It was inevitable that the CandyRat label would wax even a bit more exploratory, but of course with its customary grace and impeccable intelligence. In this threesome composed of Sergio Altamura, Stefano Barone, and Pino Forastiere, gents who have already well proven their prowesses, we find the expected finesse and tonalities of the CR stable but also a vertical delving into sidelines of processed voice, prepared guitar, and live electronics making for colorations and moods previously not quite essayed. This mode, as might be expected, only prodded the players to stretch and warp into tangents upon expressions that would otherwise have remained sui generis, Funky Sex Republic" being a very good example...and is one of the players now bowing his axe a la Jimmy Page's early days? Yow!
Interestingly, Guitar Republic touches on the California Guitar Trio, cyclical patterns from the tamer side of the latterday Crimson, John Williams' (the guitarist not the flaky film composer) 70s experimentations, Fripp's mantric modern style, Kottke's minimal serialism and slides, and even stray bits of Garaj Mahal. Heck, Carl Weingarten was at one point headed in this direction, and superlatively so. I'm pretty sure the 'live electronics' here include a looping station, at least Republic Avenue indicates it, though you can never tell with the inhumanly dexterous CR roster, and there are some excellent body percussives complementing the oft exotic and arabesqued refrains. More than once, I caught myself thinking "Ya know, Towner and the boys in Oregon…"
One can't help but hope this is just the leading edge of a trend to present quite a few more ensemble ventures within the CandyRatters, shifting and morphing collaborations infinite in their potential, evolutionary by effect and influence. This explosion of independent labels has already reconciled the sense of loss felt as the hideously corrupt mainstream imploded and collapsed. The marked increase in non-corporate artistry has been critical to any culture's heart and soul, providing much needed alternatives to the soulless conformity once thought inevitable. Too obtuse an accolade? I don't think so. It isn't CEOs and middle management who create new futures but artists. Guitar Republic is a seat aboard that expressway from megalopolis to utopia.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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