This collaboration between guitarist Andrew Read and soundsmith Anthony Child (aka Surgeon) went through a long gestation period and spent almost five years on a shelf, even though it took only two days to record. The concept at the basis of Guitar Treatments is that neither artist has full control over his music. No matter what Read plays on his guitar, the final output depends on how Child treats his sounds, and the "treater" can never be sure of what the guitarist will play, so his electronic preparations may not play the role he intended for them. This blueprint could lead to any kind of music, especially in the experimental realm, but despite a resolutely left-field stance, Guitar Treatments remains highly tonal almost throughout. Read's lines are slow, repetitive, almost processional melodies, while Child settles for ethereal treatments that stretch and pixelize the guitar sounds. If Robert Fripp had wanted to capture the spirit of Godspeed You Black Emperor! in one of his soundscapes and had let Fennesz process the results, it would sound something like this. Sadness, resignation, and spiritual yearning are all part of the complex emotional tapestry woven by these utterly beautiful pieces. The repetitive factor, which ties the music to American minimalists such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, is a key feature, as it allows the simple melodies to impregnate your mind, burning a deeper trace with each reiteration. Highly recommended to fans of soundscape guitar.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture