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Simple Joseph

Noël Akchoté

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Album Review

The Joseph series continues for this French guitarist. The second of these slimly packaged discs is perhaps one of the best examples of a guitarist engaged in a duet with his own amplifier. The simple credits reading "guitar/amp" bear out that this might really be the concept in Akchote's mind as he presents pieces such as the first three on this CD, each of which seems to build out of the sort of simple tone or pure feedback an amplifier practically might give you all on its own. Practically, that is, as the human factor is still needed in the sense of someone turning the machine on, and more. On both "202" and "303," at just the point when one begins to wonder if a human mind is still engaged in producing these nearly still-life pieces, the guitarist expertly comes up with a subtle maneuver that lets you know he is still there with all his potential warmth and imagination. That one of these licks sounds like something off a record by the Strawberry Alarm Clock just makes it all the better. Then the entire process turns out to be a setup for the final track, in which an acoustic guitar sound warm enough to crackle round the campfire is treated to some kind of echo treatment. This series of solo CDs, over which the artist has complete control as to content, helps establish a much clearer picture of the direction this talented guitarist was going in in 2000.

Simple Joseph, Noël Akchoté
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