Phill Niblock – Touch Strings

(Touch) Following 2006’s monumental 3-CD set Touch Three, amid the uppermost pinnacles in Phill Niblock’s career, the latest bulletin by the Indiana dronemeister – who forces the aficionados to settle for just a double helping this time – is completely dedicated to string instruments, both electric and acoustic. The release was repeatedly postponed, generating the sort of anticipation that precedes almost every major artistic statement. There’s no doubt that Niblock’s recordings weigh heavily on the sonic movements of our era and Touch Strings is certainly no exception, especially in virtue of how opposite sensations are strikingly counterbalanced from the very … Continue reading Phill Niblock – Touch Strings

Jon Mueller – Physical Changes

(Table Of The Elements) Percussionist and composer Jon Mueller’s discerning creativity does not rule out a willingness to put the listener’s ears through the ordeals. His music is often bewilderingly violent, yet retains a pumping nucleus connecting it with all that matters in life, good or bad: bodily functions, natural phenomena, ecologic disasters, contagious enthusiasm. The title Physical Changes is perfect for the description of the diverse emotional states in which the audience is transported: tense puzzlement to serious angst, powwow-like repetitiveness to downright desolation. The release comprises three different items: an LP, a CD and a DVD. These recordings, … Continue reading Jon Mueller – Physical Changes

Stanley Schumacher / Musikmacher Productions

In spite of the huge quantity of recordings that I get to listen to on a monthly basis, this triplet of discs represents my very first encounter with Stanley Schumacher’s output. A technically advanced trombonist also utilizing the voice (who actually began with the euphonium), Schumacher has covered several roles in his career, which comprises experiences ranging from Dixieland and swing to modern orchestral compositions. An assortment of situations and projects saw him actively involved until – in 2003 – he founded the ever-changing Music Now Ensemble. All of the records examined in this article were recorded under this flag. … Continue reading Stanley Schumacher / Musikmacher Productions

Richard Chartier – Untitled (Angle.1)

(Nonvisualobjects) Visiting an installation directly is obviously an entirely different experience than merely listening to its soundtrack, due to the evident lack of a multi-sensorial impact that can’t be replicated at home and, especially in this circumstance, the extreme difficulty of finding a domestic environment quiet enough for the propagations to diffuse correctly and reveal their intrinsic character. This is a fundamental requirement in Richard Chartier’s music. As tranquil as the place where I live may be, the reproduction level needed for actually understanding what goes on in Untitled (Angle.1) – the first collaboration of Chartier with visual artist Linn … Continue reading Richard Chartier – Untitled (Angle.1)

Heribert Friedl – Recherche_00

(Nonvisualobjects) An analogue synthesizer (Yamaha CS-40M) and field recordings are the lone origins for this new outing by Heribert Friedl, who in Recherche_00 continues to intensify his interest in exploiting the inherent qualities of a single instrument, as he did with the cimbalom (or “hackbrett”) in Trac[k]_T (also on Nonvisualobjects). The composer refers to this attempt as a “journalistic” research process; more than a sheer report, the music seems instead to correspond to a scrupulous laboratory observation of the evolution of a creature, including the ultimate joy of watching it turn into a legitimate being. From the outset an essential … Continue reading Heribert Friedl – Recherche_00

Pavel Borodin – Speak Easy: The Loft Concert (DVD)

(Panrec) Cologne’s Loft has become a hunting reserve for Pavel Borodin’s shooting of improvising artists (pun intended). After last year’s excellent documentary on Elliott Sharp, The Velocity Of Hue (for which, reports the director, no willing label was found for distribution – a shame, given the quality of that particular work), we’re now able to watch a concert recorded March 14, 2008 by Speak Easy, the quartet of Ute Wassermann, Phil Minton, Thomas Lehn and Martin Blume. The DVD comprises three episodes (the encore is available as bonus material), a no-frills multi-angle presentation which succeeds in portraying the essence of … Continue reading Pavel Borodin – Speak Easy: The Loft Concert (DVD)

Keith Rowe – erstwords + ErstLive007

(Erstwhile) In the occasion of the “AMPLIFY: Light” festival, held in Tokyo in September 2008, Keith Rowe decided, 24 hours prior to his gig, to go fully introspective with the music he’d play, with particular regard to artistic influences and, especially, sounds that have influenced him. Without a doubt, the people who attended the concert – except perhaps the closely related – were unaware of the artist’s intention at that moment. This already establishes a series of sharp differences with those not present, an obvious large majority who only now is able to enjoy the set at least acoustically, but … Continue reading Keith Rowe – erstwords + ErstLive007

Philip Samartzis / Michael Vorfeld – Scheckenrock

(Nonvisualobjects) In a joint artistic venture, the combination of singular approaches and attitudes towards the conception of compelling sounds is a potentially lethal weapon, especially when the human constituents tread entirely different paths to achieve the desired consequence. The products resulting from this sort of collaboration frequently resemble an excessively varicolored pot-pourri in which — more than recognizing a “composition” — the ears tend to isolate the single specifics giving them relevance, per se, as to distinguish who made certain choices or where a personality prevails on the other. In essence, what kills good intentions is, typically, the starkness of … Continue reading Philip Samartzis / Michael Vorfeld – Scheckenrock

Julien Skrobek – Double-Entendre

(Taumaturgia) Julien Skrobek’s work is not destined to generate chasms in the rock of EAI, yet the French experimenter keeps maintaining a reasonably steady release schedule, alternating records that leave practically no trace in the memory to comparatively intriguing episodes where a superior degree of commitment and, consequently, deeper layers of implication are noticeable. Double-Entendre belongs to a category situated in the middle of these extremes. Entirely conceived on guitars and electronics, the CD is almost exactly halved, one track clocking at twenty minutes, the second just 29 seconds longer. In each of the parts we’re subjected to similar recipes, … Continue reading Julien Skrobek – Double-Entendre

Uncle Woody Sullender – Live At Barkenhoff

(Künstlerhäuser Worpswede) Brooklyn-based Woody Sullender is a truly unique specimen of improviser, in that he chose a traditional American sonic tool – the banjo – to “play with and against the cultural baggage of the instrument” and, in simpler prose, discover new improvisational approaches. After receiving technical assistance from the renowned STEIM, Sullender developed a computer-assisted electroacoustic set in which parameters of synthesis and algorithms are controlled by sensors placed on the banjo’s body. Not a surprise, then, that among this picker’s illustrious collaborations are pioneers such as Maryanne Amacher and Pauline Oliveros. And yet, while concentrating on the music … Continue reading Uncle Woody Sullender – Live At Barkenhoff

Jürg and Marianne Rufer – Les Diaboliques: Jubilee Concert DVD

(Intakt) The trio of Irène Schweizer, Maggie Nicols and Joëlle Léandre – Les Diaboliques – represents a primary factor in the history of Intakt, since they were all present in the label’s very first record (Live At Taktlos) before going on to become one of the most lively expressions in the macrocosm of present-day improvisation. Their catalog, also published by the Swiss imprint, provides indispensable samples of theatrical and instrumental virtuosity. Those who haven’t had the lucky chance of watching these women on stage can now appreciate their attitude thanks to this DVD, which captures them in March 2006 at … Continue reading Jürg and Marianne Rufer – Les Diaboliques: Jubilee Concert DVD

“Blue” Gene Tyranny – The Somewhere Songs / The Invention Of Memory

(Mutable) A renowned partner in crime of Robert Ashley, Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, Carla Bley and then some, “Blue” Gene Tyranny is rarely highlighted as a composer. Perhaps this is due to the deceptively simple façade of a good portion of his music, which hides finesse and attention to detail behind a veil of apparent weightlessness, typically explicated by the use of relatively straightforward traits and, quite frequently, synthetic presets that sound terrible on a first listen, until we become conscious of their necessity in the economy of the piece. But here’s a completely different story. This CD, released in … Continue reading “Blue” Gene Tyranny – The Somewhere Songs / The Invention Of Memory

John Butcher – Resonant Spaces

(Confront) In the summer of 2006, Arika invited John Butcher – together with Japanese artist Akio Suzuki – to perform in the Resonant Spaces event, an itinerary across several remote regions of Scotland featuring locations which, according to the organizers, would put the artists in the condition of being “informed by the acoustic space they found themselves in”, as per Barry Esson’s explanation. The sites, ranging from stone formations in a meadowland to a phallus-shaped mausoleum, were all deemed valuable for interactive acoustic exploitation by the many-sided aptitude of Butcher, his intuitions about the propagation of the sound of saxophones … Continue reading John Butcher – Resonant Spaces

Charles Evans – The King Of All Instruments

(Hot Cup) A pupil of Bill Zaccagni, David Liebman and Antonio Hart, and currently well known as the companion of adventures of (unrelated) trumpeter Peter Evans and bassist Moppa Eliott in the “microtonal bebop” gang The Language Of, Charles Evans’ artistic mission is focused upon the achievement of near-perfection on the baritone saxophone, which the aforementioned Zaccagni used to call “the king of all instruments”, reputing the other members of the same instrumental family as children of a lesser god. Influenced by the work of Charles Ives, Evans decided to put this material on tape exclusively utilizing the deep-voiced puffing pachyderm … Continue reading Charles Evans – The King Of All Instruments

Milo Fine – Ananke

(Emanem) This CD features two different sets by self-taught multi-instrumentalist Milo Fine – a solo performance and a trio with saxophonist Jaron Childs and drummer Davu Seru, respectively recorded in 2006 and 2007 at the Acadia Cabaret Theatre of Minneapolis. Throughout both, Fine exclusively played a semi-wrecked, detuned piano (previously donated to Acadia by a woman named Jordan, who used to work there) to which he added electronics during the trio gig. As explained in his liners, the protagonist wanted to “really get into the innards of that wonderful beast”; one thinks about a primitively enraged, shocking attack as sweat … Continue reading Milo Fine – Ananke

Torben Snekkestad – Conic Folded

(ILK) Inspired by Jimmy Giuffre’s trio with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, Norwegian Torben Snekkestad – here featured on saxophones and clarinet – releases his first solo CD after having honed his skills in various positions, either relative to jazz or chamber music: he can play with the London Improvisers Orchestra and The Athelas Sinfonietta Copenhagen with the same confidence. In Conic Folded he’s escorted by compatriot pianist Jon Balke (of ECM reputation) and Danish bassist Jonas Westergaard, who has worked with Oliver Lake and John Tchicai, among others. While partially fulfilling promises of refined seclusions and typical suggestions of … Continue reading Torben Snekkestad – Conic Folded

Stephen Scott – Vikings Of The Sunrise

(New Albion) Corvallis, Oregon’s Stephen Scott is one of those composers who, by self-carving a niche through the exploitation of a singular means of expression, has both gained my unconditioned admiration and confined his artistic persona quite far from a deserved mass recognition. On the other hand, those in the know are already acquainted with Scott’s amazing work on bowed piano: the namesake Ensemble moves around and inside the instrument armed with rosined sticks and nylon threads, at the same time performing a sort of ritual ceremony in adoration of majestic resonance and extracting marvellously unusual chords and imposing overtones which, … Continue reading Stephen Scott – Vikings Of The Sunrise

Andrew Liles and Daniel Menche – The Progeny Of Flies

(Beta-Lactam Ring) When two creative personalities like Andrew Liles and Daniel Menche join forces, fans are entitled to great expectations, no questions asked. This writer, hardly au fait with the activities of the overwhelmingly prolific Englishman but for a handful of releases and, on the whole, suspicious of certain overly enthusiastic reactions in front of anything even remotely linked with the often unjustified Nurse With Wound cult, can instead (perhaps presumptuously) define himself an ante litteram analyzer of Menche’s body of work, discovered and scientifically scrutinized well over a decade before the honey-drenched odes and ecstatic howls at the moon found … Continue reading Andrew Liles and Daniel Menche – The Progeny Of Flies

Miya Masaoka – While I was walking, I heard a sound…

(Solitary B) Sound artist and performer Miya Masaoka’s installations are much renowned, a couple of them even featuring insects walking on her naked body. Apart from this extravagant cross of entomological curiosity and physical art, she writes music that puzzles and fascinates at once, ranging from orchestral improvisation to reinterpretations of Thelonious Monk’s tunes with Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman, not to mention her solo performances on koto.  Scored for “3 choirs and 9 soloists spatialized in balconies”, this particular opus lasts only 31 minutes yet offers a fine combination of vibrant emotions. The version on this CD, which was released in 2005, … Continue reading Miya Masaoka – While I was walking, I heard a sound…

Fhievel / Luca Sigurtà – The Wheel

(Creative Sources) This album comprises the fundamental elements of an exhibition named “La fabbrica e la sua voce” (The factory and its voice) held in 2007 in Pray, where the only Italian specimen of industrial unit alimented by a non-electric transmission of power is carefully preserved by the local authorities. Luca Bergero/Fhievel and Luca Sigurtà (respectively, an engineer in electronics who started trafficking in experimental music in 2000 and a soundscaper active since the second half of the 90s and who refers about a “passion for found sounds” in his biographic notes) assembled the “inside voices” of the plant, capturing … Continue reading Fhievel / Luca Sigurtà – The Wheel

Fred Frith – To Sail, To Sail

(Tzadik) It’s not necessary for Fred Frith to be cryptic. Everything in this man’s music – from the demos of 1983’s Cheap At Half The Price to the complex interaction of improvisation and orchestral capacities (courtesy of Ensemble Modern) of the never enough praised Traffic Continues, released by Winter & Winter in 2000 – reveals the artist’s origins, undernourished-but-resistant elements of true incorruptibility merged with the unambiguous signs of an everlasting pursuit of instrumental knowledge which, to this day, reveals no trace of oxidation or, even worse, lassitude. In his work, advanced development and road bumpiness weigh in as opposite … Continue reading Fred Frith – To Sail, To Sail

Jacob Lindsay / Ava Mendoza / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter – Jus

(Balance Point Acoustics) A rather uncomfortable, half-pungent-half-refined improvisational proposition from a quartet of receptive-minded musicians whose inclinations and – at least to some extent – reputations should supposedly encourage full use of runaway blasts, critically reprehensible user-unfriendliness and hectic free-for-all. Curiously enough, the music ends up in sounding pretty much controlled for the large part of the program instead, countless perturbations notwithstanding. Apropos of this, a loud volume playback is suggested; the perennially non-complying scrutinizer decreed that the six tracks work satisfactorily in the lower regions of auricular sufferance as well. Lindsay performs on various kinds of clarinet (Ab, Bb, … Continue reading Jacob Lindsay / Ava Mendoza / Damon Smith / Weasel Walter – Jus

Dietrich Eichmann / Jeff Arnal – The Temperature Dropped Again

(Leo) A hardly divulged, not-to-be-overlooked-anyway release from 2004 pairs two artistic individualities who, despite having gone on to bigger and better things in recent times, had already given an idea of their stimulating capabilities in this context. Dietrich Eichmann – currently in strict business relationships with Walter & Sabrina (give an empty-minded try to the latest Demons! on Danny Dark) – is an academically trained musician, well conscious of his technical grounds regardless of an initial flourishing as untainted improviser in the wake of Alex Von Schlippenbach’s teachings. Still, he spent many years dedicating himself exclusively to scored composition (we’re … Continue reading Dietrich Eichmann / Jeff Arnal – The Temperature Dropped Again

Thanos Chrysakis / Dario Bernal Villegas / Oli Mayne – Palimpsesto

(Aural Terrains) A sonic palette containing tuned percussion instruments such as vibraphone and marimba, inside and prepared piano, live electronics, bass drum and cymbal should get listeners on the lookout about the course of this trio’s music. Yet there’s still something that escapes me at the end of Palimpsesto, a sense of incompleteness only partially assuaged by the clever musicianship of the partakers. Maybe it’s the manifold guidelines which the music seems to follow: one moment we’re genuinely wrapped up by pure improvisation, masterfully recorded piano strings bowed and scraped amidst sporadic whispers and yelps and, naturally, a lot of … Continue reading Thanos Chrysakis / Dario Bernal Villegas / Oli Mayne – Palimpsesto

Four with Z’EV

A couple of months ago this writer received a small package containing a poker of releases whose common denominator is volcanic percussionist, dancer, conceptualist, numerologist and “decomposer/re-composer” Z’EV (née Stefan Joel Weisser), to this day not enough acknowledged in proportion to the magnitude of a work which traverses four decades, from furious early solo performances to essential collaborations with the likes of Glenn Branca and Organum. The right occasion for a little update about the activities of this indestructible, unclassifiable spirit. For further information, go here. Hati vs. Z’EV – #1 (Ars Benevola Mater) An untouchable record or, if you … Continue reading Four with Z’EV

Totem > – Solar Forge

(ESP-Disk’) One looks at the inside cover photograph of the musicians, squat under a bridge (perhaps in Brooklyn, where the record was taped), staring at the camera with a less than cordial look, and instantly thinks that there’s a crew from Law & Order Criminal Intent hidden somewhere. Then the music begins, and the first consideration prickling the mind is “recipients of the Massacre legacy” (meaning the Frith, Laswell and Maher original Downtown NY trio, not other namesake articles). “Blooming Ore”, a lightning bolt of an opening track, is a intricate synthesis of apparently incoherent yet thoroughly allied anarchic spirits, … Continue reading Totem > – Solar Forge

Die Schrauber – Live In Mexico

(Acheulian Handaxe) Here’s an appropriate paradigm of amazingly dynamic EAI that wins any title fight against the bastard sons of onkyo. By now Hans Tammen’s “endangered guitar” has probably arrived in close proximity of the ultimate frontier which an axe can be pushed to in terms of erratic sonority, something that perhaps not even messieurs Frith, Reichel and Fitzgerald could envisage at the time of their pioneering experiments on the Guitar Solos series. In Tammen’s visualization, paradoxical chords and warping-as-they-resonate phrases repelling any classification get additionally butchered by the innards of an unspeakable tabletop apparatus. Cologne’s Joker Nies uses bare … Continue reading Die Schrauber – Live In Mexico

Robert Ashley – Concrete

(Lovely) The brain of an old man living alone, self-posing questions concerning things that could appear as mundane but probably aren’t, versus a reviewer wondering why in the world 95 minutes – divided onto two CDs – of this type of flux of consciousness should represent a “new masterpiece” by Robert Ashley, which, let me put this bluntly from the beginning, is not the case. Not this time. The overall structure of Concrete is basic: an alternance of “collective” and “soloist” spoken sections carried on for the entire program, over a malleable background of orchestral samples designed by the composer, … Continue reading Robert Ashley – Concrete

The Remote Viewers – Control Room

(Self-Release) Courtesy of composer David Petts – a prime mover behind The Remote Viewers and the father of 4/5 of the work described hereunder – this writer is in possession of one of the 200 copies of a 5-CD set which took a number of listens to penetrate, at least in part. I’m not really persuaded of having succeeded, as Control Room is a small conglomerate of styles, deconstructions of those very styles, unrelated presences, blends of electronica, jazz and chamber music. Hardly classifiable stuff, if not for a certain inclination to the zones bordering with Rock In Opposition and … Continue reading The Remote Viewers – Control Room

Stapleton/Bourne & Paula Gardiner Trio on Edition

Edition Records is a newly born label from Cardiff, founded by pianist and composer Dave Stapleton – a Keith Tippett alumnus – and photographer Tim Dickeson (not unexpectedly, the artwork illustrating the inserts is glorious to say the least). One of the intents is to let people “remember the pleasure of buying an LP, taking it out of the sleeve, staring at the cover and reading every word of the notes”. Of course this practice should ideally walk hand in hand with premium music. The first results, two of which were kindly submitted to this reviewer, appear relatively encouraging. Dave Stapleton … Continue reading Stapleton/Bourne & Paula Gardiner Trio on Edition

Phantom Limb & Bison – Phantom Limb & Bison

(Utech) In 2005, Jamie Fennelly, Chris Forsyth, Shawn Edward Hansen and Chris Heenan recorded this pair of outstretched tracks in two different live settings in New York, their instrumentation comprising oscillators, bass drum, electronics, guitars, analog synthesizers and contrabass clarinet. This 200-copy limited edition, coming on CDR in a modest cardboard sleeve, is one of those precious, if hardly measurable emissions risking to be disregarded as a negligible instalment, which would be a disgrace. For sure, some of you already know what I’m talking about: electro-acoustic dismemberment of the Drone is the name of the game. In “Get Out! You … Continue reading Phantom Limb & Bison – Phantom Limb & Bison

Christian Weber – Walcheturm Solo

(Cut) Few acoustic visionaries are able to render the details of their methodological prowess as visible as bassist Christian Weber does. His playing sounds grounded, strong-rooted, at times even soiled by a griminess that’s all the more mystifying in view of the altitudes frequently reached by the Swiss artist, either as a member of some group or – as in this case – performing alone. This particular outing is quite disobedient, an uncharacteristic facet of Weber’s intention: the “exploration of a resonant space”. Something not easy to achieve when your comrades, as perceptive as they may be, sabotage healthily egotistic … Continue reading Christian Weber – Walcheturm Solo

Jos Smolders – Gaussian Transient

(Megaphone) Overemphasizing the electronic aspects in a mixed source composition can result in a tragic error sometimes, the major risk factor being an excessive similarity to other pieces and, on the contrary, the danger of transforming the whole into some sort of mutation of a Playstation game soundtrack. The alternative is usually a release based on pure or slightly treated field recordings; but that method, too, has predictably begun to include big-time commonplaces, albeit pleasurable ones (pouring rain, forest birds, people’s chat in the streets and the sea’s wash are often a great listen but – come on – how long have … Continue reading Jos Smolders – Gaussian Transient

Will Montgomery [Heribert Friedl]

(Nonvisualobjects) By listening to this joint effort by Will Montgomery and Heribert Friedl one realizes that the act of creating a certain kind of music doesn’t differ too much from taking a deep breath in the silence of a forest during a solitary walk, and – eyes closed – determining what’s heard in that very moment, and from where those manifestations arrive. These gentlemen are definitely interested in the same musical areas, the ones where improvisation and structural definition meet; exactly in that territory they tried to mingle talents, starting a collaboration in the spring of 2006. Friedl recorded himself … Continue reading Will Montgomery [Heribert Friedl]

National Health – National Health

(Affinity) This writer is a sitting duck for anything Canterbury but, pressed by a gun pointed at the temple, National Health – the group’s first album – would probably be my pet choice in their meagre discography. During the years in which many people were starting to be fooled by punk’s corporate anarchy-cum-insubstantial imaginativeness and practically everybody felt entitled to whack a distorted guitar, genuinely dreaming English artists were still trying to delicately chisel odd-metre masterpieces lacking the typical pomp of progressive rock, executed with wisdom and dexterity and, in this particular juncture, sung by that flute-voiced angel named Amanda … Continue reading National Health – National Health

Brendan Murray – Commonwealth

(23Five) Even though the association to Phill Niblock, Eliane Radigue and Iannis Xenakis on the press release sounds a little disproportionate, there’s no doubt that Commonwealth stands among the finest drone-based records landed on this desk in recent times. Brendan Murray has been active in Boston’s sound art scene for a long time now, also as a partner of renowned individuals in the same field (Sillage, with Seth Nehil on Sedimental, a quasi-milestone in that logic). His creativity orbits around the meticulous modification of various sorts of instrumental radiation until the matter becomes just about unrecognizable, a process whose perfection … Continue reading Brendan Murray – Commonwealth

Henry Cow – In Praise Of Learning

(Virgin) Paypal-funded old farts rejoice: come next autumn, Rér will issue the definitive Henry Cow box, nine CDs of previously unreleased archival materials and, get this, a DVD containing the only existent footage of the group. This should definitely carve in stone the fact that this collective – whose name, for the still existing doubters, is NOT derived from composer Henry Cowell – has been an influence, when not the origin, in several fundamental pages of the book that delineates the transition from cultivated rock to improvisation, plus their subsequent (a-hem) fusion. In a nutshell, 1975’s In Praise Of Learning … Continue reading Henry Cow – In Praise Of Learning

Biota – Half A True Day

(Recommended Records) The fact that Biota release an album every seven years or so certainly hasn’t helped in generating the attention that their work fully deserves. Half A True Day – released quite a while ago, but only recently arrived in my hands – stands proudly amidst the corporation’s absolute best. Yet the same destiny of its predecessors seems to be awaiting. It’s called virtual obscurity. Ever since the very first records under the Biota/Mnemonists marks (the latter used today for the collective’s visual counterpart, which adorns covers and booklets with splendidly imaginative artwork) the group has been dealing with … Continue reading Biota – Half A True Day

Allan Holdsworth / Gordon Beck – The Things You See

(JMS) This classy guitar and piano duet from 1980 is quite an anomalous outing in Allan Holdsworth’s career as it contains rather unusual elements even for such a pathfinder. For starters, two rarities: the acoustic guitar, an instrument certainly not loved by the Leeds virtuoso due to lack of sustain, is vastly utilized throughout – and in “At The Edge” our man sings, with lovely results. There’s also a bit of conceptual continuity involved: the title track will re-appear in I.O.U. (1982), its vocal line directly taken from the above mentioned “At The Edge”, while the record’s opener “Golden Lakes” … Continue reading Allan Holdsworth / Gordon Beck – The Things You See

Brian Godding – Slaughter on Shaftesbury Avenue

(Reckless) It’s a world of guitar heroes, isn’t it? Some of them can’t even play the damn instrument, but they were born to be heroes nonetheless (hell, even Kurt Cobain managed to become an icon). That an accomplished guitarist and composer such as Brian Godding is so mildly recognized, despite a long tenure with Mike Westbrook and collaborations with Julie Tippetts, Magma, Centipede among the many (not to mention his own Blossom Toes), remains a scandalous injustice. This album – his only official solo release – dates from 1988, this writer calling it a genuine desert island disc, totally eschewing … Continue reading Brian Godding – Slaughter on Shaftesbury Avenue