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Album Review

Guitarists Keith Rowe and Oren Ambarchi have collaborated on a number of occasions in recent years, on the Grob releases Honey Pie (with Robbie Avenaim) and Thumb (with Avenaim, Sachiko M, and Otomo Yoshihide) and more recently on the Erstwhile double-CD Cloud with 4G — aka the Four Gentlemen of the Guitar (the other two being Toshimaru Nakamura and Christian Fennesz) — but Flypaper is very much a duo affair. Those familiar with Rowe's slow-motion grainy drone and wisps of radio broadcasts and the warm glow of Ambarchi's electronics (he's never as far as you might think from the delicious pop world he explores so well with Chris Townsend in the group Sun) will find few surprises on offer in these four medium-length tracks, but much to appreciate. Not as intense as Rowe's Erstwhile collaboration with Nakamura, Weather Sky, but certainly more substantial and rewarding than Thumb, Flypaper is a good place for newcomers to Rowe and Ambarchi to get themselves stuck on.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

While he began his career in the early 1960's as a mainstream jazz guitarist influenced by Wes Montgomery and Barney Kessel, Keith Rowe eventually fell under the influence of the contemporary avant-garde making waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Rowe resolved to cease tuning his guitar and shortly thereafter played the instrument lying flat like a dulcimer. Further, he de- and re-constructed his guitar, approaching music with a technique similar to that of abstract painter Jackson Pollock. Rowe...
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Flypaper, Keith Rowe
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