EarthQuaker Devices corralled Nels for their Board to Death series. He talks about and demonstrates his gear alternating between brilliant playing and hilarious commentary.
In contrast to the increased size of Winter NAMM 2018, this year’s Summer NAMM in Nashville seemed a bit smaller than last year’s event with fewer big product unveilings. The fare skewed traditional rather than cutting edge, even more so than usual. That said there were some cool new offerings worthy of mention.
Sometimes you start listening to a recording and instantly know you are hearing something special. On the ECM release, White, guitarist Marc Sinan joins Oğuz Büyükberber on clarinet, bass clarinet for a series of partly composed, partly improvised duets. And when I say joins, I mean joins; rarely have I hear two artists so in synch they sound like a single consciousness. Sinan augments his custom-made electric with intermittent real-time processing, and extended techniques positioned to add maximum emotional weight. Sinan discusses his unique take on “classical” music combined with improvisation.
Those familiar with Anthony Pirog from his work with the duo Janel and Anthony or from his solo record, Palo Colorado Dream, might be surprised by the pugnacious shredding he evidences in his new band, The Messthetics. They shouldn’t be, though. If you lie down with punks you wake up with aggro, and joining Pirog in the band is the former Fugazi rhythm section of Joe Lally and drummer Brendan Canty. The Messthetics also let’s Pirog channel his inner Sonny Sharrock, which combined with his mastery of effects makes for one of the most exciting modern guitar records so far this year.
Beautifully shot and recorded at the old Stone. Nels turning it full on, with the Radical Empathy Trio, Michael Wimberly, drums and Thollem Electric, Keyboards.