Guitarist Joe Sachse's approach to playing the instrument is not only unique, it is iconoclastic. Sachse has little interest in producing "music" in the Western sense of the word, though he often does in a rooted blues and vanguard rock manner. Instead, his explorations move in a decidedly European fashion toward the production of worlds of sound that interact and stand in opposition to one another. His hyperactive chordal inventions often disintegrate into sonic ether on European House, and retreat into single-string adjectives that modify and explain the various architectural modes of thought his physical playing effects. From open-ended blues and R&B figures to extended scalar meditations on a single chromatic riff to blinding feats of noise and atonal figures that incorporate percussion and arpeggiated striations of enormous length and magnitude, European House is a guitar tour de force -- and not a tour de six-string masturbation. Sachse continually wars with himself over technique and how to undo it in favor of a more honest approach to "sound-making." The beautiful thing for the listener involved in moving through this conflict is that it all ends up becoming decidedly jazz. His tonalities are equally compelling in that they employ dissonance as a way of unmaking distinctions between it and consonance, becoming merely and totally a pool of sonances that complement and challenge each other to become both less and more than one another. Fans of Raymond Boni, Marc Ducret, and Derek Bailey should take note.
European House Review
by Thom Jurek