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Johnny Butler: "Solo"

img  Tobias

It’s high time I got back to my critiquing roots by giving love (where no other love, I assure you, will ever dare shine) to an off-the-wall experimental record like this, a one-man one-take sax-and-Echoplex orgy of self-indulgence.

Robert Fripp did an album similar to this in A Blessing of Tears: 1995 Soundscapes, Vol. 2, but he’s a guitar guy, not a saxman like Butler. On the other hand, and here’s the rub, Fripp waited over 25 years to pull this, where this is Butler’s debut. Four compositions make up the album, firstly “Cathedral,” a swampload of eerie, amorphous layers remindful of 80% of what metal bands have used as intros since 1980. “Katrina” is the meat of the album, Butler piling on the layers until classical vibes happen and then quickly melt as if through an aural kaleidoscope. “Glitch” is self-explanatory, a romp in the hay with his laptop and a few samples, and the album ends on the suitably morose “Eulogy.”

Not for everyone – and that includes Mingus fans – but it’s surely a gauntlet thrown in the general direction of sax-players who might be considering adding cybernetics to their toolkit of sounds.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Johnny Butler

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