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Dom Minasi String Quartet: Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder (2009)

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Dom Minasi String Quartet: Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Legendary New York City guitarist Dom Minasi explores and projects dissonance in luminous detail on his affectionately titled Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder. On the heels of his 2006 The Vampire's Revenge (CDM), Minasi scales back a fifteen-musician ensemble to the more mobile quartet format for this release. Think avant-chamber, where the guitarist serves as the director of operations, while sustaining a dark tone that seamlessly interacts with the strings section from many perspectives.

Minasi guides the unit into oscillating flows and raises the pitch as he weaves among arco and plucked strings notes, instilling a confederation of richly developed counter-currents. At times, the playing brings to mind liquefying interconnections via a maze of movable demarcation points. On "The Dark Side," Minasi walks his nylon string guitar through chord movements that hint at an evolving deconstruction effort, involving his close-hand techniques and rhythmic voicings. And the strings summon up the dark side to complement a few tender moments. For those who enjoy a diverse harmonic palate complete with trebly highs, deep lows and polytonal midranges, this album may not satisfy. However, Minasi investigates the open-ended possibilities of dissonant theme-building—yes there is such a beast—in resounding splendor here.

On "Tumorology," Minasi's prolific chop chords and the strings' ominously devised choruses spawn a sense of urgency and turmoil; hence, the beauty of dissonant characterizations, equated to real-life imagery. In many ways, you can't ask for much more than that. Minasi and associates toy with the heart, soul and mind throughout the majority of this garishly compelling venture.

Track Listing: The Pasadena Two Step; The Dark Side; Green! Green! They're Green!; Dissonance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder; Slow Dance In The Bottomless Pit; Tumorology; Zing, Zang, Zoom!

Personnel: Dom Minasi: nylon string guitar; Jason Kao Hwang: violin; Ken Filiano: contrabass; Tomas Ulrich: cello.

Record Label: Konnex Records

Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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