This round of picks should interest lovers of the noisier aspects of modern guitar, with releases by Hans Tammen and Reg Bloor dwelling largely in a world of pure sound, as well as Eivind Aarset fans who love to hear him in new contexts.
Sly & Robbie + Nils Petter Molvaer + Eivind Aarset + Vladislav Delay Nordub [Okeh/Sony]
We know that dub influenced electronic music and electronic music influenced Nu jazz so a collaboration among these artists has an air of inevitabliity. An instant classic.
Hans Tammen Endangered (Noise) Guitar 1994 [Acheulian Handaxe Records]
Tammen has decided to publish his first forays into noise guitar from 1994, “with a not-so-subtle reference to Russolo’s Art Of Noise.” Now known for his computer processing, at that time he reports using an early loop pedal with a fixed two second buffer, harmonizers, distortion, the first available Whammy pedal, a Korg A2 effects processor he used at that time, and an EBow.
Reg Bloor Sensory Irritation Chamber [Self-released]
Not for the faint of heart, Bloor’s aptly named solo outing is an assault on the senses. What makes it worth the effort is the personal sound and musicality that underlies the screeching tone.
Rafiq Bhatia Breaking English [Anti/Epitaph]
The Son Lux guitarist mangles the instrument beyond recognition save for some fuzz-ed out lines and solo-type excursions. Compositionally and sonically a masterpiece of modern guitar.
The Fierce and the Dead The Euphoric [Bad Elephant Music]
Guitarist Matt Stevens’ (not the Esperanza Spauling guitarist) band puts the “rock” in post-rock.
Lee Ann Womack The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone [ATO Records]
Womack is as country as country gets, but her husband Frank Liddell’s production and Ethan Ballinger’s off-the-wall fuzz/tremolo guitar style bring this squarely into the modern age.
Clothesline Revival Holy Cow [Paleo Music]
For his fifth outing as Clothesline Revival, Conrad Praetzel again combines vintage and vintage-type guitars (1935 Harmony Crest, 1965 Silvertone 1446, Eastwood Airline Tuxedo, Recording King ROS-626) sounds with synths and modern programmed grooves for a fascinating musical mashup.
Record Picks is a periodic offering from Guitar Moderne: a listing of recordings brought to my attention that I feel are worthy of being brought to yours. These are not reviews. Feel free to submit recordings, but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (subjective to be sure, but no blues, classic rock, be-bop, country, etc.) and on a par with the ones above to rate a mention. Many of these are available from DMG in NYC. If you have already sent me a recording, feel free to remind me.