitar begin to play and make a very sad but beautiful passage. The experiments are also here in songs like "A Puff of Dew" and "Each Dream is an Example".

This album in particular needs to be listened in one session because you can't understand the concept behind the music and the overall Message unless you do this. (for me the message is hope, Optimism and Social sarcasm to the government Hypocrisy and the whole world Situation). This is Forefront music and maybe here you can start to see the evolution of the post rock music, and have and an idea of what is coming in the next years. Gastr del sol it's a very eclectic band they always progress and here they have the most Balanced and Sophisticated sound.

Finally this is forefront post rock and should be considered a true masterpiece of the subgenre. 5 stars masterpiece of the subgenre and also excellent addition to any music collection. BAMBA.

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the artist addition.

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