Gilles Vignes

Solo Framus

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Guitarists tend to have a tad of a worship cult regarding Framus guitars, although not everyone can name the town of Walthersgrün, Germany as the birthplace of the company's nifty guitar makers. The existence of a solo guitar record entitled Solo Framus is just one more exciting event in the history of a line of instruments which sometimes have headstocks that look like dipped waffle cookies. The drawing on the front cover also reveals some of the exciting Framus hardware configurations including a whammy bar and something else that looks like the third out of five locks on a New York City apartment door. A guitarist named Gilles Vignes is responsible for this dear tribute to Framus, parts of which employ a sustain effect that allows a personal glimpse into the type of music the cartoon character of Plasticman might have played had he gone into avant-garde solo guitar music. Vignes comes across as a home taping enthusiast with many fully realized productions, his solo guitar music pushing into some extremely fruitful areas. Inevitably there is too much dark strumming in the dozen untitled sections; much preferable are parts that sound like unwanted bugs getting the squash treatment in a dark hallway, or a short passage in which the guitar sounds like it is being used to pry open the sultan's treasure chest. Performers who are thin-skinned regarding comments such as "too much dark strumming" should actually have to endure the comments of the people in the periphery of the critics themselves when the CD in question is being played. "This is depressing," was in the air as the very first passages of this CD were being played. Followed by "Can we listen to something else?" Vignes would probably not get a reaction like that in good old Walthersgrün.