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.
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more