Marco Oppedisano stands among the very few guitarists able to take some of the tricks upon which certain fellow axemen build a career out of musical insignificance and insert them into legitimate configurations. Like his previous works, Mechanical Uprising – third CD of the Brooklyn-based cyber-slinger – is characterized by a quasi-chirurgical fastidiousness in the instrumental deployment, presenting a great variety of timbres and rhythms while escaping the dreaded “snotty kid in a music shop” syndrome. The sources for these fourteen tracks – duration ranging from one to over eight minutes – feature electric and acoustic guitars, basses, samples (including Kimberly Fiedelman’s voice) and “virtual instruments”. The computer is crucial in the (de)constructive processes, yet what mostly lingers on is the sheen of buttery distorted tones that would make a Guitar Player editor salivate.
Oppedisano’s humanly alien structures denote attentive ears and cinematic perspectives. The equilibrium of manual action and digital intervention is expressed by a horde of incidents seamed in pieces whose arrangement is prosperous and spacey (processed waveforms do help in that sense). When virtuosity is implied, we picture a humbler version of, say, Joe Satriani playing against a Synclavier and, for a change, stopping to listen what the machine has to offer and responding intelligently, rather than fill every hole with the overplaying typical of the cavaliers of shredding emptiness. Humour creeps through even during dramatic turns; the multitude of techniques does not hide a paucity of ideas, symbolizing instead a genuine fondness for the guitar as a source of guilty bedroom pleasures. I’ll keep peeping without an ounce of shame.