Maurizio Abate is usually found making experimental albums of a psychedelic nature with the recording process being just part of the music’s ever-evolving journey. With his latest work he has decided to abandon all that and make Loneliness, Desire and Revenge: a stripped back acoustic guitar album that reflects Abate’s mood. Unlike his previous work, this contains more-or-less the definitive versions of the songs. His relationship with the acoustic guitar was inspired by the film In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey, which he arranged several screenings of in his native Italy.
7/10 Jim Staff review, 09 November 2015
Italian experimentalist, Maurizio Abate isn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last musician to fall under the spell of John Fahey. Having organised a series of screenings across Italy of James Cullingham’s documentary ‘In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey’, Abate decided to shed the psychedelic maximalism for which he was previously known in order to plough that same lonely furrow as Fahey, developing the craft of weaving intricate narratives from a solo acoustic guitar.
Given the hard-hitting album title, not to mention Abate’s previous immersion in free-form sound making, the album has a surprisingly traditional feel, with the songs relying on good ol’ fingerpicked melodies and distinct song structures that are nevertheless dynamic and expansive to draw the listener in. The album was recorded on reel-toreel tape at home by Abate and has a relaxed, open feel as he thoughtfully explores the changing moods of the music. Occasionally he embellishes his pickin’ with various sound textures, like on ‘In My Heart For A While’, which follows a breezy path through an arch of wistful harmonicas before settling into a luxuriant middle section that blooms into ecstatic, rippling electric guitar. Overall it’s a sensitively constructed album that will no doubt reward repeated, intimate listening.
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