♫♪  Mark McGuire - “The Instinct”

Put on Mark McGuire if you’re tryna go on a journey — call it a t r i p, even — without leaving the comfort of your living room listening zone. If the former Emeralds guitarist and prolific solo shredder’s music doesn’t evoke mental images of cruising across a halogen-flecked skyline and/or a secret waterfall grotto on its own, peep the titles of some of his early gems: Off In The Distance, High Above The City, Amethyst Waves. Though McGuire builds his sessions on the recursions of live-performed guitar loops, his solo work possesses an acute sense of structure and upward development that fits his topographical nomenclature — far removed from the static “base-loop-and-leads” template employed by an infinite roster of post-Göttsching ambient/drone acolytes. If his last full-length album saw him Get[ting] Lost in technicolor guitar textures, integrating guitar-synth and vocals into his work to a greater degree, his upcoming album finds him Along The Way to a new style of multi-instrumental composition.

We heard a beautiful smidgen of Along The Way back in May, before the album was picked up for release by Dead Oceans (!) — and we’ve heard first single “The Instinct” in various forms before (remember this 12-inch version, or this original snippet from 2010?). In its final form below, the track stretches out into almost twelve minutes of slow-burning guitar loopery, accumulating layers of upper-register melody and distortion-fried lead phrases into an urgent chord progression. The onset of drum programming, synth bass, and keyboards breaks the session away from the guitar-only jams of McGuire’s previous output, but the instrumental additions heighten and complicate the track’s dramatic trajectory. Alongside these new frills, McGuire’s guitar still serves as the primary means of taking you there — even if this journey encompasses zones a tad more terrestrial than previous forays.

Along The Way lands on February 4, 2014. You can find more intel on the release here.

• Mark McGuire: http://mcguiremusic.blogspot.com
• Dead Oceans: http://www.deadoceans.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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