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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

FAT: #awesome

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While the appropriately titled #awesome represents Alex Machacek's third album in six years with his (similarly witty and self-effacingly monikered) FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio), this trifecta of virtuosic Austrian musicians goes much further back. Both bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert Pirker appeared on roughly half of the expat-Austrian/Los Angeles-based guitarist's acclaimed 2006 Abstract Logix debut, [sic], while Machacek and Preuschl can be heard together on the even earlier The Next Generation of Sound (Extraplatte, 2000). In the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

(Living the Dream)

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While he's been living in Los Angeles for many years, Alex Machacek clearly values longterm musical relationships. While the majority of his recordings for the Raleigh, NC-based Abstract Logix imprint have seen the Austrian-born guitarist working with the likes of Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison, Neal Fountain and Gary Husband, his 2005 label debut, [sic], was notable--beyond its stunning compositions and mind-boggling post-Allan Holdsworth-ian guitar gymnastics--for the participation, on most tracks, of two fellow Austrians: bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Gary Husband & Alex Machacek: Now

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Over the course of the past decade or so, Abstract Logix has gone from being a web-based shop front for all things fusion--and that's fusion in the true sense of the word, by the way; not just the high octane, often pyrotechnic genre it's narrowed down to over the decades--into a record label with a small but significant discography whose roster includes everyone from Jimmy Herring and Wayne Krantz to Lenny White and John McLaughlin. It made its next inevitable ...

INTERVIEWS

Alex Machacek: Fat Beyond Belief

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Alex Machacek is back with a tremendously exciting new record and a wonderful new trio. Well, not quite. Drummer Harold Pirker and bassist Raphael Preuschi have been playing with the Austria-born/California-based guitarist on and off for the guts of a decade and both contributed significantly to Machacek's [sic] (Abstract Logix, 2006). A trio recoding by FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio) has been a while coming, but Machacek is already thinking about its next recording. Clearly, the chemistry between the three musicians ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

FAT: FAT

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Around for more than a decade, Alex Machacek's first record as a leader (renamed, with characteristically bone-dry wit, as Mc Hacek) was Featuring Ourselves (Next Generation, 1999), but it was when the Austrian-born/California-resident guitarist moved to Abstract Logix that more significant attention came, first with his stunning, year-besting [sic] (2006). Three more records followed, culminating in another year-topper, 24 Tales (2010), an equally staggering set where the guitarist repeated [sic]'s concept of “recomposing"-writing music around, in the case of [sic], ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Machacek: FAT

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Alex Machacek has been turning heads with his incendiary guitar playing and striking writing since he burst on the scene with Featuring Ourselves (Next Generation Enterprises, 1999). Whilst drummer Herbert Pirker and bassist Raphael Preuschi have a less visible profile, their equally outstanding chops play a big part in the success of FAT. These musicians also played on half the tracks on Machacek's [sic] (Abstract Logix, 2008), and there's significant chemistry between them, whether tearing it up on jazz-fusion/rock of ...

INTERVIEWS

Alex Machacek: A Very Tall Tale

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Be careful what you wish for, for you may get it-so the saying goes. When Alex Machacek asked drummer Marco Minnemann if he had a drum solo he could pass his way to compose around, he could never have expected a drum improvisation lasting 51 minutes. Before he could say, “Hey, 13/16 is a really odd meter," he found himself committed to composing, or recomposing as he puts it, around the entire piece.Minnemann's drum improvisation is amazing in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Machacek: 24 Tales

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There's a spoken segment on one section of 24 Tales--a kind of simulation of computerized dialogue: “Hey Marco, do you like drumming all day?," asks guitarist Alex Machacek: “Yes I do," replies Marco Minnemann, and it's not difficult to believe. Machacek's most daring musical statement yet is based around a daunting, 51-minute drum improvisation by Minnemann. Asides from saxophonist John Coltrane, perhaps, it is difficult to recall many musicians improvising solo for such an extended length of time. Minnemann's drumming ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Machacek: 24 Tales

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It's not the first time guitarist Alex Machacek has composed around drum improvisation--he did that with three tracks on [sic], his 2006 breakout record and first for Abstract Logix--but he's taken the concept even farther on 24 Tales. It's also not the only release to use, as its basis, a 51-minute drum improvisation by Marco Minneman--Machacek's band mate in keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson's UKZ, which debuted in 2009 with the Radiation (Globe Music) EP. Guitarist Mike Keneally, touch guitarist Trey Gunn, ...

INTERVIEWS

Alex Machacek / Jeff Sipe / Matt Garrison: The Improvision Round Table

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Alex Machacek, Matt Garrison and Jeff Sipe have been responsible for some of the greatest moments in electric jazz since the turn of the new millennium.

Now thirty-five, Machacek was unknown until the release of his first solo effort in 1999, but the guitarist's releases since have increasingly upped the ante. Teaming with beyond-drummer Terry Bozzio in 2001, they issued Delete and Roll (Austro Mechana), establishing Machacek as a Zappa-esque rhythmatist and re-composer. Tapping fellow Zappa ...