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ALBUM REVIEWS

FAT: #awesome

Read "#awesome" reviewed by John Kelman

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)

Read "(Living the Dream)" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Alex Machacek: Fat Beyond Belief

Read "Alex Machacek: Fat Beyond Belief" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

FAT: FAT

Read "FAT" reviewed by John Kelman

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], ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek: FAT

Read "FAT" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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

Read "Alex Machacek: A Very Tall Tale" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek: 24 Tales

Read "24 Tales" reviewed by Ian Patterson

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek: 24 Tales

Read "24 Tales" reviewed by John Kelman

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek/Jeff Sipe/Matthew Garrison: Improvision

Read "Improvision" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Outstanding musicianship, even if as a gift from the gods, is no guarantee in itself of a successful musical collaboration. Intuition, empathy and a good ear are, however, essential. So it was clearly an auspicious weekend when guitarist Alex Machacek, bassist Matthew Garrison and drummer Jeff Sipe combined the aforementioned qualities in abundance at the behest of producer Souvik Dutta of Abstract Logix to create the wonderful music that is Improvision. Doutta must feel like the cat who got the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek / Jeff Sipe / Matt Garrison: Improvision

Read "Improvision" reviewed by John Kelman

With two of 2006's best fusion records and three fine releases already out in 2007, Abstract Logix is rapidly transitioning from online storefront to bonafide record label. Austrian-born, Los Angeles-based guitarist Alex Machacek's [sic] (2006) was a stunning album that, along with the kind of virtuoso playing that would send most guitarists running for the hills, established the 35 year-old as an equally impressive composer and conceptualist.

Machacek shares equal billing with bassist Matt Garrison and ...

INTERVIEWS

Alex Machacek: Boy That's Sick!

Read "Alex Machacek: Boy That's Sick!" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Since Alex Machacek last spoke to AAJ four years ago a lot has changed for the Austrian guitar wizard; he left Austria for Los Angeles, got married, and has received glowing praise for his music from, amongst others, guitar icon John McLaughlin.

Recently he signed a record deal with Abstract Logix with whom he has just released the critically acclaimed album [Sic]. AAJ caught up with Alex Machacek by phone and he reveals the problem with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Machacek: [sic]

Read "[sic]" reviewed by John Kelman

There's been considerable hype surrounding this release by Austrian guitarist Alex Machacek, so let's dispense with that right away: it's all true. While there are innumerable great guitarists, it's rare for one to emerge, seemingly out of nowhere, with an album this conceptually well-formed. Machacek is recognized as a virtuoso who combines the legato phrasing of Allan Holdsworth with the rockier edge of Mike Keneally and the knotty ideation of Frank Zappa. But despite his staggering technical ...