Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Artist: igOr
Title: Solo View
Format: CD
Label: iii records
Rated: *****
This record was received in with a description clearly stating: "Attention: Avant Garde." While this is quite the tricky descriptor to use these days, I actually think it describes this disc in one true sense of the phrase (think pre-postmodernism). On it you will find a swath of instruments that convolve effectively on my new music friendly ears, and this is somewhat exciting; Hammond organ, drum machine, heavily manipulated electrical guitar (often soloing, twanging or looping on top), some 8 bit and overly tweaked electronics of unknown origin– and yet there is still some room for interpretation, live performing, a respectable guitaristic presence, and a mix that was articulated by way of an engineer with sensitive ears.

Guitar tone is finely tuned in. The standard musical devices are arriving consistently via left field, with some occasional reinforcement happening on the right wing. A heavily tapped/panned stereo image conveys something of a psychotropic, sonic projection towards the listener which makes for a nice, live, soundstage.

The average track weighs in at 6.5 minutes, and ironically – incorporates a very non-avant garde song writing formula. This is where I hope that igOr will start to focus his energies of his militia of tomorrow. Themes, variations, solo sections, micro-level panning, occasional chorus, guitar passages, etc did not exactly throw me for a loop –but at the same time the content inside these worlds is not always predictable.

I will cheers Mr. Igor credit for his occasionally defined, and unique musical voice. Can’t say I’ve experienced an over-abundance in the way of this variety of non-sampled, electronic, guitaristic, spacious, 8 bit, a-rhythmic, white noisey, free-form guitar jazz, and I will say igOr does a good job of not shooting 'the shredder wad’ in what has become a playing field defined by athleticism before musicality. Kudos to that my fellow guitarists! But my alter-ego is questioning the longevity of this record –not every record should be required to be held to this same rule, so I encourage the reader to define these avant garde sounds on his own.

When I adopt this approach to listening to this, I can say that some new and interesting rules and textures arise from this disc. So cheers to igOr and his battalion of sonic soldiers. And while I cannot speak for every reader and open minded listener on this review site – what I can say that for those of us who seek the innovation in every album-- this disc may very well provide some well-timed curveballs in an often comfy game of experimental tides.


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