Peeesseye guitarist Chris Forsyth in a solo release crossing the vernaculars of country and blues with open-ended and experimental approaches, five rewarding and listenable tracks recorded in the studio.
Label: Northern Spy
Released in: USA
"Guitarist Chris Forsyth is a unique voice in the realm of American music, having emerged from the challenging free form expressionism of his old group Peeesseye with a lyrical command rare in any genre. Forsyth has always relied on the vernacular of country and blues to make his point, while also maintaining an open-ended and experimental approach, collaborating with artists as varied as free folk goddess Meg Baird, noise-oriented trumpeter Nate Wooley, and analog synthesist Koen Holtkamp (of Mountains)along the way. His newest work brings his trademark lyricism to new heights in his most straightforward setting yet. Gone are the fleshed out rock band arrangements of last year's Paranoid Cat LP, replaced on Kenzo Deluxe, by Forsyth shunning overdubs and playing his transcendent songs alone in a room on his electric guitar.
On top of a dedication to hypnotic Cosmic Americana, Forsyth possesses a remarkable technical skill. Listen to the strict timekeeping that anchors Kenzo Deluxe's "Downs & Ups" and "East Kensington Run Down." They're quiet, meditative pieces, each lasting around 10 minutes, but they never feel lost. The accuracy in Forsyth's finger picking keeps the tracks anchored. The two-part "Boston Street Lullaby," on the other hand, shows the other reaches of his artistry. His bluesier side gives rise on " Boston Street Lullaby No. 1," drenched in soft reverb, while the waves of distortion on "Boston Street Lullaby No. 2," serve as a centerpiece for the album, showing his love for noise and the pure sound of the electric guitar.
It's the album's opener, however, which will no doubt be the attention-grabber. Named for the Rolling Stones decadent and ill-fated 1972 tour documentary, "The First 10 Minutes of Cocksucker Blues" is an ethereal, imaginary score punctuated by slapback echo and guitar licks that wouldn't sound out of place on a Group Doueh or Tinariwen record. And Forsyth has even paired it with the opening sequence of the never-officially-released film (see it here). It's a bold move, bringing the Americana back home by way of the Brits who adored it so, and at the same time giving their stumbling boogie rock an almost ambient soundtrack.
Forsyth recorded the album over three days in the studio with the assistance of co-producer Scott Colburn, who has worked extensively with the Sun City Girls and Richard Bishop's solo projects as well as Animal Collective and others. The result is a richly recorded album of five rewarding and listenable tracks. With no loss of vision, Forsyth has created his most accessible album to date, one that will engage guitar geeks, freak folks and the uninitiated alike in its trance-inducing glow."-Northern Spy
• Show Bio for Chris Forsyth
"Guitarist Chris Forsyth's hypnotic instrumentals assimilate art-rock textures with vernacular American influences culled from a lauded career as a composer, improviser, and inveterate collaborator. Long active in the international improv/experimental underground, he's released a series of acclaimed records as a solo artist that demonstrate a resolute engagement in making corporeal/cerebral music that transcends such subterranean realms, reaching instead for a bleeding-edge physicality and lyricism that he deems "cosmic Americana." The fascinating tension manifest in Forsyth's playing between often long-form, rarefied abstraction and percolating rhythms and rock/roots structures animates notable recent works such as his 2011 LP Paranoid Cat on Family Vineyard and Early Astral, a 2012 duo LP with Koen Holtkamp (Mountains) on Blackest Rainbow.
His 2012 Kenzo Deluxe LP/CD on Northern Spy, which features "The First Ten Minutes of Cocksucker Blues," a stunning conceptual soundtrack piece for Robert Frank's banned Rolling Stones documentary film, has been described as "resonant [and] incisive... a cosmic abstraction of the American guitar tradition, reducing blues, rock, folk and improvisation into their spare, hypnotic base elements." Aptly, Forsyth credits a Keith Richards interview in a 1988 issue of Guitar World with introducing his teenage self to the banjo-derived open G tuning, which Forsyth now employs almost exclusively. The Wire has praised him as "an erudite and farsighted guitar stylist, mapping a path that's hip and scholarly in equal measure." Uncut calls him "an emergent master."
Forsyth has toured throughout Europe and the U.S., sharing stages with such like-minded travellers as fellow PoB artist Steve Gunn, Bill Orcutt, Rhys Chatham, Sic Alps, Grouper, Loren Connors, Mind Over Mirrors, PG Six, and Träd Gräs och Stenar, and, from 2002 to 2011, as a member of Peeesseye. He studied with guitarist Richard Lloyd of Television and has also collaborated with diverse artists including Meg Baird, Tetuzi Akiyama, Nate Wooley, and choreographers Miguel Gutierrez and RoseAnne Spradlin. Forsyth was awarded a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts and resides in Philadelphia."-Paradise of Bachelors (http://www.paradiseofbachelors.com/chris-forsyth/)
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: NS 025
Squidco Product Code: 16939
Recorded at Gravelvoice, Seattle on January 6th-8th, 2012.
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1. First 10 Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues 10:14
2. Downs & Ups 9:43
3. Boston Street Lullaby No. 2 4:38
4. East Kensington Run Down 11:01
5. Boston Street Lullaby No. 1 4:45