Guitar Moderne Record Picks XVII

I am way behind on these but here are a bunch to keep you busy until I catch up

Sun Speak Moon Preach [Flood Records]
On Sun Speak’s release Moon Preach, Chicago guitarist Matt Gold, with Nate Friedman (drums and percussion), carve out a unique, dark, moody sound that contains overtones of jazz and Americana, but is a bit more aggressive than some others exploring this territory.


JP Schlegelmilch/Jonathan Goldberger/Jim Black Visitors [Bandcamp]
Every few years the organ trio gets reinvented. Guitarist Goldberger’s group with organist/keyboardist Schlegelmilch, and drummer Black delivers a personal take on the combination that builds on work done by Larry Young, and later John Abercrombie.


The Lie Detectors Part III Secret Unit [Chant Records]
The latest from Eyal Maoz is a killer guitar/drums workout with moments of mayhem mixed with quieter but no less sonically interesting and intense music.


Jessica Ackerley A New Kind of Water [Bandcamp]
Ackerley coaxes warm tones out of her Strat while demonstrating an advanced sense of space and musical interaction.


Ben Goldberg Good Day For Fishing [Pyroclastic Records]
Fascinating concept: Goldberg wrote 12 pieces based on poems by Dean Young. He then gathered trumpeter Ron Miles and guitarist Nels Cline, and the trio recorded those pieces. Young then wrote 12 poems based on listening to those pieces being recorded, without knowing which poem each piece was based on. The boxed set comes with the CD, notes and 12 cards, with the before and after poems printed on either side. What could have been a gimmick has resulted in some excellent music.


Max Kutner rummagelore [Bandcamp]
Henry Kaiser collaborator Kutner offers a solo acoustic outing that ranges from pastoral Americana to Derek Bailey modern, cruising through classical and other styles along the way.


Harvey Valdes Solitude Intones Its Echo [Destiny Records]
Like Charlie Rauh’s Innocent Speller record, Valde’ recording reveals him as another master of concision (could this be a trend?). His 18 short, lyrical, solo electric guitar performances of compelling compositions hook you and leave, well before wearing out their welcome.

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.


Spotlight: Todd Clouser

I immediately pegged Magnet Animals’ debut, Butterfly Killer [Rare Noise Records] as a shoe-in for one of the best records of the year, but whether under Guitar Moderne or Roots Moderne was up for grabs. The twang and blues elements seemed to lean toward the latter, while the noise-guitar and free-form vocals ultimately pushed it over the edge to the former. Either way it is a must-have recording, and an interview with its instigator Todd Clouser was a must have as well. Clouser’s efforts with drummer Jorge Servin, Abraxas guitarist Eyal Maoz and bassist Shanir Blumenkranz reveal a musician thoroughly grounded in technique, while ignoring it as any kind of end—my kind of player.

Continue reading


Spotlight: Eyal Maoz

The latest project from the Israeli guitarist /composer Eyal Maoz  is the band Hypercolor, with bassist James Ilgenfritz, and drummer Lukas Ligeti. Their self-titled record is on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records. Though the band is based in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has hints of American Avant-guitar pioneer Sonny Sharrock running throughout their music, they also evidence a Euro sensibility in their combination of discipline and freedom, as well as their willingness to  explore both melodic and dissonant textures.

In addition to his work with Hypercolor, Maoz leads the bands Edom (combining Jewish music with new wave, electronic music and disco), the acoustic Middle-Eastern band Dimyon, The Crazy Slavic Band, 9 Volt, and the Maoz-Sirkis Duet (with drummer Asaf Sirkis). He also performs the music of John Zorn with Cobra and Abraxas. Across all these projects, he demonstrates an enormous sonic vocabulary to go with his technical prowess.

Continue reading