Steffen Basho-Junghans
7Books Strange Attractors http://www.tinymixtapes.com//sites/default/files/arton5405_0.jpg

[Strange Attractors; 2004]

Rating: 3/5 3 / 5 (0)

Styles: minimalism, progressive, acoustic, instrumental
Others: John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Six Organs of Admittance


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It only took the death of John Fahey before I really sat up and started listening to his work. He is an acoustic pioneer, one who had been mentioned for years as I delved deeper and deeper into the roots of American music. Fahey's inventive folk and blues guitar work has been a consistent source of enjoyment, considering the tight rope it walks between a sound that is classic and conventional, and at the same time, experimental and progressive in every way.

If you dig just a little deeper into experimental acoustic guitar music, the name Steffen Basho-Junghans should come up. A German-born guitarist and performer, Basho-Junghans stands out amongst others with his unique guitar style. Implementing elements of American folk with Indian raga for a unique sound, he has created a strong catalog that spans nearly 15 years.

On 7Books, Basho-Junghans goes all out with a double-disc collection of extended tracks, in the range of ten to fifteen minutes per piece. Acting as the final release in a loose quartet of albums aiming to explore new sonic capabilities of the acoustic guitar, 7Books is not for the casual listener seeking something different. While largely succeeding in its desire to stretch the boundaries of the instrument, the album tends to be more meandering and less cohesive than one would like.

Disc 2's tracks "IV" and "V" are of the more "conventional" pieces that most closely resemble elements of Fahey with moments of finger-picking and steel guitar slapping that resonates out of the guitar. On other tracks, the extra time doesn't necessarily help pay off with anything particularly interesting. On the nearly 19 minute long "I," the steel strings are plucked in a non-repetitive cycle that would seem like a warm-up to the average listener.

For music fan seeking new sounds with the acoustic guitar, there are other albums to recommend. For the fan of experimental sounds, with patience rewarded with an attempt at pushing the boundaries, 7Books is worth exploring.

Disc 1:

1. I
2. II
3. III

Disc 2:

1. IV
2. V
3. VI
4. VII
 

1. I
2. II
3. III
Disc 2:

1. IV
2. V
3. VI
4. VII