Vinyl LP £12.49 RMLP001
Edition of 200 on Runningonair.
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According to its press release, this LP is based around theatrical improvisational techniques. I'm genuinely uncertain as to what that means in the context of the music and what the difference is between those and musical improvisational techniques but what I can tell you is that this album is packed full of tasty little dual guitar explorations with occasional gentle and unobtrusive vocals. There's a nice combination of boomy reverberance and percussive attack in his sound which is very hard not to admire. He's totally wigging out in places here with the kind of aggressive gusto and liquid virtuosity that'll keep you noticing new details listen after listen. Often the precision and attack and reverb kind of bring to mind Robbie Basho, but without the legendary picker's note count, and the spaciousness of the melodies gives it a yearning, understated soundtracky feel. There's a bit of playing around with effects and samples here too, and even the odd weird twangy experimental passage, so it's not just a pure fingerpicking record, although I think it's fair to say that if you don't like fingerpicking you'll bloody hate this. Good thing I do like it, then. When he really hits his stride there's a real bubbling organic momentum that's just massively intimate and life-affirming. I guess it lies between the classic dusky explorations of the likes of John Fahey and the more psychedelic mystical vibes of Orfanado, but with some Cave/Ellis soundtrack moods thrown in for good measure. Powerfully evocative stuff.
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