Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Amy Reed-(solo guitar); cassette, no label or date given, recorded 2014

A recent drive up to Gold Lion Arts in Sacramento for Rent Romus's 50th birthday party had Disaster Amnesiac perusing their richly supplied merch table; tons of releases from artists affiliated with that really neat, intimate space fill it up. I grabbed (solo guitar), a short cassette release from electric guitar extender Amy Reed. Being familiar with her work, I knew that it would be worth the few bucks of admission, happily provided right to her open hand.
Here's what this listener heard.
Given that there are no sides listed, and Disaster Amnesiac has flipped this cassette a bunch of times now, I'll just say that one of them starts of with combined scraping and sliding actions from Reed's guitar. These moves throw off all kinds of overtones from the amp. These tones then proceed to ear worm their way into the mind in delightfully abstract ways, albeit pretty aggressive, ways. As stated, being familiar with Amy's playing and gear, Disaster Amnesiac has enjoyed imagining the tubes of her small-ish amp being warmed to a nice, red glow from this primal six string shattering. After this initial attack, she proceeds into playing what sound somewhat like chords, which, being made up of her own extended techniques, duly  expose her unique, highly individualized instrumental language for the attentive listener. Imagine melodies coaxed from rusted barbed wire, amplified and buzzing out on the chaparral around Davis, and you'll be close.
The other side of (solo guitar) gets going with slightly less density, as Reed ruminates on a chord of two simple notes before dropping in additions that ripple outward from the initial statement. She keeps ramping things up from there, thickening the sonic palette with woozy bending tones and percussive string hits. It's all very disconcerting the most delightful of ways, and then, out of nowhere, the tape simply stops, mid-jam. Dang it, Reed, why'd you leave us hanging?
The good news on that note, at least for California residents, is that Amy Reed plays pretty regularly, especially in the Sacramento and Solano County areas. I believe that she makes the occasional foray out into places east as well.
Take note, guitar lovers: (solo guitar) most surely give your ears the kind of bristling that the instrument is so fine at providing.

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