Steve Tibbetts — A Man about a Horse
(ECM 1814, 2002, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01My current thinking on the subject of a new Steve Tibbetts album that sounds pretty much like the last four Steve Tibbetts albums is: “Bring it on!” I suppose it would be different if there was anyone else in the world who sounded like Tibbetts, but there isn’t, so I’m content to let him keep making the same basic record every few years, at least for now. The basic things we’ve come to expect are here – the walls of guitar distortion, the ringing, off-kilter acoustic guitars, the thunderous percussion – with some slight twists, like the heavy processing done on some of the percussive sounds to give them a distant, tortured feeling. The mastery of soundscapes that Tibbetts displayed on Northern Song is incorporated into the fabric of this CD, providing a nebulous base that might be considered the equivalent of Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics, though what happens here is very different from anything Fripp ever came up with. I’ve always loved the combination of hammer-on techniques and string bending on acoustic guitar that Tibbetts puts to great use in many places, and his control of feedback is unmatched in the guitar world. He has a way of making the distortion part of the melodies that is instantly recognizable. Percussionists Marc Anderson and Marcus Wise have been working with Tibbetts since 1980’s Yr, and their contributions cannot be overvalued. The congas, tablas, toms, shakers, and other objects struck, shaken, and stirred makes this a feast for rhythm fans as well as guitar nuts.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more