Kevin Drumm

Kevin Drumm

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though the casual listener would be hard-pressed to perceive the fact, this is a solo guitar record. Chicago native Kevin Drumm manages to coax sounds out of his setup that are less like what one normally associates with the instrument than anyone this side of Keith Rowe. It could be argued, in fact, that Drumm is one of Rowe's most direct descendants and a very fascinating scion indeed. Generally speaking, Drumm's approach takes one of two tacks on this recording. The first is a static-y, crunching attack, where it almost sounds as though he's jiggling a loosely fitting jack in a socket, causing the complete cessation of sound for brief moments, interrupting sonic waves ranging from feedback buzzes to wrenching maelstroms of noise. There are also (shades of Rowe) intimations of radio broadcasts, although -- if actually present -- they are buried deeply enough underneath multiple layers of sound so as to render them only faintly discernable. These cuts (all are untitled on this obscurely packaged disc) teeter on the cusp between engaging randomness and cynical arbitrariness. Far more successful are the two tracks (five and seven) that use an underlying drone of sorts to buttress further noise explorations. These provide a breadth and atmosphere that go a long way toward producing very strong, cohesive improvisations while maintaining his sense of exploration and newness. After this recording, Drumm went on to perform with a wide variety of improvisers, including several on the outer fringes of rock. Admirers of his later work will certainly wish to hear this early example of his playing, as will any adventurous listeners interested in the ongoing history of the electric guitar.

blue highlight denotes track pick