31 December 2010

Gareth Dickson - the dance (2010, Sleeping Man)

In the Gareth Dickson discography there is a balance between folk songwriting and guitar experimentalism - mixing folk tradition with avant-garde electronic music influences - and on "The Dance", the latter approach seems prevalent in terms of artistic and sensitive exigencies.

These are minimal, stripped to the extreme, instrumental reverberated bare guitar experimentations with the aim to capture a black and white subliminal beauty, few lights in the middle of the night, cold atmospheres, no warmth, just the surge of intuition but kept as quiet, as pure, strict and harsh as possible.

You cannot be wrong invoking works of Steffen Basho-Junghans or John Fahey as elements of comparison, as austerity and devotion towards the technical use of the guitar as a way to transcend expression is clearly at work here.

Ten tracks for thirty-five minutes, if "The Dance" is about dancing it would be about pagan dance, in order to reach a kind of trance abstraction. It can be effective if you force yourself to listen to this as a purge as indeed it lacks of a seductive appeal. A few tracks, "Electro-Harmonix", "Little Miller", "Solina Sea" offer a more sensitive facet but the whole track listing never lose a rebarbative dimension if you're not in the right mood.

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