Spotlight: Markus W. Schneider

Sometimes it takes great modern players to demonstrate new ways in which the electric guitar can be used to creatively enhance the song form: Belew/Fripp in King Crimson, David Torn with David Bowie, Stian Westerhus with his band Pale Horses, and now Markus Schneider on his new record Widerspruch, where he intones evocative vocals over glitchy guitar. This Viennese guitarist contacted me and I checked out some live videos, where his cool Hofner immediately caught my eye. I decided an interview was in order.

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Spotlight: Eyal Maoz

The latest project from the Israeli guitarist /composer Eyal Maoz is the band Hypercolor, with bassist James Ilgenfritz, and drummer Lukas Ligeti. Their self-titled record is on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records. Though the band is based in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has hints of American Avant-guitar pioneer Sonny Sharrock running throughout their music, they also evidence a Euro sensibility in their combination of discipline and freedom, as well as their willingness to  explore both melodic and dissonant textures.

In addition to his work with Hypercolor, Maoz leads the bands Edom (combining Jewish music with new wave, electronic music and disco), the acoustic Middle-Eastern band Dimyon, The Crazy Slavic Band, 9 Volt, and the Maoz-Sirkis Duet (with drummer Asaf Sirkis). He also performs the music of John Zorn with Cobra and Abraxas. Across all these projects, he demonstrates an enormous sonic vocabulary to go with his technical prowess.

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