Great new releases keep on coming and there are also some older ones that fell through the cracks here,
Record Picks is a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings brought to my attention that I feel are momentous enough to bring to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (again subjective, but no blues, classic rock, be-bop, country, etc.), and on a par with the ones below to rate a mention. Many of these are available from DMG in NYC. If you have sent me a recording, feel free to remind me.
Stian Westerhus Amputation [House of Mythology] Amputation is as epic as one would expect from this master of modern guitar tones. Look for an interview soon.
Chuck Hammer Blind on Blind [Ava Interact Inc.] The former Lou Reed/Bowie guitarist returns from the shadows in an all-star collaboration with Billy Martin, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Jamie Saft. Think Miles Davis’ classic jazz-rock bands.
Marco Oppedisano Resolute [Spectropol Records] Oppedisano’s EP is a one man operation, save for vocal samples from Kimberly Fiedelman. Slashing electric guitar dances with tinkling piano, and a variety of percussion, all presumably played or programed by the guitarist on tunes that range from abstract to lyrical sometimes within the same piece. The amazing thing is that the interaction of the instruments sounds like multiple musicians playing together.
Orion Tango Orion Tango [1K Records] The newest project from Philadelphia’s 1k Recordings label is a live improv outing from guitarist Tim Motzer, bassist Barry Meehan and drummer Jeremy Carlstedt.
Kevin Hufnagel Kleines Biest [Handmade Birds] Another one-man effort, which came out in June, is Hufnagel’s low-fi group of abstract sound paintings. Some guitars are hidden in processing while others revel in their guitarness.
J. Peter Schwalm The Beauty of Disaster [Rare Noise] Eivind Aarset is featured on three tracks of this ambient outing by Eno collaborator Schwalm.
Steve Bilodeau Ascent [cdbaby.com/cd/stevebilodeaubenjaminvon] An accomplished jazz guitarist, this is Bilodeau’s stunning entrance into the more abstract world. Ascent is an album composed entirely of experimental duo improvisations by guitarist Steve Bilodeau and Grammy-nominated violist Benjamin Von Gutzeit.
Henry Kaiser/Robert Musso Echoes For Sonny [mussomusic.com] A fitting tribute to Sonny Sharrock, as Musso and Kaiser both worked with the man. Nick Didkovsky adds a distinctive third guitar voice to a set of Sharrock covers and improvised originals that meld together seamlessly.
Atsuko Chiba Figure and Ground [Flesh and Bone] We featured this post-rock band here. They have a new EP scheduled for March 15 release.
Ryan Dugre Gardens [Engine Records] Dugre’s first solo record, due in April, offers ten dark toned, distinctive tunes. Throughout music trumps guitar, which is always a good thing.