Elliott Sharp

Octal Book Two: Guitar Series, Vol. 4

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On Octal Book Two, Elliott Sharp brings his eight-string "electroacustic guitarbass" and an arsenal of extended techniques, but aside from an E-Bow on the last track and some metal slide, there are absolutely no picks or electronic effects used at all, just fingers and instrument. The range of the instrument itself is impressive: from deep, low end to standard guitar tones. Also impressive is the multitude of sounds Sharp can coax out with tapping, scraping, muting, and harmonics. The techniques may owe a debt to Derek Bailey, but the music is quintessentially Sharp: dense and focused with definite patterns yet simultaneously chaotic at times (not unlike the physics that helped inspire these pieces). There are times when there is so much going on that one has to wonder just how only one person with (presumably) ten fingers can do it. Octal Book Two is an impressive and fascinating study of a unique instrument in the hands of a true original.

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