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Jon Durant / Stephan Thelen — Crossings
(Bandcamp no#, 2021, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-04-30

Crossings Cover art

With Crossings, guitarists Jon Durant and Stephan Thelen give us 65 minutes of mostly gentle music that fits in the stream both have been plying lately: atmospheric backgrounds with repeating patterns of guitar lines topped by inventive soloing. These could well be outtakes from Thelen’s Fractal Guitar series featuring only one guest and no drums. Despite the lack of percussion, the sound is full, and most of the tracks do have a rhythmic propulsion courtesy of the various backing parts, which are assembled of layers of echoing notes, Fripp-like (or Sonar-like) patterns, and pulsing notes. There are times when it’s apparent that a bass guitar is involved as well. I’m not sure what to say about this music that hasn’t been said in our reviews of other releases involving these two — Crossings is definitely more of the same, so if you’re bored with the style, you’ll want to avoid it. If, however, you think this stream has more to offer, you’ll love hearing more variations on the ideas. I suppose the style can be traced back to Robert Fripp’s solo works starting in the late 70s, adding in elements of David Torn’s soundscapes from the 80s, but many others have added their own touches, and these two provide some compelling work here.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Stephan Thelen, Jon Durant

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