It is always enjoyable to see Eivind Aarset play in a context other than his own music. Here he joins his wife Anne-Marie Giørtz for some avant-pop music.
As the sole contributor to Guitar Moderne’s content, posts naturally reflect my musical tastes. You may have noticed these tastes do not normally run toward heavier or highly technical styles like Metal or Prog. Still, I have been peripherally aware of Animals As Leaders for some time. It took Premier Guitar’s Rig Rundown with the band to make me realize they were prime Guitar Moderne candidates. Eight- and sometimes nine-string guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes, along with drummer Matt Garstka are performing music that stems from Metal and Prog, but also embraces Jazz, Fusion, Math Rock, Classical, and Ambient as influences. Their genre combining alone would make them modern, but Abasi’s new signature Ibanez guitar also appears like something sent back from the future, combined with Reyes embrace of amp modeling for live work makes them a band that is pushing the art of guitar forward. Anyone interested in where the instrument might go, need to know about these pioneers. I hope to have an interview with Abasi posted in the New Year.
I discovered Harry Pepl’s unique guitar approach on the Enrico Rava/Dino Saluzzi record Volver [ECM] in 1986 (a must listen). His chorused sound and fluidity were reminiscent of Metheny, but his attack was harder and his sensibility was decidedly more “out.” I loved it and searched the ECM site for more records with his playing on them. I found Cracked Mirrors, his outing with Herbert Joos and John Christiansen, but to my dismay it was only available in Europe. Now, thanks to the glorious fact that (almost) the entire ECM catalog is available for streaming, I am able to experience that record. Unfortunately, ECM has not seen fit to make Werner Pirchner, Harry Pepl, Jack DeJohnette available for some reason (though it is available on YouTube). There are other Pepl recordings to be found on both Spotify and Apple Music. Check out “Cracked Mirror” to hear how his playing in 1988 sounds fresh even today.