Nicky Skopelitis & Raoul Björkenheim — Revelator
(Innerhythmic INR009, 1998, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01By this point, I hope all Exposé readers have gone out and purchased at least a few Steve Tibbetts albums. If you have, and you love them as much as I do, you probably wouldn’t mind having something else along the same lines. Here it is. The Tibbetts connection is pretty superficial in a way: multiple guitars backed by tablas and other percussion with atmospheric production values. Beyond that, there are many differences (and if you’re not familiar with Tibbetts, the comparisons are theoretical anyway). The guitar playing, while excellent and imaginative throughout, is a bit jazzier and more conventional, though it features most variations you can name: acoustic, electric, slide, ebow, effects, various finger and picking techniques. And the pieces unfold in a much more leisurely manner, taking their time to build up and develop. There are only four tracks on the CD, ranging from 11 to over 15 minutes, and they vary in mood from easy loping groove to free-form meditative near-ambiance. Both guitarists are excellent in an understated way – no flashy soloing here. The multitalented Bill Laswell is credited with “sounds” and there are plenty of wonderful sounds here, even aside from the guitars. All in all, this is beautiful music, and not cloying, corny or New Agey at all.
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