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Frank Crijns — Altered Circuit[s]
(Bandcamp no#, 2022, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-09-28

Altered Circuit[s] Cover art

Nothing quite like a good mystery. It appears that this was originally released by Altered Circuit[s] on CD in 2018, though Frank Crijns, guitarist and founding member of the Dutch group Blast, was the only musician credited herein. For whatever reason, the same album was re-released again at the end of 2021 as a Frank Crijns album, with the lengthy title Cinematic Explorations For Electric Guitars -12 Images – Altered Circuits. Same music, same artwork, though this time it’s a download-only on Bandcamp. Crijns is a creative powerhouse, and if one is looking for intrepid explorative improvisations for two, three, or four electric guitars, recorded onto a four-track recording system and mixed for release, this may be your ticket to wonderland. Crijns uses unspecified electric guitars, loopers, and other devices (but specifically no effects or fuzz) to create these twelve instant compositions that are completely outside-the-box exercizes in free-form discovery, following a path where just about anything can happen. The twelve pieces are broken up into two long tracks of six pieces each, roughly thirteen minutes each; one can drop in at the beginning (“Thgindim Dnuor”) or at number seven (“Strikes”), but other than that there is no way to access the twelve pieces directly, and in fact it’s probably best experienced that way, like a journey from one idea to the next, where many are crossfaded as they change. This is a collection of guitar improvs that sound like someone playing guitar, no hyper-extended techniques like chopsticks threaded through the strings or whacking them in a percussive style; perhaps the most extended thing one might hear is use of some kind of bowing device (not an eBow, one can gear the scraping) or use of a reverse looper or attack decay device, but most of all this isn’t a collection of bizarre sounds, it’s an enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Frank Crijns

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