Resolver + Brutality

This is an audio cassette containing 58 minutes of synclavier music. The songlist and the title Resolver + Brutality are hand-written by Frank Zappa itself.

1.Resolver ED.  19:57
2.Big Sequence   15:54
5.Oral Sex At Gunpoint    5:18
6.Bondage (Maniac Mix)4:11
7.Oral Sex At Gunpoint (Maniac Mix)1:49
8.Brutality (Maniac Mix)2:34

This cassette is from about the same era as Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention (1985). From this album the track "H.R. 2911" is the closest to the music presented on Resolver + Brutality. We believe the cassette can be dated to 1986.

The tracks can be grouped into Resolver (1,2) and Brutality (3-8). First two tracks are pure instrumental opuses. Next tracks includes also voice samples. The Brutality group of tracks is directly related to the 1985 Senate PMRC hearings. Maybe even the sampled voices are from Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Gore. When you search Internet by keywords 'Zappa', 'bondage', 'oral sex at gunpoint', you will find a pages of these Senate hearings.

The cassette is TDK SA-X 90 (the label is from SA 60). Tracks 1.-4. are on side A, tracks 5.-8. on side B. The quality of the cassette is very good. It is probably a master clone directly recorded by Zappa in his studio.

The previous owner of this cassette had in her own words – intensive artistic relationship with Frank Zappa, which lasted over several years. She got this cassette directly from Zappa itself. I haven't found elsewhere any information about the Resolver + Brutality, but the cassette is here and no doubt it's an original Frank Zappa music. If you have anything to add or you have questions, please send me an email – afka (at)

Comments & feedback

Charles Ulrich about the samples:

Brutality (tracks 3 and 8) features the sample "I am not an animal." I believe this is from the film The Elephant Man, but I haven't seen it, so I'm not sure.

Bondage (tracks 4 and 6) features a sample that sounds like a koto.

Oral Sex At Gunpoint (tracks 5 and 7) features a sample of Johnny "Guitar" Watson saying "yeah" (also heard in Porn Wars). A resolver based on a resynthesized version of this sample – modified beyond recognition – is heard throughout "Resolver ED".

I suspect that the vocal samples come from PMRC television appearances, not from the Senate Committee Hearing. The wording doesn't match the transcript exactly:

        forced oral sex at gunpoint (hearing, page 11)
        or oral sex at gunpoint ("Bondage", "Oral Sex At Gunpoint")

        brutality to women (hearing, page 11)
        brutality against women ("Brutality", "Bondage", "Oral Sex At Gunpoint")

All of the PMRC dialogue in "Porn Wars" (not including the Lumpy Gravy and Thing-Fish outtakes, of course) comes from the hearing – even lines that are missing from the transcript.


I did notice that "Resolver" utilizes a sample that sounds like a slowed-down snork. Big Sequence combines that snork with something else, and the result sounds like "waw-beet". This same sound occurs in "Porn Wars" and in "King Kong" on Make A Jazz Noise Here.

There's also a baritone sax sample that sounds familiar.

Many thanks to C.Ulrich for all his feedback, including this is one:

The following passage from an interview with FZ explains the term "resolver":

'For the sounds that don't resemble any other instruments, we have a whole classification of noises: one being the Evolver, where a sound starts off to be one type of an instrument, and by the time the note is finished, it's been turned into maybe two or three other instruments, all with a smooth transition. Then we have Resolvers, where different types of resynthesized vocal or instrumental timbres are located on each of the four partials, and by depressing a single key on the keyboard, you get a four-note chord that is actually four independent melody lines that resolve against each other to a final payoff. Then if you depress the key at the end of the payoff, you get a bonus of another bent. So you can have little melismas, little eight-note melodies, that occur, and all you do is push the key down, and it sings some kind of Renaissance cadence or whatever. Two of the partials could be resynthesized voices, one could be a resynthesized violin, and the other a resynthesized bassoon. Instant Renaissance ensemble when you hit each key. So you imagine what happens when you play a chord [laughs] – it gets very absurd. It enables you to write things that you couldn't deal with under any other circumstance.'

(from The Sin In Synclavier, Guitar Player 6/86, reprinted in A Definitive Tribute To Frank Zappa, 1994)

According to (Gionata Erba and Oscar Bianco) you can find music similar to Resolver in a movie Peefeeyatko.  This movie has a 8 min piece of FZ music called "Excerptis – Frank Zappae Elektronik MuZik", which is indeed very similar to the Resolver part of this tape.

Christopher D. Opperman:

The beginning of "Big Sequence" on Resolver eventually became "Religious Superstition."

Matt Olmos:

After listening to the entirety of the music, I have
come to the following points:

  • The music IS from the time of 'FZ Meets the MOP,' based on the samples and the style of music.
  • All music heard on 'R + B' seems to be a blueprint for the music on 'Civilization Phaze III,' especially RESOLVER ED. and BRUTALITY – the two title songs.
  • The song 'H.R. 2911' is mainly backing music for PORN WARS, this music is meant as a larger part or even a suite (or two) of work that would comprise an entire album if mixed properly.
  • All of the music on 'R + B' is a missing link between 'Jazz From Hell,' 'Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention' and 'Civilization Phaze III.'

This makes all of the music here a vital part of not only the conceptual continuity of FZ's music, but of all music performed on the Synclavier.

Román García Albertos:

Comparing this track with the Resolver+Brutality tape, it matches in all its length what is called "Resolver ED" on the tape, only with some different samples and some changes in the tonality (some or all of them maybe due to the tape speed). 

Kasper Sloots:

A selection of synclavier works from 1985-6, called "Resolver + Brutality", is known via a cassette tape copy, that Zappa apparently gave to one of his collaborators. ... It has Zappa's handwriting on it and is made up of collages like "H.R. 9211".  It got out of the studio and landed in the bootleg circuit without any information about its provenance, which indicates that Zappa didn't intend this to happen. It's made up of two larger collages and some smaller ones, that include more from the Senate's hearing from 1985 as presented before on "FZ meets the mothers of prevention".
In 2011 the ZFT came out with the content of another tape, titled "Feeding the monkeys at ma maison". According to Gail Zappa it's the master tape of what could have been an album release. This one also has the title on it in Zappa's own handwriting. The title track is the same piece as "Resolver ED" from the cassette, thus now officially available with the best sound quality.
Two things are thus certain. First, Zappa had the material for an album release at hand in 1986 and considered releasing it seriously. Secondly he did not actually release this material till 1994, continuing to work on it for years.

Kevin Blade Logan Miller:

Resolver ED is an early version of Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison. ...
I'm finding delight in the choices that make Feeding The Monkies different from Resolver ED. It provides a sense of how hard Frank worked to transmute "digital dust" into moving pieces of art.