Steve Tibbetts CD review [ECM]

Music Reviews
Steve Tibbetts CD review [ECM]
Aug 6, 2002, 21:44


After years of studying music throughout the world and collaborating with musicians from Norway to Nepal, Steve Tibbetts opted to record his eighth solo excursion closer to home when faced with a surgery that had the potential to weaken one of his hands.Over the course of twomonths Tibbets pieced together a dense recording that is comprised of sampled field recordings of ethnic drumming, drum tracks of his own making, and manipulated snippets of frenzied guitar tracks that were recorded in his bathroom. The result is layered music with an aural depth that might be similar to hearing a subsonic Daniel Lanois production bleed through the floorboards while a hand drummer plays in an adjacent room. The first and last songs contain string derived timbres that are often associated with guitar whizzes like Tibbets but the ones that are in between are loud, primal and contain feedback, distortion and time defying effects that are interspersed amidst ambient blocks of sound and aggressive drum rhythms. Like many instrumental discs, A Man About A Horse is more reliant on tone and texture than songwriting. But atypical of most guitar virtuosos, Tibbetts is not preoccupied with flash or speed. Post-surgery reports indicate that Tibbetts' hand has healed completely so chances are his next solo record won't be another example of art that was created out of misfortune. [ECM]

- Jeffrey L. Ouch

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