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Danny Muth — Unforced Errors
(Bandcamp no#, 2023, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-10-10

Unforced Errors Cover art

Muth is an instrumental rock guitarist from Northern California. One could say he combines fingerstyle and electric rhythm and soloing traditions into an experimental stew of progressive rock, jazz inventions, and wild improvisation through methodic layering in a studio environment. He’s released four collections of pieces over the last four years, and while his latest Unforced Errors is just a four-song EP clocking in at under twelve minutes total, that shouldn’t stop anyone from going to his Bandcamp site and checking out all that he has on offer, which is uniformly interesting. Using acoustic and electric guitars with a variety of effects, he lays down some pretty wicked ideas that defy any easy comparisons. His first two collections, Danny Muth from 2020 and Weird Flex from 2021, contained seven pieces each, whereas Knife Course from 2022 is only a three-song EP, but like I said before, everything on all of these is superbly inventive; Muth’s inspirations aren’t always so obvious, though he claims David Torn, Robert Fripp, Nels Cline, and Fred Frith among them, and (especially on the earlier material where he works heavily in electric mode) one can certainly hear those influences. The last couple years have brought in some world influences and experimental character, and especially the four pieces on Unforced Errors  bear this out in a more acoustic setting not unlike some of the earliest work of Steve Tibbetts mixed with the dreamy ambient elements of John Abercrombie’s Characters; the third piece, “Attachment Style,” almost sounds like he’s playing koto in some parts, giving it an Asian flavor, while “Messitation” moves forward gently with some bizarre and menacing effects haunting the background. There’s plenty in these four short cuts for the intrepid listener to discover. Recommended.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Danny Muth

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