Cool Pedal Alert: Hologram Electronics Microcosm

Every now and then, a pedal comes along that embodies the concept of modern electric guitar. Hologram Electronics’ Microcosm is one such pedal. Here is modern guitarist extraordinaire Mike Baggetta’s “non-demo,” where he shows you how to make music with it.  I also include Hologram Electronics’ specs and some other demo videos. Not a cheap pedal but not bad for something that is more like a musical instrument. ​ Pre-order is now open for the second batch of Microcosms, shipping in late June 2020.

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Tim Brady’s Instruments of Happiness Remote Performance

Tim Brady is one of the premier composers of might be called the new classical canon for electric guitar. He largely does ensemble work ranging from quartets to groups of 200. Last year I went to his home of Montreal to write about him for Guitar Player and garnered enough additional material for a two part Guitar Moderne interview here and here.

As is typical during this lockdown, Brady and his group, Instruments of Happiness, are offering a remote performance of one of his pieces. He also answered some questions about the process.

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The David Torn Fur Interview

A new Torn record is always a cause for celebration, but FUR/TORN is a bonanza for fans of the artist’s guitar playing. Performed solo, with no overdubs, it is distilled Torn—a reduction of pure tone, technique and ideas. He performs with his Ronin “Supastah” set clean and through a variety of hairy fuzz pedals (FUR?). We talked about the vagaries of the virus, what he looks for in a fuzz, our mutual admiration of the late John Abercrombie, and much more. The video and sound came out pristine, and given that we all have more time on our hands, I thought I would offer Guitar Moderne fans a chance to sit in on our unedited conversation. Enjoy and subscribe for more like this.

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Scott Fields’ Eleven Project

What does Nigel Tufnel have to do with modern guitar? Well, other than the fact that Spinal Tap is a movie any professional musician can relate to, he was the inspiration for Scott Fields’ Eleven Project. Guitarists are invited to follow the link for instructions on how to contribute an 11 second recording of their instrument through an amp turned up to 11. The compilation will be released next November on 11/11.

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Spotlight: Jessica Ackerley

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.

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