In the latter part of 2016, following the death of Leonard Cohen, improvising guitarist Charlie Ulyatt decided to pay tribute to the great man in a pleasingly oblique way. Rather than just throwing together a few covers, he pulled out phrases from Cohen’s poetry and let them inspire his guitar playing. Do Not Forget Old Friends is the tender and beautiful result. Self-released in a slender CDr and tape edition.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 04 January 2017
Charlie Ulyatt is a Nottingham based musician who plays solo guitar in a kind of semi-improvised style. Here he used his thoughts on the passing of Leonard Cohen to write very quickly a series of pieces inspired by the great man's poetry. As you might expect the pieces have a bleak and minimal feel with notes few and far between. Space is used to good effect and on the likes of 'Alone on the Bus; there's something of the eerie guitar tones Slint used on 'Spiderland'.
His music is comparable to another Midlands based improviser Yellow 6 but is less lush and more stark seemingly with no overdubs and little treatment on the guitar other than hints of reverb.
The album is patient and minimal and sometimes I wish for more variation but it is successful in creating a mood that allows you to sink deep into these short improvisations.
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- Do Not Forget Old Friends by Charlie Ulyatt
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