29 July 2016 (released)
03 November 2016
A visionary modern guitar symphony from delicate ambient up to progressive metal and everything in between.
Get ready for guitars. Lots of guitars. In Music for Mobile Electric Guitars, New York composer Patrick Grant explores what can be done with an army of electrified six-strings. The project is born out of Grant's mobile art installation, the electric guitar procession which he began by assembling a gang of guitarists, slinging battery powered amps on their hips, to engage in a symphony that roamed the streets of New York City. The idea has since been recreated in cities all over the world and Grant has now harnessed his creation in the studio with a modest group of eleven guitarists.
The energetic opener busts out of the gates with big, ringing arpeggios over driving power chords. 'Shapes 1' presents itself as the overture to the musical play, weaving its way from a meandering quirky verse to its climax of arena rock guitar punches. The piece evokes the modern wall of sound that Dave Grohl and company have created.
Moving out of the rock mode, 'Circulation in G Maybe' segues into a guitar slinger's homage to the ambient soundscapes of Brian Eno. Harmonic guitar plucks bounce about your periphery like a chorus of bells. A beautiful meditation in singing distortion. The incantation resets the mind for the album ahead. The 'Tilted Axes Theme' is built with layer upon layer of earnestly strummed chords, ascending like the building of a pyramid. Fans of Russian Circles will find the project's mission statement piece to be familiar territory.
With intentions now firmly declared, the album is free to dive in and out of various genres with a healthy dose of residual theme crossing over from act to act. 'Riviera' boasts loftily, swirling leads over an Egyptian swing. 'Techno Tilt' brings out the choppy stops and quirky chords of angry, red-faced prog. 'Alamo Tilt' once again calls upon the temple of sound structure of Russian Circles that gives you quite the mountain view by the end. 'Polymetric Patterns' delivers just that, a glorious wash of densely intertwining guitars with the deft bassist bobbing and weaving throughout like a champ. Have you ever wanted to hear a bass and flute solo in perfect unison? Check out Beaubien Blues.
Music for Mobile Guitars is a treasure trove for any guitar nut who doesn't mind leaving the singer on the bench. Grant's range of influences yields a constantly evolving cannon that takes you through all the accomplishments the electric guitar has had since it came squealing into the world last century. This album could easily be given to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame as a testament to the instrument's amazing contribution to music.