I discovered Italian guitarist/electronic musician/composer Elio Martusciello through a tip from Eivind Aarset. He, in turn, was clued in by drummer Michele Rabbia, who has played with both men. Rabbia claimed that Martusciello performed with just Ableton Live and its plugins. Of course I had to find out about this. The truth proved a bit more complex.
Martusciello’s recorded work is a masterclass in combining noise, melody, vocalists, found sounds, synthesizers, and guitar in a way that makes them seem like natural partners. His complex audio collages never seem crowded, making excellent use of dynamics, space, and tension. Each sound has its place, and works perfectly with every other element. The compositions can feel simultaneously abstract and romantic.
Elio doesn’t speak fluent English, so I decided to do the first print interview in a while. Hopefully, between Google translate and some editing, the essence of his answers remains.
I have been following Deimel Guitarworks on Instagram for a while. With creative wiring, pickups behind the bridge, and Piezos embedded at various points in the guitar, Frank Deimel has been in the forefront of creating instruments for experimental guitarists. His latest, the Firestar LesLee Synchronizer, combines a fascinating, built-in Leslie effect created by automatically switching between pickups, as well as the ability to synch with modular synths, or any device that uses CV.
I have written extensively here and in Electronic Musician about my search for a way to combine the power of Ableton Live with the different but similar power of the many sonic mangling apps available to iOS users. Lewitt’s Connect 6 ($299) might just be the end point of that search.
Eventide’s H9 became one of those instant modern pedal classics like the Line 6 DL4 and the EHX POG. As it basically allowed only one effect at a time, it was not uncommon to see the boards of professionals and more well off amateurs sporting two. This week Eventide revealed the H90, the equivalent of two fully loaded H9s in one box for a bit less money. But the H90 is not only twin H9s; it has some tricks of its own, with new algorithms (notably polyphonic pitch shifting) and routing options. It apparently was an epic undertaking to put together such a complex product during Covid, but that just adds to the Eventide legend.
The original Boss Slicer, the SL-20, was one of those pedals that was ahead of its time. Not enough guitarists were into the sequencer style sounds that it was capable of producing. Or, not into it enough to sacrifice the pedalboard space it required. With the release of the SL-2 compact version of the effect, Boss is betting that the increase of forward thinking guitarists, combined with the new compact size, will entice more people to slice.