Keith Rowe

29 October 2001

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This 3", limited-edition disc contains a portion, presumably the tail end, of a live solo performance by guitarist Keith Rowe, widely known as a founding member of the electro-acoustic improvising group AMM. In contrast to much of his recent work with that ensemble as well as his collaborations with musicians like Toshimaru Nakamura where a sense of spareness and severity dominates, this is a rich, multi-layered performance, one of his very finest solo efforts. Beginning with a low, creamy drone, Rowe hits an almost rock-like chord, followed by a much eerier one, an astounding strum between fear and pleasure that is shiver-inducing and mouthwatering at the same time. True to his reductivist precepts, however (and unlike 99-plus percent of other musicians), Rowe is content to only tread this area once, allowing the sounds to drift off and never be heard from again. Much of the remainder of the disc is given over to complex interactions among the multiple handheld fans that are starring members of his tabletop cast, their various buzzing pitches heard for their own qualities, for their motorized whirring on his guitar strings, and for the electromagnetic interference their small motors cause with his other electronics. All these elements and more combine to form a dense weave that seems infinitely deep while possessing a metallic, slightly menacing edge. Eventually, Rowe establishes a forbidding, chiming drone that spirals the piece into silence, accompanied by diminishing clicks and scratches. It's an amazing performance, one that fans of this musician will certainly wish to hear.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 21:02
blue highlight denotes track pick