Jonathan Badger — Verse
(Cuneiform Rune 394, 2014, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-12-16In 1974 Manuel Göttsching released the ground-breaking Inventions for Electric Guitar where he meticulously multi-tracked different sequences and riffs without the aid of samplers, sequencers, or other tools of the trade that are available to the modern composer. Jonathan Badger, a US guitarist and composer, who has studied under Robert Fripp, has extended Manuel’s approach, combined it with Fripp’s compositional methods, and used modern technology to create an amazing album of 10 relatively short tracks. He shows restraint in that each song is just long enough to explore an idea without becoming tedious. Basically what Badger does is send two signals out of his guitar, one is the standard analog guitar signal and the other is a digital feed that triggers samples from his broad array of orchestral instruments. One odd thing I noticed is that in the final 30 seconds of many of the tracks there is an abrupt shift to amorphous electronics. Jonathan is quite an accomplished guitarist, causing comparisons to Alain Markusfeld’s Le Desert Noir, especially on “Nimbus.” Overall, he has an introspective approach to music. It takes a lot of concentration to produce something of this caliber. Tracks that stood out for me are “Nimbus,” “Limbec,” and the final track, “Sickle’s Compass Come.” If you enjoy adventurous music that is also quite melodic and beautiful, then Verse is something you should investigate.
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more