Elliott Sharp

Dyners Club

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On 'Dyners Club, guitarist Elliott Sharp goes whippo and takes apart all tonal and harmonic worlds with the help of his paranoid visionary aggression and three other six-string slingers. Yes. Seriously. Eight pieces, four guitars, tons of effects, and Sharp's reckless, relentless restlessness, trying to wring from the guitar its most imperfect tone, the one that will shatter all tones in its simplicity and jagged crystalline purpose. Some may think that composer Glenn Branca did some of this already in the 1980s; they'd be wrong. Sharp's system of ringing harmonic tensions from the guitars in his employ is far more complex and far less reliant on volume to get his ideas across. His is a systematic tension wrought by the particular nuance of a given tonality or mode. A listen to the recording's longest piece, "Zappin' the Pram," reveals that Sharp looks for dynamics rather than dramatics in his compositions; his staggered entrances and exits all leave the harmonic field open for a whisk of another idea, one more attack on the B string, this time with less force in an open tuning. His microphonics stack up to build new microtones and his arpeggios becomes shards of glass in a knotty, wiry series of encounters that leaves each tone field bare and bleeding. This is guitar music for those brave enough to really want to encounter the guitar; all others just pull out your Jimi Hendrix records.

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