Toulouse Engelhardt

Perpendicular Worlds

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Lost Grove Records' rediscovery of ‘70s guitarist Toulouse Engelhardt continues with Perpendicular Worlds, a close-miked, loudly mastered collection of his 12-string acoustic excursions. Engelhardt, an alumnus of Takoma Records, can recall the label's founder, John Fahey, as well as its star graduate, Leo Kottke, but he has less of the folk and country roots of those peers and a bit more (even on acoustic) of the surf guitar of Dick Dale, which makes him something like the missing link between Takoma and Windham Hill. Fond of harmonics, he creates circular riffs, sometimes played very fast, and the recording techniques make for accelerating overtones until it seems like a guitar army is on the march. Engelhardt exposes his roots by covering Davy Graham's "Anji," an instrumental much favored by ‘60s guitarists, but his version is much busier than, for example, Paul Simon's. Similarly, he overwhelms Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun," making the basic theme difficult to discern. Thankfully, he has a sense of humor. As he justifies the title of "Exceder la Velocite de Lumiere… ‘Exceeding the Velocity of Light'" with frantic playing, he can be heard whispering to himself, "Godspeed, Toulouse Engelhardt!" Amen to that.

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