If you've been wondering what it might sound like when two alt-banjo giants join hands & strings and sell their souls at the crossroads, Ponder Machine (due June 30, 2023 via Shimmy-Disc) is an essential listening experience.
In August of 2022, Kramer parachuted into Asheville, North Carolina to record a mysterious LP of collaborative banjo studies by JD Pinkus & Tall Tall Trees. Pinkus is best known as the bassist who replaced Kramer following his exit from the Butthole Surfers (and his years with The Melvins), and Joyful Noise Recordings artist Tall Tall Trees (aka Mike Savino) is a stunningly talented multi-instrumentalist, known for his work with Kishi Bashi, along with his pioneering excursions into the world of his Banjotron 5000.
Within hours of Kramer's arrival, things got entirely out of hand (in exactly the manner they had hoped), and the results are sure to rewrite the way people see, hear and THINK about the banjo, Ponder Machine proves in a thousand ways that the possibilities are limitless, and the extra 30 minutes you get when you download the digital-only tracks just hammers the point home.
Think John Cage meets Bela Fleck meets Brian Eno. The banjo has never been chewed up and spit out so lovingly. JD Pinkus brought his mushrooms and effects pedals. Mike Savino brought his sourdough and his psychedelic street-smarts. Sweet dreams, y'all.