Filipe Felizardo is a rare guitar explorer, one who understands that interesting guitar textures are as much the result of interactions with amplifiers as it is fancy fretwork. He has has personally customised his amp with this in mind. Volume IV - The Invading Past and Other Dissolutions is a double LP on the three:four label.
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- Volume IV - The Invading Past and Other Dissolutions by Filipe Felizardo
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I’m smiling listening to this because the fellow responsible for making it -- amp specialist Filipe Felizardo -- described making it as “one of the most wonderful times of my life”. For an album that, on first glance, is just a bunch of improvised guitar sketches, you can hear that zest for life coming through: not only are these solos given a lease of life by Felizardo’s meticulously crunchy amp set-up, they’re also played with the energy of an artist immersed in their creative process.
For this record, Felizardo has decided to fill the space he’s recording in, rolling out riffs, ringing out his distortion, and making his music sound like a constant, unstoppable force -- kinda like if Sunn O))) were playing Mumford and Sons tunes. The record’s epic opener has beautiful riffs that unfold but never fully resolve, while bass notes pounce on them -- Felizardo’s choice to keep the music reverent to biting, grizzly distortion means that he can pass from certain melodies to others without raising eyebrows, and a final, sick riff to envy the White Stripes takes over his gorgeous improv bluster.
Felizardo can also do a thing or two in the more minimal discipline -- on the build to “Frog Princess Choir” he plucks absent-mindedly, like a less well-vacuumed Loren Connors, though he can’t help but fill in the gaps with twanging, almost countrified guitar additives. The tune begins to let feedback intermingle with arpeggiated chords in a strange tango of fuzz. If Felizardo’s just checking how his self-made equipment sounds, then I’m impressed -- the magnitude of the music feels almost theatrical. I’m also worried: he’s built an amp that’s clearly going to become sentient and take over the world. Prepare your earbuds.
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