Ernesto Diaz-Infante

(as is stated...before known)

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Number four in the ongoing collaboration between Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Chris Forsyth continues to picture the duo reinventing itself with each release. After two albums that were outgrowing the guitar duo format (to include piano, voice, objects), this one comes back to basics. Diaz-Infante plays an acoustic guitar, Forsyth handles an electric one, and that is what they do for the entire duration of the album. Of course, there is plenty you can do to make a guitar sound like something else -- and these two improvisers know it very well. The acoustic guitar is brushed, hammered, and prepared. The electric guitar is left to hum quietly, a flip of the pickup selector triggering new textures. But overall, (as is stated...before known) is a collection of guitar duets that sound like guitar duets. Both musicians develop delicate fingered patterns that echo Diaz-Infante's shift toward dark avant-psychedelic folk earlier in the decade. And both also explore sound textures reminiscent of Forsyth's recent explorations in lowercase improvisation (see his release with PSI). This album is both quieter and more peaceful than previous offerings, but it could hardly be described as "minimalist." Things do occasionally get very calm, especially in "Some Weeks of Close Scrutiny" where all the electric guitar emits is an unbroken flux of amplifier hum and light noise produced by what sounds like a hand-held fan held close to the pickup, evoking the extreme sonic research of Taku Sugimoto. But the other pieces all feature inspired nonidiomatic playing and dreamy song-inducing themes, as fragile and fugitive they might be. This is the strangest album this pair has released yet, but perhaps the easiest to listen to.

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