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Album review

MPH, Zookeeper Online, March 22, 2004

A collection of mostly improvised guitar duets that range from abstract wanderings to busy pointed interactions. Berthiaume is a 24 year old guitar player from Montréal and he’s the driving force that made this disc happen. His playing tends to be minimal, lots of extended techniques, and effected with lots of non-guitar-like sounds.

1. Berthiaume solo, well sort of, he’s multi-tracked. Lots of ambient guitar playing with drawn out notes which sound as if they are bowed. I thought the most interesting part of the track was when he was picking somewhat normally over his bowed drawn out notes. The track stays slow and patient most of the time.

**2. Frith and Berthiaume on this track. They start out getting some very unique sounds out of their guitars. At times pretty and not sounding like a guitar. More bowed pitch bending. One of them suddenly starts playing a picked slightly bluesy sort of way and it works really well.

3. Even further out in terms of the sounds they get from their guitars. This track on one hand is more aggressive but on the other more minimal. At one point I thought I was listening to experimental electronic music, not guitars and at another point, because of more bowing they sounded like horns. The track is very long and goes through a lot of changes.

4. Bailey and Berthiaume. I had a feeling these two styles of playing would have a difficult time playing together. Bailey does his usual out, acoustic sounding individual note improv which has little connection to most other music. Berthiaume speeds up his abstractness and sounds like he spends half the track just trying to keep up. That said, there is a nice conversation between the two during a good portion of the track. Gee, staccato plucking that creates a more European improv sound. Surprise surprise.

**5. Frith and Berthiaume. Probably the furthest out track. All sorts of scratching, percussion, bending and crackling noises come from the two guitars. Prickly and tense. There is such a connection between the two players here that you tell me who makes what sounds.

6. Bailey and Berthiaume. Short, quiet, and percussive.

Good stuff.

Good stuff.