This will be a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings that come to my attention that are momentous enough to make sure they come to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (subjective, but no blues, classic rock, country, etc.) and on a par with the ones below to rate a mention. Many of these are available from DMG in NYC.
I seem to have started this back in November and neglected to post it. I have added some more recent releases as well.
Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus – Bonita [Rune Grammofon] The greatest guitar vocal duo since Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald. Modern guitar at its best and most modern.
Nazoranai (Haino Keiji/Oren Ambarchi/Stephen O’Malley) – The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has it Arrived Already..? [Ideologic] Organ Soma 18; France] Keiji Haino (guitar, vocals & synth), Stephen O’Malley (bass guitar) and Oren Ambarchi (Drums).
Vinnie Sperraza –Apocryphal [Loyal Label] Loren Stilman (alto sax), Brandon Seabrook (guitar), Eivind Opsvik (bass), Vinnie Sperrazza (drums). A great introduction to Seabrook’s off-kilter approach to jazz.
Radian w/Howe Gelb – Radian verses Howe Gelb [Radian Records/Trost Records] Martin Brandlmayr (drums, vibraphone, electronics), Martin Siewert (guitar, lap and pedal steel, electronics), John Morton (bass), Howe Gelb (voice, guitar, piano) Martin Siewert’s first record with this magnificent modern trio teams them with Arizona legend Howe Gelb. Howe Gelb’s acoustic contributions were sometimes a reaction to material by Radian, sometimes pulled from his own ideas. His sounds were dissected, dissolved, reoriented, mutated, and made to fit into Radian’s world.
Nels Cline & Julian Lage – Room [Mack Ave] Lage is on the left channel, Cline on the right, on four guitars: Cline a 1965 Gibson Barney Kessel archtop and a 1962 Gibson J-200 acoustic; Lage his Linda Manzer archtop and a 1939 Martin 000-18 acoustic. They seemed an unlikely duo when teamed for the Downtown Music Gallery 21rst Anniversary show, but they brought down the house. Cline, plugged straight in to the amp, demonstrated that effects are never a crutch for his creativity, and Lage showing that he is far more than a brilliant traditionalist.
Kevin Kastnig/Mark Wingfield In Stories [Greydisc Records] Kevin Kastnig (36-string Double Contraguitar, 17-string Contraguitar, 12-string Alto guitar, Classical guitar), Mark Wingfield (electric guitar, guitar synth). Kastnig, who keeps adding strings to his instruments, provides evocative acoustic beds for Wingfield’s soaring electric guitar mixed with guitar synth tones.
Giacomo Fiore – iv american electric guitars [http://gfguitar.bandcamp.com/album/iv-american-electric-guitars] Modern classical electric guitar, played beautifully with great tone.
Merzbow/Pandi/Gustafsson/Thurston Moore – Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper [Rare Noise Records] A noise feast from the masters.
The Spanish Donkey – Raoul [Rare Noise Records] The usually clean-toned Morris works out with effects.