Bernd Steidl

Paganiniana

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Ten years passed between the release of the now underground classic Psycho Acoustic Overture and Paganiniana (released in Europe as Burnt Steel). During that time, Steidl spent most of his time composing film scores in Germany and obviously practicing. His tremendous technique, which can best be described as a hybrid of Django Reinhardt and Al DiMeola, sounds even more impressive due to a cleaner and vibrant sound. While classifying Psycho Acoustic Overture as shred could easily be considered an insult, his technique is simply too impressive to try to diminish. Here once again, chops are a blazing; however, there is a predominant focus on composition and various soundscapes. There is a distinctive European flavor to his romantic period-influenced music, with sprinklings of dance, new age, flamenco, jazz, and world music. Of the selections, his interpretations of Niccolò Paganini's stylings on "Paganiniana 1" and "Paganiniana 2" have to be heard to be believed. The European version contains three additional tracks, including "Cobra," which is a variation on his memorable "Cobra Negra." Historically, this release may not be as groundbreaking as his debut wound up being, but musically it is a more mature and well-rounded recording. Although it took ten years to arrive, Paganiniana, was well worth the wait.

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