Ex-Easter Island Head: prepared guitars, drums
Admit it: many traits of modern-day minimalism suggest the picture of a somewhat overweight individual who is still beautiful enough to maintain a reputation among the people met daily but – once au naturel in front of a mirror – cannot fail to notice the drooping muscles and wrinkles that were competently concealed by a dandyish dress just a few minutes before. All of the above does not apply to Ex-Easter Island Head, a collective from Nottingham – here dilated, with the aid of ephemeral members picked from the local scene, to twelve prepared guitars plus drums – who was never greeted by these ears prior to this superb album, but has already released a small clutch of works founded on table-top guitars played with manners unquestionably embedded in the minimalist canon. Either via aeonian washes of harmonic currents, static-yet-systematically-morphing configurations of shimmering strings or mono-chordal propulsions (the third and the fourth movements are emblematic of this aspect, the former revolving around a 5/8 cycle to keep things spicy), the image of a lean-but-not-mean machine for the generation of aurally rewarding upper partials is soon formed, with tangible satisfaction for having added a new item to the collection of musics to be used for the improvement of our temporary mental health. In a nutshell: think less, resonate more, both within yourselves and while facing the others. In the meantime, re-listening to the final section has prompted yours truly to search the archives to regain his copy of Scott Horscroft’s 8 Guitars – that was a nice one, too, way back in 2003.