David Tollefson

Near and Far

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David Tollefson's grand, ambient schemes suggest the best of 1990s ambient music. He uncoils complex, unspoiled landscapes, palpable emotional atmospheric regions, a sense of timelessness and of great gulfs between the earth and the heavens. Listening to Tollefson's sonic creations arc, plateau, and settle softly to the surface, the classic inner and outer space music of German legends past immediately springs to mind. The crucial difference is that Tollefson has crafted these modern-day tone poems entirely from guitar.

The magic lies in the process. "Field of Blackbirds" does indeed suggest looming hordes of winged creatures taking flight, the guitarscape given a forlorn, searching quality. "Twin Earth" is more naturalist, Tollefson ekes out sustained bell-like chords to create a serene environment. Sure, it's proof positive that the six-string is far from dead in this age of electronica. In the right hands, it can augment contemporary ambient music quite memorably.

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