French guitarist Jean-Marc Montera's Smiles from Jupiter should have been the first CD on the German improv label Grob. Instead, its release was delayed for two years, finally being accessible in September 2000. Smiles from Jupiter is table guitar terrorist Montera alone with his instruments in a closed bar on an April 1998 afternoon. The jerky "Jupiter's Smile" set the mood: clusters of guitar sounds, plaintive slides, dismembered improvising. "Running in a Venus Kitchen" starts very softly, almost inaudibly and builds up to a noise extravaganza. The electric guitar solo "Minimal Breath from Mercury's Dark Ride" is as extreme as it gets with its ultra-distorted overtones. On "As Pluton Was," Montera takes his electric guitar, turns the distortion off and dives into a pleasing reconstructed blues number: a magical moment. From avant-blues figures to deconstructive abstract sound paintings, Smiles from Jupiter shows how varied Jean-Marc Montera's art is. The last two tracks are studio constructions by Josef Suchy from material performed on that session.
AllMusic Review by François Couture