actuellecd

Review

Michael Davis, Option, no 77, 1 novembre 1997

This is a period of high visibility for certain veteran British guitarists. Derek Bailey is all over the place, with recent coliaborations on a number of improvisationally oriented labels, and now Frith returns with this magnificent piece of work. He formed the quartet back in 1990 with René Lussier, Mark Stewart and Dr. Nerve’s Nick Didkovsky, but I guess everyone involved has been too busy to get an album out before now. From the first riff, which suggests Philip Glass caught in a revolving door, to the concluding Uruk’s Tablets, their guitars offer arpeggios, shimmering chords, feedback and percussive sounds, stretching the boundaries of the instrument. Everyone contributes material and nobody lets their own stylistic devices get in the way. I can’t imagine a better turn-of-the-century electric guitar record but I suppose it’s possible that Frith & Co. could outdo themselves before 1999.