9 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes


About Mark McGuire

A guitar hero of the Midwest American underground, prolific multi-instrumentalist Mark McGuire produces hazy, introspective compositions which typically consist of multiple layers of acoustic and electric guitars as well as synthesizers and occasional hushed vocals. He rose to prominence during the late 2000s as a member of Emeralds, an influential trio who played an expansive style of Kosmische-inspired drone, and remained busy after the group's 2013 breakup. McGuire's early solo releases, summarized by the double-CD A Young Person's Guide to Mark McGuire, often consisted of gently flowing guitar/loop pedal suites, sometimes utilizing samples and found sounds. His songwriting became more personal and nostalgic on albums such as 2010's Living with Yourself, and his sound became much richer and more ambitious with 2014's Along the Way, which incorporated influences such as minimal techno and spiritual jazz. The back-to-basics Ideas of Beginnings appeared in 2017, followed shortly by the more eclectic Vision Upon Purpose.

Mark McGuire was born in Cleveland in 1986, and started playing guitar when he was nine years old. Along with Steve Hauschildt and John Elliott, McGuire played in a short-lived group called Fancelions starting in 2005. The trio then founded Emeralds in 2006, and quickly became one of the most active units in the American experimental/noise underground. All three members were also busy with various solo and collaborative projects, and McGuire was especially prolific, issuing dozens of limited-edition cassettes and CD-Rs since 2006. Releases such as 2009's Losing Sleep combined synthesizer and television samples with layers of delayed guitar arpeggios, recorded on a four-track. However, he also demonstrated his proficiency at acoustic guitar playing on the same year's VDSQ: Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2. 2009 also saw the release of Days of Thunder, the sole recording by Skyramps, McGuire's collaboration with Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never).

In 2010, following Editions Mego's release of Emeralds' masterpiece Does It Look Like I'm Here?, McGuire made his solo debut for the label with Living with Yourself, which he considers his first proper album release. The set, full of his trademark loops, delays, and splices, was reviewed well and led to the 2011 collaborative album Trouble Books & Mark McGuire on the latter's Bark & Hiss imprint. Editions Mego also issued a double-disc retrospective of his earlier limited-edition recordings titled A Young Person's Guide to Mark McGuire in April, before releasing his second album, Get Lost, in September. In 2012, McGuire and Spencer Clark (formerly of Skaters) released an eponymous surf-inspired LP as Inner Tube.

The year 2014 saw the first solo work from McGuire since the 2013 disbandment of Emeralds with the lushly expanded instrumentation of Along the Way. He followed up in the fall of that same year with an EP titled Noctilucence. His 2015 album, Beyond Belief, contained some of his most complex work to date. He returned to VDSQ for the stripped-down, primarily acoustic Ideas of Beginnings in 2017. The more electronic, somewhat pop-influenced Vision Upon Purpose was also released that year. ~ Jason Lymangrover & Thom Jurek

Cleveland, OH
December 31, 1986



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