Monday, May 30, 2011

CDs non reviews: the CDs I bought in the last months...

Last year I started to review some CDs, and I planed to go on, very subjectively and only about the stuff I'm interested in, but I failed at that - started some then postponed and now there are too many to do it seriously but without turning it into a serious job - this blog is but a hobby... 

So I just post the covers of the CDs I bought these last months, excluding the stuff I download or copy - I still favor CDs when it comes to owe music, and I do want to remunerate the artists whose music I enjoy so much (for the industry, it can collapse, I don't mind). I listen to a lot of music online, but it's interesting for me to see what I've bought over a certain lapse of time - I realize that I'm mostly into guitar based rock music nowadays, and that after 20 years I'm still not finished replacing my vinyls collection - I really had a lot! - and I need some more classics...

The Dead Weather is without any doubts the most exciting band I've heard for a long while - I had lost my enthusiasm for raw rock for years but I really enjoyed their concert in Berlin last summer... I also discovered Broadcast but sadly only the very day their singer died, and I listen to their last album a lot. I keep enjoying medieval music and Anne Azéma is a luminous singer. And after having listened to a lot of jazz-rock in the last years, I have a strong minimal phase, in very different styles but always quite pop, at the exception of This Heat that is an interesting crossing of experimental music, krautrock and post-punk from the early 1980s...

Two last things, the artist I pirated the most lately is Burzum - not only his CDs are not easy to find, but I mind financing a half-nazi, that is probably quite stupid since I do value his music... And again I will miss a great concert in a couple of weeks, but I really cannot put 200 € to see Roger Water's The Wall, even though that's the only chance I'll ever have to see it in my life... Again, when did rock become upper class entertainment?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

my own signature guitar 2

Another version of my own signature guitar, after I had another look at the Mosrite Combo, and remembered the ultra cool sound holes on some metal front models of Helliver Guitars, plus a  Wilkinson auto-tuning bridge... 

Monday, May 16, 2011

concert review: Olaf Rupp & Julian Sartorius in -able, Berlin | 13 May 2011

On friday I had the luck and pleasure to see Olaf Rupp and Julian Sartorius playing in a small galery in Berlin.

Olaf Rupp is a stunning guitarist, who developed a very personal style of free improvisation on acoustic nylon string guitar. You could feel the legacy of Derek Bailey, the master of improvisation on acoustic guitar (but who isn't his heir in this domain), but Olaf Rupp's technic derives from classical and flamenco, played with fingernails, that make his music quite unique, and very emotional - I have to say that the audience was quite mesmerized! And this doesn't mean that his register is limited, he produces a huge array of sounds, far beyond the suave notes one expects from the nylon string guitar, from thundering chaos to soft micro-melodies, everything very organic and inspired.

For the occasion Olaf Rupp played with drummer Julian Sartorius, who was not less excellent, I rarely saw such a creative improviser in front of a drum set, combining endless different technics with a great accuracy, avoiding the usual trap of the accumulation of tricks.

I appreciated the fact that the concert was dense but short, many improvisers fall in a kind of trance and loose track of good timing, where Rupp and Sartorius, who had something to tell, just told it and stopped (though the audience insisted for an encore!) A word also about the place, this small gallery in Neukölln called -able, who organizes more and more interesting concerts - I'm happy that they are in my neighborhood and that they are my friends, and I advise my fellow berliners to keep an eye on their program...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

a killswitch on my Dot

I'm very happy with the brand new killswitch I just installed on my Epiphone Dot Studio, it's so cool that I wonder why I've been waiting so long to do it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

more sketches

And here comes the last batch of guitar sketches - there's been 145 posts showing these sketches in the last 3 years, usually 8 guitars each time, that's over 1000 proposals of guitar designs... I remind the readers and followers of this blog that one of its purposes is to establish connections with guitar makers - companies, luthiers or amateurs - who would be interested in collaborating with me to design and build guitars... So feel free to contact me and spread the information - and feedback is always welcome!

my own signature guitar

I usually sketch many guitars, week after week, any kind of guitars, just for research purpose and without any restriction. Then I was thinking about the guitar I would really want for myself, and I came up with this model that gathers a few things I like and others I though about...

Lately I'm using mostly my Epiphone Dot, that fits better than any of my other guitars for my current project. It's not a high end guitar and I have more sophisticated, but the sound and the feel are what I need for now. So my dream guitar would be a semi-hollow - not all curves like the ES-335, but with a Bison style florentine double-cutaway, like a Zen-On Morales from the 1960s - the only model I know with such a design.

The gear would consist of an universal pickup, two or three universal knobs, a 3x3 aligned tuners headstock and a moon-shaped stoptail - plus moon crescent holes and a contoured metal scratchplate... Though since I designed this guitar I start to have a need for a self-tuning bridge à la Wilkinson, that would not only keep my guitar tuned but could also shift from one open tuning to another... Also this one has seven strings, I'm not sure about that - didn't finish the 7-string project yet, the lower horn is bothering but I'm not happy about just removing it! 

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