Solo guitarist Jim Ghedi built up the material for Home Is Where I Exist, Now To Live And Die while travelling through Northern Europe, and the restlessness and the exposure to different lives that travel brings is all audibly present here on this record. Ghedi’s traditional folk sensibility plus influences from Eastern Europe and beyond equal a captivating set of pieces. On Cambrian Records.
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Sheffield’s heralded primitivist Jim Ghedi will probably be familiar to local experimentalists, and I’ll forever know him as the dude who strummed ‘n’ picked in support of a Richard Dawson show last year. Fans of Six Organs of Admittance and James Blackshaw will immediately recognise his style, tracing it back through a lineage of frenetic, pastoral fingerpicking. On his new record, ‘Home Is Where I Exist, Now To Love & Die’, Ghedi traverses a swamp of ambient textures before confidently producing acoustic compositions that are… very pretty? Quietly dramatic? Kinda like John Fahey?
In truth, Ghedi’s new record is all about articulation. These pieces move rapidly through the frets, but what’s most interesting is what notes Ghedi pronounces, or where his strums hit the hardest. The dynamics of his work pronounce a narrative that the listener can latch onto amidst a stream of technical bravado. Where it might be easy to get lost in Ghedi’s knotty music, especially live, ‘Home Is Where I Exist’ sees him make his work accessible, whether it’s through the place-setting found sounds of “Bienvenue a Bruxelles, le metro ligne 3 & 4” -- whose sampled street sounds recall the noise collaging of Gordon Ashworth -- or in the momentary melodic upswings of “Journey to Maastricht”. Not only does Ghedi fill his work with little details, he also marks them as signposts for the listener.
On record, Ghedi's material is busier, more welcoming of external sources; the disparate voices and bustling city samples on "Sinful man am I" run concurrently with an otherwise purely acoustic piece, both sounds transfused with the same tempo. Here, Ghedi is not trying to obscure his work, but stress its emotions; he's soaking a desperate tune with the real life sounds that might inspire it -- people arguing and ambulances rushing down the street, both fraught with their own ever-changing melodies.
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