SHARIF SEHNAOUI – Old And New Acoustics

Al Maslakh

After a few initial strokes of rasping chordal resonance and grey-tinged spring-and-bounce, the acoustic guitar that constitutes Sharif Sehnaoui’s source of all sounds starts being bumped and hit – mostly, but not always, gently – along a lengthy route denominated “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”. This 34-minute investigation of the instrument’s glowing (and less) qualities contains everything you should know about this CD, which is positively valuable for recurring dutiful listens. By excluding any kind of overdub or treatment, Sehnaoui develops entrancing circularity and obsessive rhythmical geometries improved by nonstop sparkling discharges and mind-influencing irregular accretions. This system considers the stringed body as a substitute cymbalom – or hammered dulcimer, if so preferred – rendering the solitary performer able to extract a transcendental concentrate that causes physical addiction to reiteration, a bit like a poor man’s functional minimalism. The record is ended by a shorter track – “Trane” – that utilizes the same approach in different regions of the frequency spectrum; at high volume, the consequence on the surrounding environment is noteworthy. It’s great when a musician maintains utter focus on a single course of action without diversions: in its meagreness of means, Old And New Acoustics reaches unanticipated altitudes through the sheer impact of a simple gestural architecture.

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