Allan Holdsworth — Flat Tire - Music for a Non-Existent Movie
(Moonjune MJR053, 2001/2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-08-22It's safe to say that Allan Holdsworth's credentials are in order. In circles where guitarists are discussed for contributions to the state of the art, his name is sure to come up. And it's a pretty safe assumption that any release of his is going to have some tasty guitar work — or is it? Judging a Holdsworth album usually comes down to the quality of the compositions and the appeal of the setting for the guitar. This one, however, finds Holdsworth mostly on his own, replacing guitar with synthaxe, which serves to trigger keyboard sounds and percussion (guitar appears on a single track). Special guest Dave Carpenter contributes acoustic bass on two tracks, but aside from that, this "Music for a Non-Existent Movie" is a one-man show. The "keyboard" sounds used mostly fall in the flute-like realm, the ethereal string realm, and what sounds vaguely like an electric piano; the chords used are all very interesting and sophisticated but highly artificial sounding. The lead lines take on a variety of synth tones, sometimes clarinet-like, sometimes more brassy, but always featuring that wild fluidity Holdsworth is known for. So what is the value of an album by a great guitarist that features virtually no guitar? For some listeners, the answer might be "virtually none." Certainly, don't buy this expecting to hear classic Holdsworth. But if you like unexpected, wandering chord progressions and noodly melodies and don't mind the sound of digital percussion, there might be sounds here to enjoy. Still, I can't help thinking that "Snow Moon" would totally rip if he played that insane solo on guitar and it was a full band backing him instead of chaotic electronic percussion and digital chords.
Related artist(s): Allan Holdsworth
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more