Solo prepared guitar recording from the AMM member who pioneered the table-top guitar technique in his free improvisations back in the '60s and thus influenced everyone from Syd Barrett through to Fred Frith and Jim O'Rourke. A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality is a live recording of Rowe solo outside of the AMM context he shares with percussionist Eddie Prevost and pianist John Tilbury. The array of sounds that the Englishman coaxes from the mere six string instrument is phenomenal, and his art is to extend upon the prepared piano techniques pioneered by John Cage and apply them to the electric guitar. As ecstatic as Derek Bailey, the comparison stops there as Rowe scarcely even puts his fingers on the string, instead opting for radio feedback, arco, and any number of kitchen implements to attack the guitar. To the uninitiated this may sound like clattering mess of noise. A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality is certainly far from it, as the dexterity with which he approaches abstraction is prodigal. It is no doubt then that everyone from Sonic Youth, Henry Kaiser, and even Frank Zappa could accredit Rowe as inspirational. His activities on recordings increased dramatically in the year 2000, with the proto-noise artist directing MIMEO and collaborating with improv mainstay Evan Parker on numerous recordings. This CD is a great document of one of his scarce solo performances.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane