This is a long one because I have fallen behind in telling you about all the great new releases. 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 (downloads preferred), but they must be purchasable worldwide, reflective of modern guitar (subjective, but no blues, classic rock, be-bop, country, etc.—all well covered elsewhere) 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.
This will be a periodic new offering from Guitar Moderne: an entirely subjective 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 (again 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.
King Crimson [Robert Fripp/David Cross/John Wetton/Bill Bruford] –Starless [Limited Edition 27 CD/DVD/BluRay Box Set] (DGM 671974; UK) From 1973 but still modern.
King Crimson and Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin have proved that music can be simultaneously mathematical and emotional. Sonar, an instrumental band from Switzerland, whose first record was released on Bärtsch’s Ronin Rhythm Records, prove it once again with their second full-length album Static Motion on Cuneiform records. Stephan Thelen and Bernhard Wagner on guitar, along with bassist Christian Kuntner and drummer Manuel Pasquinelli create their own style of minimal and experimental groove music. The aim of the guitarists was to create a new sound, not by using effects and technology, but by tuning their guitars to tritones (C F# C F# C F#) and by concentrating on the harmonics of that tuning.
Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew qualify as pioneers of modern guitar.
With the Discipline-era King Crimson now three decades old it is time to ask: what current guitar-based band do you think pushes the sonic envelope like this?
Here is a beautifully shot and recorded video of a post Bruford/Levin version of Crimson. (Trey Gunn – Warr guitar, Pat Mastelotto – drums, percussion)