KYLE BRUCKMANN / ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE / JOHN SHIURBA / KAREN STACKPOLE – Grand Mal

(Barely Auditable / Pax Recordings)

Electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, oboe and French horn are the basic timbral elements in this setting. Strings are caressed, plucked, tip-tapped and scratched by Diaz-Infante and Shiurba to create different points of view of the guitar as a soundbox, while multiphonics, no-tone blowing through the instrument’s body and long/held irky notes contrast with staccatos and screeches in Bruckmann’s excellent showing of technique and intuition. Stackpole contributes to this “formal instability” with an array of percussive choices that never dominate upon any of the other voices, instead repeatedly engaging them into conversational exchanges. At 45 minutes, also the record’s length is just perfect.

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