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Vonlanthen, Vinz: No Man's Land (Leo Records)

Not ambient nor aggressive, Swiss guitarist Vinz Vonlanthen's latest solo album finds the improviser creating contemplative environments in unhurried ways, allowing bass and upper string to interact, often adding unusual vocal emanations to punctuate or layer with the guitar, creating an eclectic set of succinct works, often ominous, always uniquely fascinating.

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product information:

UPC: 5024792087327

Label: Leo Records
Catalog ID: LEOR873.2
Squidco Product Code: 28609

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at HEMU, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on September 6th and 7th, 2018, by Felix Bergeron.


Vinz Vonlanthen-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Guitarist Vinz Vonlanthen lives in Geneva, Switzerland. He's one of the essential personalities of the improvised music scene, also part of a lineage of creative and uncommon European guitarists, constantly looking for new concepts, new ideas, energy and commitment with creation.

He possesses an extraordinary personal voice. The sounds of his "metaguitare" triturated with beads, foam, bows (non exhaustive list) confuse, surprise, cajole and expand the range of the instrument. Micro-textures, melodies and grooves spread the word. His guitar is plucked, painted, beaten, howling on a marble chirp, dizzying, unique, objects vibrating on the strings, producing astonishing unheard sounds, through a deep, intense, even brutal play, opening the door to imagination and poetry.

With various groups in time as leader and sideman he toured Europe and Japan. Concerts and projects with Barry Guy, Gerry Hemingway, Audetat Pierre, Sylvie Courvoisier, Jacques Demierre Bänz Oester, Hans Koch, Joke Lanz, Michel Wintsch, Adama Drame, Roberto Viscaino, Kenny Wheeler. He teaches guitar at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne and the Professional Jazz School from Geneva.

His discography includes 31 albums, 5 and 7 as leader as co-leader. Some festivals with his presence are: India: New Delhi Jazz Festival, Jazz Festival Mumbai (Bombay) Japan: Yokohama Yokohama Jazz Festival, Modern Art Museum, Tokyo; Belgium: Brussels Belga Jazz Festival; European New Jazz Festival Brussels; Roumania: Festival of contemporary music Sibiu ; Poland: Festival of Contemp.Music Warschau; Switzerland: Montreux Jazz Festival, Stravinsky Hall; Jazzfestival AMR Geneva; Schaffhausen Jazz Festival; Jazzfestival11 # Lausanne; Festival de la Cité Lausanne; Amplitudes La Chaux-de-Fonds Festival; Moods Zurich; Austria: Vienna Porgy and Bess; Spielboden Dornbirn; Paris: Moments Chavirés, Sunset, Duc des Lombards; Holland: Bimhuis, Amsterdam; Paradox Tilburg; Spain: Sevilla Worldexpo."

-Prepared Guitar Blogspot (

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track listing:

1. Whistle Of Naskapi (Dedicated To Félix) 3:45

2. Lose 5:25

3. Tribulation 5:00

4. Nomad 3:42

5. On The Run 4:25

6. Ray Of Hope 4:18

7. A Un Fil 5:25

8. Dreaming Stowavay 4:14

9. Amazing Maze 3:26

10. Cross Mo Man's Land 5:47

11. Train To A New Light 1:45
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Vinz released his first solo guitar CD in 2004. Since that time he took part in four more recordings with different French musicians for Leo Records. Now, fifteen years later he returns to his original solo project, but he is a different man. Has he mellowed? One can hear several guitars and a voice playing at the same time. He takes you into his world of moods, emotions and sounds you've never heard before. As he writes: "on the run... just behind: last border to cross... risk... exile new future... all so close... illusion?... a no man's land...?" there is a lot of sense in these two lines."-Leo

"Swiss improvising guitarist Vinz Vonlanthen constructs his second solo guitar album since Oeil (Leo, 2004) amid his more recent collaborative recordings for Leo Records, largely featuring like-minded French artists. Otherwise, it's an apt album title via the guitarist's resonating electric avant-garde workouts, speckled with his wordless voice overlays on several tracks. Essentially, he conveys despair and an inhuman musical scenario with subliminal and mesmeric themes, as he perpetuates a distinct sense of the unknown.

Vonlanthen seemingly layers certain movements or multitasks by performing bass notes and upper-register voicings in simultaneous fashion. With steely harmonics, distortion techniques and a myriad of experimental maneuvers, the artist takes his time crafting a musical statement on a per-track basis. It's a good thing since he manages to insert melodic or jarring motifs, even if barely detectable. On a continual basis the guitarist generates a captivating set of circumstances as though he's interrogating his inner self.

Squelching notes and moaning voices impart an additional ominous factor into the big picture along with background effects, strenuous note-bending episodes and a sense of yearning. On "A Un Fil," Vonlanthen executes buzzing lower and upper register lines while maintaining a rhythmic sensibility and contrapuntal chord voicings. Indeed, he's a multitasking machine. With ghostly treatments and unorthodox voicings, he takes the listener on an indefinable journey into parts unknown. However, "Cross No Man's Land" is a temperate spiritual motif, shaded with high-pitched feedback and volume control processes, contrasted with a drifting background.

In military terms, no man's land is the space in between two opposing front lines. Here, Vonlanthen's acute imaginative powers spark a soundtrack where time is frozen in a neutral zone with no winners or losers. Basically, music imitates life during this persuasive and tremendously interesting endeavor."-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:

Leo Records
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Guitarists, &c.
Unusual Vocal Forms
Solo Artist Recordings

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