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Hard Hat Area

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Album Review

Allan Holdsworth is arguably one of the most important post-Hendrix electric guitarists to grace either the fusion or rock scenes, while Hard Hat Area, signifies one of the artist's better solo excursions. With this 1994 effort, the guitarist receives excellent support from Icelandic electric bass phenom Skuli Sverrissson, whereas keyboardist Steve Hunt renders melodically tinged synth lines and ethereal backwashes throughout. Essentially, the group produces a series of climactic overtures, accelerated by a distinct sense of uninhibited force. On pieces such as "Ruhkukah" and "Low Levels, High Stakes," the musicians surge forward with a deterministic flair via a few tricky time signatures and lyrically charged themes atop Holdsworth's climactically driven solos. Consequently, the group conveys an underlying sense of tension and release, as Holdsworth's scathing legato-based lines might spur notions of a hawk zooming in on its prey. Thus, a must-have for the ardent Holdsworth aficionado.

Customer Reviews

Mind Altering

This was my introduction to Allan. Blew me off the planet! Spent the first listen trying to figure out what kind of aliens these guys were and the second listen trying to figure out what instruments they were playing! Stellar command of every instrument. Emotional highs and lows through choice notes and passages throughout. Instantly turned me into a life long Holdsworth fanatic!

amazing cd must have

im a holdsworth freak. met him 3 times. he is the genius mad professor on guitar!!!!! and the king of lead tones , best lead guitarist ever! i.m.h.o. !!!!!! anyway, this cd is remarkable. allans solos on ruhkuhkah are just laser precise and sickly amazing..... really, words cant describe the feeling in his solo in that song.... worth the whole CD price right there.... you will get chills! house of mirrors is a beautiful piece of music.... really nice , sad, but hopeful at the same time.... its like a kaleidoscope with its changes.... low levels high stakes is another gem on this as skuli sverrison on bass has a very nice long 6 string bass solo on his vintage tobias bass ( im pretty sure thats what he used ) and it owns.... hard hat area is kinda industrial noise meets guitar... ( synthaxe to make the construction sounds i believe ) very cool stuff.... great keys and drumming as well..... this is a cd that vinnie colaiuta did not play on to my knowledge... on a side note, my cd of this has different artwork then what itunes is showing.


Born: August 6, 1946 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Guitarist Allan Holdsworth is widely considered to be one of the finest instrumentalists in all of jazz fusion, yet has never truly received the recognition that he so rightfully deserves. Born on August 6, 1946, in Bradford, Yorkshire, Holdsworth was originally taught music by his father, who was a pianist. Holdsworth didn't pick up the guitar until he was 17 years old, but learned the instrument quickly. After playing in local outfits (and learning the violin), Holdsworth relocated to London, where...
Full Bio