Reviews and pictures from Sietse's record collection
Spread over two slabs of vinyl, the first released in February and the second in May, Quadtych is the new album by Can Deas.
On his earlier work, My Guitar is Alive and It’s Singing (Blackest Rainbow, 2009), Deas played well focused melodic finger-picking style guitar. This work reminded a lot of contemporary guitar players such as James Blackshaw, but as well the more traditional Takoma style. Though with his specific playing he developed his own style.
With these albums another interest seems to come out. In the four pieces Cam Deas combines melodic parts reminding of ragas with minimalism and improvisation.
Throughout the four pieces (one on each side) we hear all elements back, but the main focus is on the more experimental side of the music with loads of droning sounds and extreme plucking of the strings.
In this sense Cam Deas drifted away from the more traditional playing. Only in the third part (Side A of volume two) the melodic playing returns. But on the flip side of that same record we totally forget about it when we hear Part Four with dissonant guitar tones which at first sound a bit annoying but after a few times listening starts working in a good way.
Unlike many of his peers Cam Deas shows a huge interest outside the more traditional field of folk guitar. You could of course mention the taunting with minimal music by James Blackshaw on The Glass Bead Game and All is Falling. But this is rather a step away from the guitar than in style, while Deas really takes a step further incorporating totally different styles, though sticking to only the 12 string acoustic guitar.
For me personally at this moment Volume One is the most intriguing listening experience because of the big variation and great experimentation. Though, Volume Two is still growing on me and might become to me as strong as One.
But safe to say: Cam Deas is at this moment the most interesting guitar player around.
The two vinyl LP’s are limited to 500 each, and the CD with all four pieces is limited to 1000.
Listen to a mix of the album:
Buy the album: http://www.presenttimeexercises.com/