Thursday, October 20, 2011

concert review: Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. in NK, Berlin

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 

Last monday I had the great pleasure to see Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. in NK - a cool place for alternative and experimental music in Berlin (where I've been performing last june). I utterly enjoyed their powerful and noisy psychedelic post-rock, and I am very interested in their artistic process evacuating the issue of novelty (that is often problematic in improvised music or dance in my opinion) by totally diving into psychedelic genre, using all the expected sounds and licks, and able then to focus on pure intensity and communion. I've had similar experience with butoh pieces that some people thought too cliché because they always expect something looking new, where I was marveled by the physicality and acuteness of the dancers.

So yes you could dance yourself into trance at their concert, but you could also take it as a pure musical moment - just like you can listen to a Johann Sebastian Bach mass without having to go to church! Of course Kawabata Makoto shone at the guitar, combining slide cosmic whispers with chaotic shredding and heavy riffs - almost made me feel like playing a stratocaster (though he wasn't playing his famous left-hand strat - I always thought that if I'd play one, I'd do the same and play reverse!). And other musicians are not just supports, they are such a powerful rhythm section that they could send the building into outer space!

A great moment (at the exception of the two stupid headbangers who arrived late and stood just in front of me when I was already on the first rank, and danced as if they were at a Motörhead concert in 1985 - I know what I'm talking about, I was there, but I grew up since)!

Edit: I didn't mention gear, but I was agreeably surprised to see that the musicians of AMT avoid the current trend of indulging in vintage/custom guitars plugged in a impressive line of boutique pedals. They play with basic Fenders - Precision Bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster - and each have no nonsense Zoom G2s multimeffects, a couple of Boss pedals - a looper for the bass a.o. -, a wah, a big handmade unknown metal cased pedal, that's it... Considering the sonic mayhem they can produce, it's all the more impressive!

Musima Eterna in Guitarz 2012 calendar

I told you already about the release of Guitarz 2012 calendar (that you can acquire here) featuring both my Doppelcaster (on the front page) and my good old Musima Eterna, about which I published a detailed post here

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rehousing a Danelectro pedal

Pedal time! After the Mystery guitar (still no better name - I like die Planck, a mock German name suggested by Guitarz co-poster David from Barcelona, but I'm not sure), let's go back to my DIY fuzzbox project - and while I'm at it, I plan to rehouse my Danelectro Rocky Road. 

I like the sound of this cheap version of a Leslie - I bought it to check if that would be a sound I could include in my music, before getting a more serious one, but it's good enough - or at least it would be if it was not so unpractical! The foot switches are too low, too small and to close to each other - as are the pot knobs... So I tore it apart to look how it would be modifiable, and it's going to be difficult - it's super compact and everything that I should replace is connected directly on the PCBs - and here again I know so little! 

But the only way to learn is to try, so I can only hope that I won't screw it all, and just go for it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

more sketches

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mystery Guitar (until I found a better name)

It takes so long to conceive and build my projects that I decided to go for it and make a guitar as quick as possible, and keep it as raw as bearable! So I gathered some gear laying around, bought a cheap neck on eBay, sawed a piece out of a big planck I picked in the street, cut, routed, perforated, drilled, sanded, soldered, oiled and here it is, my new baby - of which I'm very proud, I must say!

Here is the flabbergasting Mystery Guitar aka the 2 weeks guitar (the time I spent on it) aka the Rough Planck.

Simple, elegant, combining rough authenticity and high-tec design, and trendy recycling.

Full-frontal pic - see the cool round sound holes!

Neck is bolted, and something makes me think that I should visit my friend Pedro in Brazil one of these days.

Electronics are installed on the pickguard.

I soldered the push-pull knob (to split the humbucker) without any help - I'm so proud of myself.

The planck is too thick for the neck screws, I chisel a cavity for the plate.

De-branded headstock.

The body is routed and sanded - to remove the dirt and the splinters -, the pickguard is also roughly sanded, and perforated.

Got myself to finally use my plunge router to chamber the body, scary but efficient.

Gear plus pickguard.

Cutting the alu pickguard - one cut; see my bathroom tiles!

Now I can place the gear more precisely.

Drawing of the chamber and the pickguard - with the same pens I use for my sketches!

The pickup is a slanted dual blade hum bucker bought on discount from Eastwood's e-shop.

All the pieces together for a first impression.

Used strat-like neck branded Charisma from eBay (super flat - no radius).

A construction wood planck I picked in the street - cut to dimension 46 x 24 x 4,5.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

mystery unveiled

Here is the mystery guitar project I posted about a couple of weeks ago: my idea was to make a guitar as quick as possible, without design (that's what slows me so much usually) and without the pro smooth finish that is so painful to me to reach considering my total absence of building skills...

Anyway I'm super happy about it - and it sounds much better in real than recorded with my computer's internal mike -, though I still have to set the bridge saddles to have a proper intonation, but just couldn't wait any longer to post about it!

I will make a detailed post tomorrow, and since I don't have a name for it yet, I welcome suggestions!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

gUitarREN's facebook

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