Following in the success of his 2009 release ‘Collected Recordings’ which was a purist ambient/acoustic record made with minimal production, an acoustic guitar, vocals and a tasteful amount of reverb, soulful folk acoustic songwriter Gareth Dickson has taken his music even further back to basics with ‘The Dance’. Stripping back all unnecessary instrumentation and technology leaving nothing between the listener and the artist but the chilling, gloomy echoes of the guitar, the vocals and the room.
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We've had a few CDs by this chap over the years and with each one that arrives I get more intrigued by his work. It seems others are too as his next album is out on 12K some time next year. The Dance is a collection of work recorded in 2005-2006 and released on his own label Sleeping Man Records. In case you're not familiar with his work Gareth plays a guitar and makes an astonishing noise with it. It's beautiful, harmonic, resonant music which is a delight from start to end. Astonishingly there are no overdubs on this release so what you hear is what was played which is refreshing to hear of in this day and age of folks tinkering with everything electronically to get the best sound. When something sounds as good as this then why bother? He's an astonishing guitarist and a talented writer as the songs here are genius. The sound is a sparse one with just guitar but you can hear the creaks of his chair he's sat on and the clicks of the fretboard. Not much else going on aside from his ability to create an astonishing musical atmosphere for you to absorb yourself into. You really should check this guy out as he deserves to be way better known that he is.
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- The Dance by Gareth Dickson
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