John Daly: prepared vocal track, improvised guitar, modified guitar, live loops, delays, software
I’m quite beaten up – in all senses – during these last months, therefore when an unheralded album by a musician too humble for his own good is sent to my attention I snatch it with both hands and ears. Daly has silently published several bewitching works of late (do check for yourselves, please) and has also been active in the field of ancient pictorial memories. Arts & Tourism should be taken as a legitimate model for many – including certain “names” – teaching how to produce stimulating auditory sensations by standing in a no-fear-to-try position with the highest possible degree of intellect-free sinlessness.
Three segments are on offer. “Public Discussion” turns the unappetizing features of toothless debating and solitary ranting into an extended set of wrinkled textures and segueing organic cells comprising unpredicted dynamic surges, lilliputian power failures and interestingly awkward lines forming a seldom heard skeletal system. Think of a cross of rhythmically disintegrated Muslimgauze and Jon Hassell circa Aka / Darbari / Java caught in a radio frequency tempest, multifarious qualities prolonging the pleasure of attending to this garrulous metamorphic creature. The beginning of “Terror Shrine” is defined by the nearness of water and birds, however you can instantly realize that it’s not New Age trash we’re dealing with as the layering of all kinds of guitar loops creates a popping, pulsing, quacking, peculiarly attractive fabric whose acoustic grain is perplexingly galvanizing, particularly when the Irishman starts combining all of the above with unashamedly discrepant improvisational spurts. Additional reiterations are subsequently introduced to push the whole towards rustily spellbinding landscapes; Peter Wright might represent once again a reference of sorts in this case. “Giving Heart” explores clean-toned conflict and subatomic disturbance with unassuming gracility and an evident will to resist to the sweet calls of commonplace potentially nourished by regurgitated presets. It’s another clumsy yet gripping hallucination expressed by unorthodox sonorities that, I’m sure, “richer” guitarist would not dare to even conceptualize. And it ends with such a grief-stricken plangency that one can’t help being touched deeply.
Wonderfully uncontaminated stuff throughout; John Daly rules, and nobody knows. Yet.