This phenomenal show was fortunately captured on high quality video and largely great sound. Stian & Company (Øystein Moen, keys; Erland Dahlen, drums, Susanna Wallumrød, guest vocals) offer up Wagnerian Sturm und Drang; crashing waves and violent winds, alternating with moments of heart wrenching beauty in Norway’s reverberant Nidarosdomen cathedral.
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Slovakian guitarist David Kollar’s style includes elements of two Norwegian modern guitar icons, Eivind Aarset (an occasional collaborator) and Stian Westerhus. On the recently released, The Son, his atmospheric work recalls Aarset’s solo recordings and time as sideman to Nils Petter Molvaer, while Kollar’s noisier interjections bring to mind Westerhus’ experiments with pedals. It is the tension and release of atmosphere and noise that lend The Son the power to convey the strong emotions Kollar suffered during the illness of his son—feelings that inspired the recording. Listening to The Son is highly recommended, as is reading what Kollar has to say about its making and how he developed his unique style.
We begin our third installment of Guitar Moderne Festival videos with the spectacular 3rd set of a live performance on 13 Sept 2012 at Einstein cultural center Munich that took place simultaneously at two venues. Eivind Aarset and Marc Ducret are playing at Unterfahrt/Einstein, sending their live signals to Jan Bang (sampling) and Gunnar Geisse (laptop) at MUG/Einstein. Bang and Geisse are processing, sampling and realtime remixing the sounds of Aarset and Ducret. There is a signal path from Geisse to Bang as well. Some guitar sounds appear to be originating on Geisse’s computer.
Continue on for sets by Stian Westerhus, Dither, and Bill Frisell Continue reading
I don’t know how Piotr Zapart’s creations have escaped my radar for so long, but thanks to a David Torn Facebook post I checked out the HEXE Guitar Electronics website. Torn mentioned the HEXE Revolver pedal, which looks to be the perfect glitch machine for creating Torn/Stian Westerus type glitch loops and much, much more. Hope to get one in for review, but until then, the website is full of great demo videos. Also, here is a link to an interview with Piotr .
There is no pricing on the website but you can contact Piotr at email@example.com
For the most part Europeans, and especially Scandinavians, are miles ahead of Americans when it comes to the seamless integration of jazz with sampling, beats, and electronics that is Nü-Jazz. Nils Petter Molvær brought out Khmer in 1995, while Bugge Wesseltoft, Jazzanova and St. Germain have been working this territory easily as long. Guitarists mining this particular type of fusion also seem to reside on the east side of the Atlantic: Eivind Aarset, Bram Stadhouders, Jeff Beck, Stian Westerhus, and Nguyên Lê have been long at home with the grooves of EDM and/or the sounds of experimental electronica.
People love lists; at least the majority of publications seem to think so. They stir up controversy, which attracts attention. Thus I feel almost obligated to offer a year’s best list, for this, our first year of publication.
Keep in mind that the top twelve, listed in no particular order, merely represents the recordings, released this year (ish), that I found myself returning to over the course of time. In the spirit of Guitar Moderne, I list them primarily to incite readers to check them out. They by no means are meant to be an “objective” list of the “best” recordings of the year, but only the ones that I heard and personally responded to—my best, if you will. They very much reflect my own taste and your list will undoubtedly vary. By all means chime in and let me know what you think I missed.
Seattle’s Bill Horist has a range of extended techniques that is awe inspiring. In performance at the Stone in New York he turned in a perfect forty minute set that never flagged in inventiveness and musicality. His command of textures and dynamics is rivaled only by Norway’s Stian Westerhus. Here is a full set from July of this year that is a master class in looping, and abusing a guitar with a variety of implements.
If modern guitar has its own Jeff Beck or Jimi Hendrix it is Stian Westerhus. Like those iconic guitarists, Westerhus explores the outer reaches of sonic possibilities available from an electric guitar, an amplifier, and some effects (okay, in his case, a lot of effects), all the while exhibiting what can only be defined as star quality.