Lower Rhine Sonata is a collection of 11 solo guitar pieces in which Hainer Wörmann uses an array of preparations on his instrument to milk out various sonorities, from light, metallic plucks to shredding buzzes. His technique strongly recalls Hans Tammen's own solo album, Endangered Guitar (on the same record label, moreover). The album is structured in three sections. First comes the four-part title piece. Here, Wörmann uses common preparations (objects inserted between/under the strings) and plays with his fingers. Memories of Eugene Chadbourne resurface, but also Henry Kaiser and the lesser-known Rainer Wiens. If the technique itself is not that original anymore, Wörmann applies it well, with "Lower Rhine Sonata, Part 4: Ho," filled with long, ample gestures, being particularly interesting. Tracks five through eight form the second section, dominated by the use of unusual objects to play the strings: steel wool, styrofoam, and more. The last three pieces focus on harsh noise obtained with an E-bow. No more Mr. Nice Guy for this last section. Lower Rhine Sonata offers a nice variety of textures and techniques and can be enjoyed as a good introduction to the array of possibilities available to experimental guitarists, but it doesn't top Tammen's CD, nor does it stand out as particularly original. Released in NURNICHTNUR's metal box series.
AllMusic Review by François Couture