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(55:32; 7D Media)
King Crimson alumnus and touch guitar master Trey Gunn released this album in 2015 and is a combination of live performances based on Peter Gabriel's “Here Comes The Flood” and music for a film score, ‘Every Beautiful Thing’. Gunn is known for producing original works in his own unique manner yet the work for the film saw him producing a cover of Bob Dylan's “Not Dark Yet” where he was joined by singer Dylan Nichole Bandy who also sings on the last song on the set, “The First Return”. These two vocal numbers are the bookends to what is a compelling album in so many ways, which is all Trey. It is atmospheric, entrancing, and compelling, taking the listener into new dimensions and sonic possibilities. Gunn here demonstrates all the techniques and skills he brought to bear with Crimson, and demonstrates many of the musical experimentations of Fripp and Adrian Belew, and given he was in the same band as both of them for so many years that is hardly surprising. He also works in a similar musical field as Markus Reuter, and of course Reuter is a member of Stick Men with King Crimson musicians Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. The guitarists all have something in common, a refusal to stick to what is the accepted norm of a guitar and how it should be played, yet in Gunn’s experimentation and adventures he also maintains a beauty and delicacy which does not always fit in well with pushing boundaries. This is music to be played on headphones when one has the time to really pay attention and listen, which so few people seem to do these days. This is not a throwaway disposable item, but something which has been lovingly crafted and cared for. About this album he says, “The challenge of putting together what I call a boutique recording is far greater than music supported by the mainstream. Not only do the pieces need to be written, performed, recorded, and produced, but the architecture of all the elements of the music have to be built from scratch. If you are writing a mainstream, genre-based detective novel all the elements are already in place. The writer knows what she has to do, and the audience knows whether they have done it or not. With what I call boutique artists (those who work with the unknown), not only do new kinds of paragraphs have to be constructed to follow the vision, but new vocabularies and new kinds of grammar also need to be created. Nothing can be pulled down off of the shelf and slapped into the music. Everything gets built up from the ground floor. This kind of process requires extra time and a concentrated effort. So, instead of saying 'Yeah, sure people are only expecting to pay X amount for a recording, so I shall do my best to make do with that', I am instead deciding to say 'This is how much work goes into it and this is what I believe the value is.' No different from a craft beer, an exquisitely made espresso, a boutique guitar amplifier, or a custom-made pair of pants. The process is involved.” We all know how much better a fine craft ale is from a standard Heineken or Budweiser, as we can savour the work that has been put into it by a master brewer. Here we have another master craftsman at his work, and the result is sublime.
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