Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Hear “Small Business” by Watter with members of Slint, Grails, and King Crimson

As The A.V. Club announced a couple weeks back, This World—the upcoming debut album by the post-rock supergroup Watter—was not only going to feature members of Slint and Grails, but a guest appearance by bassist Tony Levin of progressive-rock legend King Crimson. Now you may hear that collaboration. Below is a premiere of “Small Business,” the gorgeous track from This World that boasts Levin’s churning low-end alongside the talents of Britt Walford (Slint), Zak Riles (Grails), Tyler Trotter (Watter’s third main member), and guest vocalist Dane Waters. Drawing from prog, dub, and krautrock, the song balances passages of heaviness and ethereality with an ear for the cosmic. Trotter shared his story of the collaboration, saying:

Tony played bass on the whole song “Small Business.” Originally Zak tracked the bass but decided in the end that he wanted to redo it. We asked Todd Cook [of The For Carnation and Shipping News, who plays elsewhere on This World], but he was too busy at the time. In the past I did a good amount of touring with Tony. He was a frequent live and recording guest with California Guitar Trio while I was touring with them. He produced the first CGT record that I was involved in, Whitewater. Several years later he played on a few tracks on the CGT record that I produced, Echoes. We became friends early on as we were both connoisseurs of all things good (food, beverages, music, literature, etc.).

When Zak mentioned wanting to redo the bass for “Small Business” I suggested asking Tony if he might be interested in laying down a part. Luckily the timing was perfect. He had a week off between tours with Peter Gabriel and [Levin’s side project] Stickmen, so he agreed to do it. His first take made the record. I think myself, Zak, and Britt were all pretty blown away with how well he made an overdub sound like he was right there recording live with us the whole time. We were all excited about what he brought to that song. Hopefully we’ll be able to work with him some more in the future. That’s my “T Lev” story.


This World will be released May 27 via Temporary Residence.

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