All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Berlin Guitar Ensemble vs. 1605munro: Volume III: Magnetic Cycles

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
Like many things in the music world, Guitar Craft has taken on a life that no one imagined at the start. Robert Fripp's series of performance and lesson courses technically "ceased to exist" in 2010, but its tentacles have continued to spread in all manner of directions through a range of performing ensembles. There's a characteristic overall sound whose lineage goes back to the original League of Crafty Guitarists—acoustic steel-string tone, high standards of complexity and technical precision, and (vitally) a collectivism where each member contributes as an equal part of the whole. At the same time, those individual groups honor that framework in quite different ways.

The Berlin Guitar Ensemble is definitely a branch more amorphous than most. Director Hernán Nuñez has always been the central anchor, though it's been as flexible with size (ranging from seven players to 24) as it is with song choices (originals, pop or movie tunes and free improvisations alike). Just for extra giggles, they also often like to meet up with experimental artist Andrés Jankowski, known as 1605munro when behind the console, and wander into the realm of experimental electronica.

The third in this collaborative series is a strange beast that doesn't fit into neat usual categories: it's both live and programmed, meandering and directed. The group of guitarists at each session did a lot of improvising and often circulating (i.e. passing notes among the players in turn, a regular Crafty staple), though under the guidance of a conductor. Individual notes are allowed to float and fade without any pressure to fill more space. Steady plinking patterns organically come and go; in between it's a loose drift that's more about soaking in the sound than particularly going anywhere. Jankowski might judiciously sprinkle around some light beats for a subtle accent, or might just as likely cue up some brooding background synth for shading.

The mix makes a listen somewhere between patterned and ambient. Headphones are best to convey the effect of everything bouncing around the soundstage. Whether they're stringing notes into lines or interjecting in odd fits and starts, the group's emergent behavior becomes the end in itself. They never know quite where they're going, but there's always an odd pleasure in just wandering.

Track Listing: Tide; Eve-N; Emefebe; Malted; Magnetic Cycle; Ciudad Lineal; Mohab; The Key; Onkoh; Malted II.

Personnel: Hernán Nuñez: electric guitar, bass, analog treatments; A.G. Jankowski: Rhodes, analog synths, treatments, drum programming; Gustavo Walrus Villaverde: drums and percussion; Michele Agazzi, Friederike Beins, Folkert Buis, Giorgia Casmirro, Riccardo Cirani, Pierre Dauchy, Marian Hafenstein, John Hicks, Gregory Jackson, Jacek Kaleta, Sarah Metivier, Fernando Milano, George Porter, Chris Smith, Paul Vreke, Michael Weichbrodt: guitars.

Title: Volume III: Magnetic Cycles | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Possible Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Music of Richard Whiting CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Richard Whiting
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Barefoot Dances and Other Visions CD/LP/Track Review
Barefoot Dances and Other Visions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor CD/LP/Track Review
Twinscapes Vol. 2: A Modern Approach To The Dancefloor
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 15, 2018
Read Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker CD/LP/Track Review
Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 15, 2018
Read The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966! CD/LP/Track Review
The Gene Krupa Quartet: Live 1966!
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Anniversary Package; Lab 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Anniversary Package; Lab 2017
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Sunlight" CD/LP/Track Review Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Rumble at Waikiki. The John Blair Anthology" CD/LP/Track Review Rumble at Waikiki. The John Blair Anthology
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 27, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read "Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. 10: Toronto" CD/LP/Track Review Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. 10: Toronto
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2018
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 12, 2018