Melbourne-based Gulbenkoglu’s solo debut “highlights the visceral sonic possibilities of wood and steel” in acoustic and amplified wooden guitar. That said – after reading the list of artists who have played with Arek, which includes Will Guthrie, Anthony Guerra and Mattin among many others – I expected new observation angles to deform a lowercase reality which, in truth, is currently risking to welcome too many dilettantes aboard. My fears were dead wrong: Gulbenkoglu sounds like the result of a cross-pollination of fertile artists of the genre – I thought about Michel Doneda, Nikos Veliotis, Taku Sugimoto (yes) and many more; indeed, the final track – nameless, like the others – is a massive dance of spurious frequencies for (…eBowed?) guitar strings which Phill Niblock would certainly bless. The guy is serious, then; he plays with silence while playing in the silence – and after long minutes where all I heard was the rain pouring on the outside, he proceeded to pierce my brain with the return of the son of a killer test-tone which I presume is controlled feedback (Arek is credited with “preparations”, too…). Short fragments of concrete sounds from the various parts of the instruments are used – especially in the first half of the disc – to let everyone remember there is no electronic involved; but this man does everything so attentively, he could have found a way to put that ingredient too without ruining an already tasty plate.


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