Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Guitar Moderne NAMM 2015 Report


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

The 2015 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California was more crowded than in years. The main trend, guitar-wise, seemed to be custom guitars that recalled old Harmonys, Silvertones, and oddball Italian or Japanese instruments; not forward thinking—but definitely cool. Also plentiful, as we shall see, were “freak-out fuzz pedals.”

The best in show from a modernist standpoint would have to be the GTC Sound Innovations Rev Pad. This Israeli offering may or may not see wide scale production and distribution, but this touchpad control of a dedicated multi-effect system—one that also offers expression outputs to control external effects—was the most interesting new concept on display.

Continue reading

Share

Vauxflores Number 23


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

The Vauxflores Number 23 ($179, not including shipping and handling) numbers among the various fuzz-centric buzz-boxes with “heterodyned, atonal artifacts” that seem to be gaining popularity among modern guitarists. Like the Trombetta Tornita, Z.Vex Fuzz Factory, and a number of pedals at this year’s NAMM, in Feedback mode the Vauxflores Number 23 emits random self-oscillating pitches when the guitar volume is rolled down—I guess that’s what “heterodyned, atonal artifacts” means. The pedal is designed in San José, Costa Rica, and each one is hand-built.

Continue reading

Share

Spotlight: Atsuko Chiba

A Canadian experimental rock band with three count ’em three guitarists? —Perfect Guitar Moderne fodder I’d say. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Atsuko Chiba, formed in December 2012, consists of Karim Lakdhar (guitar, synths, and vocals), Kevin McDonald (guitar and synths), David Palumbo (bass and vocals), Anthony Piazza (drums, visuals) and Eric Schafhauser (guitar, synths). To date, they have released a live EP, Animalia: Several States of Being (2013), and a full-length album Jinn (2014). They are set to release their second album in spring 2015.

The band’s music features heavy effect processing and ambient electronics, within a melodic and rhythmic framework. “Cinematic” is a term often bandied about, especially with instrumental music, but theirs certainly deserves the description, with tunes comparable to everything from small indie films to Marvel superhero epics. Their live performances actually combine music and film to create immersive sensorial environments.

Continue reading

Share

J.A.Deane’s Guitar Choir

The GM spotlight was focused on sampling pioneer/lap steel dulcimer player, J.A. “Dino” Deane in the Instant Takemitsu post a few years ago. It seemed appropriate to spend more time with him on the eve of his new release Zen Noir, on which he directs the Out of Context Electric Guitar Choir, made up of six guitarists and two percussionists, using a method called Conduction.

Conduction, developed by the late cornetist/composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, is a vocabulary of signs and gestures transmitted by a conductor to an orchestra, providing instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form—a kind of middle path between notation and improvisation. Given that Conduction is all about gesture, it made sense to post my Skype interview with Deane, so he could demonstrate some of the signs employed. I urge you to check out this video where he explains how this new method of music performance works and expounds brilliantly on a variety of musical subjects. He was also kind enough to revisit the GM questionnaire and provide an update on his live performance gear.

Continue reading

Share

The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview

They tell me those kinds of headlines attract web traffic, but I believe this actually may be the ultimate Reeves Gabrels interview. An occasional resident of Nashville, the former Bowie, current The Cure guitarist was able to sit down with me for two extensive sessions, during which he was courageously candid about his life, exquisitely detailed about his gear, and immensely interesting in his ideas about music and the art of making it. His new record, Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends, is a brilliant example of building on the classic blues roots of rock’s yesteryear to create music as modern as tomorrow.  So, without further ado: The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview.

Continue reading

Share