What does it sound like?:
You would think that with probably close on 60 years of guitar driven popular music that it would be difficult to find any true innovators of the instrument. Trailblazers who are questing to find a different angle. Chris Forsyth is one such dude. Where do we pitch him? Tom Verlaine with more guile, Richard Thompson without the vocals possibly even Steve Hillage. He is a strange amalgam of all three but is certainly not short of ideas.
Either solo as in this case or with his Solar Motel Band he always has something new to say. On his Solar Motel band album Rarity of Experience he went down the Miles Davis/John McLaughlin route on The first ten minutes of cocksucker blues.On the last album Dreaming the Non-Dream the title track went into dance territory with the title track having Stevie Wonder Echoes. And do to this album – 7 longish mainly instrumental tracks (The occasional voice is an instrument rather than lyrical). All different styles all very pleasant until the penultimate track (Living on) Cubist Time which has a circular motif with a slightly Moorish feel. All the has gone before the final track is a prelude to 20 minutes of sheer brilliance. Techno Top has more than a nod to the Techno of its title. It is best described as a Techno Raga the it is repetitive but very hypnotic and with progressive subtle shifts. At 20 minutes I didn’t want it to stop – I played it 3 times on the first day I got it and several times since. There is something about it that instantly suggests to me that it is epic and I will be unlikely to hear something as affecting elsewhere in this year. I love this guy – his reputation is growing but should be huge. If you don’t buy the album find a way to listen to that last track. It is special.
What does it all *mean*?
American guitarists have a good rep at present and with justification.
Goes well with…
An expectation to be surprised. Chris Forsyth has a number of styles and would appear to have an interest in exposing possibilities.
Really interest to hear where he goes next.
Might suit people who like…
Jazz and Post rock – Some numbers build like Godspeed you Black emperor but without the storm and drag.
Other pieces are quiet and reflective.