Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel

Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel Album
Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel

The duet of Aram Shelton and Icelandic guitarist Steini Gunnarson. Using prepared guitar, wind instruments and live sample-based processing via PD and MSP, they create thick multilayered textural music that is guided by their expressive melodicism. Their music is improvised and balances between the acoustic and electronic realms, the electronics having the tendency to blur the line of what is acoustic and what is not. It is held together by a shared sense of commitment to long forms and instinctive timing. In a way comparable to the surprising similarities of physical stress that can occur in both warm and cold climates. Download Available.

“The album starts with something resembling a subdued feel of repressed terror rapidly escalating to total fury, the instruments wildly screaming in a mayhem of treatments and shrieks, the strings hit with everything but the kitchen sink, signals deformed and heavily processed even if the core timbres remain more or less recognizable. After a while the rage releases its grip quite a bit, leaving room to placid clarinet and sax expositions amidst metallic showers and ripples of incisive tones. Towards the record’s end, one can surprisingly locate a few delay-drenched semi-romantic arpeggios, almost to remind that Gunnarsson is just playing a guitar after all. In spite of the fact that the main sonic factors of these seven improvisations are always visible, somehow the record defies a correct categorization, enjoyable as it is in (repeated) spots and rushes rather than as a whole. Clearly, these guys are knowledgeable manipulators, able to both wreak havoc and caress your hair – with sandpaper.” -Massimo Ricci – Touching Extremes.

A “Defining track is the three-part “Constitution”. As Gunnarson’s hand-tapped strings provide a percussive undertow, while pickups separate panning lines, Shelton triggers a sequence of processed alto saxophone split tones, which double back onto one another. Operating as if a saxophone section was standing behind Shelton’s chanter-like blows, each reed tone still possesses distinctive pitch, tempo and volume variations. Also revealing his multi-musical personalities is the guitarist, with creaking and scraping licks, ringing flanges plus circling, motor-driven-styled resonations and amp buzzes. Following a climax of tugboat horn-like reed blurts along with the nearly detuned guitar percussiveness, melody snatches turn diminuendo.” – Ken Waxman – Jazz Word

Edgetone Records 2007. CDR in jewel case.