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Daniel Lippel — Mirrored Spaces
(New Focus Recordings FCR239, 2019, CD/DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-11-07

Mirrored Spaces Cover art

Guitarist Daniel Lippel is the co-founder of New Focus Recordings and his latest solo release is Mirrored Spaces. This double CD contains a little over two hours of solo guitar compositions spread over 29 tracks. I am sorry, but I just don’t get this music. Even though there are 15 different composers represented on Mirrored Spaces, there is a certain monotonous quality to the minimal arrangements, music, and performance that it is next to impossible to detect when one track stops and the next one starts and to identify a difference between composers. It is only Daniel on electric guitar, no overdubs, no multi-tracks. This minimal approach may only engage the listener for a handful of minutes and if you try to tough it out over the two hours, you rapidly move on to more interesting endeavors. Many tracks sound like Daniel simply plugged his guitar into the amp and started noodling, at times flirting with classical guitar, and every once in a while an almost familiar line peaks out only to pull its head back inside. I am sure that this music must appeal to someone. Why else would there be a market for New Focus Recordings? However, I find other solo guitarists like Manuel Göttsching and Robert Fripp much more interesting. At least they explored different styles, sonic textures, and recording techniques with diversity between compositions. Don't get me wrong, Mirrored Spaces is not hard on the ears, but the music is so stripped down and introverted that I failed to find any value to this album. However, it does provide great background music.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Daniel Lippel

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