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Andreas Willers: Drowning Migrant

Glenn Astarita By

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Berlin-based guitarist Andreas Willers injects a bit of hoodoo voodoo into the realm of solo guitar, complete with effects-drenched overlays. A longtime participant in Europe's avant-garde, progressive jazz and jazz-rock contingent, the artist improvises within fragmented song structures and captivating shifts in strategy. Marked by off-kilter phrasings and guitar tunings, Willers tosses caution to the wind.

Willers implements sliding notes amid hazy dreamscapes while investigating the capabilities of the acoustic and electric guitar. He executes resonating and extended lines to offset harrowing effects on "Haufen e," while rendering crazed, computer-generated sounds via android dialogues during "Haufen f." But Willers also dishes out torrid, hard-rock style crunch chords throughout various movements.

Willers uses a melodica and acoustic guitar on the disjointed, free-form "Breatharian." However, many of these oddball tone poems are designed with oscillating chord progressions and spacey treatments over the top. With "Flux Density," he embeds LP scratches with rough-hewn guitar plucking techniques and bizarre phrasings, where startling contrasts yield the winning edge.

The guitarist finalizes the album with the 18-minute "The Industrial Banjo (revised)." Here, Willers uses the banjo to induce a rather spooky aura, due to ethereal backdrops and slithery patterns. Ultimately, he looms as a guitar physicist due to his mesmeric implementations and unorthodox permutations. A quite fascinating listen it is.


Track Listing: Drowning Migrant - Eight Nocturnes; Haufen a - Haufen h; Breatharian; Cranberry Pineapple; Boben; Flux Density; Extrakt4; The Industrial Banjo (revised).

Personnel: Andreas Willers: electric and acoustic guitars, devices, banjo (15), melodica (10).

Title: Drowning Migrant | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Leo Records


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