When Jessica Ackerley performs with her clean Strat plugged straight into her amp, the accuracy and authority of her rapid-fire right hand is a thing of beauty. Her record A New Kind of Water [Bandcamp] made Guitar Moderne Record Picks XVIII based on her warm tones, advanced sense of space, and musical interaction. On the other side are the unique sounds she gets through her pedal board when performing in her noise-pop duo ESSi. The combination made talking to her a must.
One day, I came across Keisuke Matsuno on Don Mount’s YouTube channel. Suddenly it was going, “Who is this guy? This is a kind of guitar I love: exactly the way he does what he does, in the context in which he does it.” Certainly, there are other guitar players playing modern guitar sounds within the context of already outside, noisy, or fully electronic music, like Matsuno’s work with Hans Tammen. Rarer is the ability to inject these elements into a largely consonant context, like Nels Cline with Wilco, Ethan Ballinger’s work with country star Lee Ann Womack, or the subversive playing Matsuno himself does in saxophonist Timo Vollbrecht’s Fly Magic ensemble.
Former Gang of Youths guitarist Joji Malani performs an improvised composition in the Grand Courts of the currently closed Art Gallery of NSW (New South Wales).
Guitar Moderne Spotlight subject Florent Paris a/k/a/ Hors Sujet , has been collaborating with ambient musicians Analog Weapon, Foot, and Andrea Gava under the auspices of Magpie Pirates to present YouTube concerts on a regular basis. The ambient nature of the music means that latency in not an issue. Freed from the constraint of having to be locked in rhythmically, they can play together in real time. Their next show will be Tuesday April 28th at 6pm UTC (convert that to your zone’s time here ).
When I first moved back to New York from San Francisco at the turn of the Millennium, I would often go see Wayne Krantz at the 55 Bar. His trio with Keith Carlock and Tim Lefebvre was the emblematic of the city’s energy: daring, cool, creative, in your face. A recent show in Nashville revealed that the guitarist is pushing the sonic and rhythmic elements of improvisation further than ever before. Eventually, my interview for Guitar Player will come out, but until then here is the man himself talking about his music and music in general in a way that is rarely heard. Now excuse me, I have to go buy his book.