Candlesnuffer is David Brown, a long-active experimental bassist/guitarist from Melbourne, Australia. This is his first solo album, released as he was enjoying a higher profile thanks to his group Bucketrider and a CD with KK Null (Terminal Hz). Candlesnuffer is a collection of 14 tracks ranging from noise mayhem the likes of Merzbow to more elaborate electro-acoustic constructions. Central to the music is the electric guitar, the sole purveyor of sound. Brown is a gifted, versatile, and often volatile player. Delicate free improv playing à la Derek Bailey suddenly erupts in noise lava burning everything it comes in contact with. The closing piece, the ten-minute "Song Pluggers," summarizes the whole album: harsh noise textures, careful soft improvising, axe shredding, highly processed textures. This album is much more dense and hard-striking than Terminal Hz, but the guitarist doesn't show off. Like Masami Akita, his music avoids gratuitous noise. Every note, every sound was thought over and painstakingly forged. In "The Ghost of Ginger," the guitar, still recognizable, takes surprising shapes. Oren Ambarchi explores similar ground, but Brown eschews any reference to glitch electronica, working on more -- dare it be said -- organic and vital grounds. More varied than your typical Merzbow release, more intellectual too maybe, Candlesnuffer adds another argument to plead for the guitarist's international recognition.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture