Fundraiser 2018 — Donate now!

Courtis, Alan – “Unstringed Guitar & Cymbals ” – [Blossoming Noise]

Thurston Hunger   4/1/2008   A Library, CD

What may have begun as a zen koan, “What is the sound of a
guitar with no strings” or a drunken dare, “I’ll show you
some friggin’ air guitar” ends as some searing Blossoming
Noise. Three attack tracks for Reynols renegade Alan Courtis,
largely feedback driven, if not overdriven. There are times
you can almost feel a more tactile approach, tapping and
spelunking the hollow-body electric, but in general these
12-16 minute numbing numbers spend a lot of time in shrill
vortices. The beginning of track 2 almost feels like a marble
trapped in a labyrinth for two minutes, then we get a sort
of ringing chain starting (could be a bowed cymbal?) that
moves up to ear-splitting power, then a sad calliope effect?
That was my favorite, as opposed to the track 3’s eternal
escalators…and track 1 which rises from an ominent hum to
veering feedback eruptions that don’t track well for my ears.
After a while the cymbal sounds often linger in a loop that
approximates tinnitus, I tend to lose interest in that before
the cool hum returns, like a tibetan bell dreaming of a gong.
If the promise of the title intrigues you, as it will many
KFJC’ers, then this release is for you.

-Thurston Hunger
PS Alan == Anla (Miguel Tomasin-ifed spelling of his name)


add comment

Your comment may be revised by KFJC editors.