Exposé Online banner

Allan Holdsworth — Flat Tire - Music for a Non-Existent Movie
(Moonjune MJR053, 2001/2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-08-22

Flat Tire - Music for a Non-Existent Movie Cover artIt'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.

Filed under: Reissues, 2013 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Allan Holdsworth

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Happy Rhodes - Many Worlds Are Born Tonight – Happy Rhodes is now at her eighth studio album, and it is her first to be released on a label other than her own Aural Gratification. Not that signing with Samson is exactly a move to the majors. This...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues