more from
New Amsterdam Records

Balter / Saunier

by Dal Niente & Deerhoof

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $8 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a gatefold case with design by

    Includes unlimited streaming of Balter / Saunier via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 1 day

      $12 USD or more 




New Amsterdam Records is excited to announce the new collaborative album from Deerhoof ("the best band in the world” - Pitchfork) and Chicago-based 22-piece contemporary music group Dal Niente (“a model of what contemporary music needs" - The Chicago Tribune), Balter / Saunier, which will be released on April 29. The album features works by Brazilian-born composer Marcos Balter and arrangements by Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier of his band’s songs. The album will be celebrated at ensemble Dal Niente’s 10th Anniversary Party in Chicago on April 30 at Dal Niente's Studio & 3rd Floor Commons at 4045 N Rockwell, which will include the Chicago premiere of Saunier’s piece on the album, “Deerhoof Chamber Variations.”

Deerhoof and Dal Niente first crossed paths in 2012 when they shared a bill at Chicago’s Millennium Park. The two groups bonded instantly over their shared sensibilities and began a long-term collaboration, performing together when possible and inspiring each other along the way. Balter / Saunier is a culmination of these explorations, an intricate intermingling of styles that captures each group at its most adventurous and encapsulates what it means to create, perform and listen to music in 2016.

Despite the scope and scale of the collaboration (with more than 30 people involved), the recording process was a remarkably DIY effort. Balter / Saunier is self-produced, mixed and edited; composers session-produced their pieces; and engineer Dan Nichols cleverly turned a busy downtown ballroom into a treated recording environment. Everyone spent a lot of time listening – to the music and each other – and it shows: the final product is the very definition of a meeting of the minds, a perfect distillation of several (highly developed) artistic voices.

Balter / Saunier consists of two longer works, one each by Balter and Saunier, with one shorter piece by Balter between the two. The album opens with Balter’s seven-part piece “meltDown Upshot”, a magnetic mix of heady beats, catchy pop, absorbing postminimalism, angular melodies and fireworks of free jazz written specifically for the two groups’ collaboration. Next is “Pois que nada que dure, ou que durando,” a poem by Fernando Pessoa that translates to "For that nothing lasts, or that lasting” in English, a dissonance-tinged work that plays like a sonic realization of Dalí’s “Persistence of Memory.” The album closes with Saunier's “Deerhoof Chamber Variations”, a work for Dal Niente that uses Deerhoof's catalogue as source material. Rather than simply re-arranging Deerhoof songs by rote, Saunier flexes his compositional background to create a meditation on the group’s discography. Familiar melodies – set amongst grand, expansive arrangements – drift in and out of view as if from a refracted memory.


released April 29, 2016

Music for Deerhoof Chamber Variations by Greg Saunier

Poem Pois que nada que dure, ou que durando... by Fernando Pessoa

Music for Pois que nada que dure, ou que durando... and meltDown Upshot by Marcos Balter

Text for meltDown Upshot by Marcos Balter

Album art by

Special thanks to Ronen Givony, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York’s Ecstatic Music Festival for their support of this project

Album Mastered at Aphorism Audio by Dan Nichols
Tracks 1-7, 9 mixed by Greg Saunier

Track 8 mixed by Dan Nichols

Album produced by Greg Saunier, Chris Wild and Michael Lewanski

All tracks were engineered and recorded at Curtiss Hall in the Chicago

Fine Arts Building by Dan Nichols



Michael Lewanski, conductor
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano
Ryan Muncy, saxophone
Matthew Oliphant, horn
Mabel Kwan, piano & toy piano
Ben Melsky, harp
Jesse Langen, guitar & mandolin
Janet Sung, violin on track 9
Austin Wulliman, violin on tracks 1-7
Chris Wild, cello
Mark Buchner, double bass


Satomi Matsuzaki, vocals
John Dieterich, electric bass
Ed Rodríguez, electric guitar
Greg Saunier, drums



all rights reserved


Dal Niente & Deerhoof Chicago, Illinois

contact / help

Contact Dal Niente & Deerhoof

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code