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Tilted Axes

Music for Mobile Electric Guitars

Review by Gary Hill
What an intriguing project this is. This is just essentially the "home game" version of Tilted Axes. It is a group of guitarists who strap on portable amplifiers and walk around New York City playing. This new album features in studio versions of the music they do. The closest comparison is to King Crimson or California Guitar Trio. There is some range beyond that, though. This is strictly instrumental and should be quite welcome for those who dig experimental guitar based music.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Shapes 1

This comes in with a smoking hot guitar sound. It makes me think of the Moving Pictures era of Rush in a lot of ways.

Circulation in G Maybe
Echoey and quite classy, I love the whole concept of guitar circulation. These guys pull it off really well. It's sort of part classical music and part King Crimson as delivered here.
Tilted Axes Theme
I dig the melodies on this. The sound is dense and quite rich. This is more accessible than the last cut, but it's no less intriguing. I like this one a lot, actually.
Pedal Swells
This is another with definite King Crimson-like tendencies, but it does land closer to California Guitar Trio. This is experimental, atmospheric and very cool.
Theme Variation
Now, this comes in feeling more like the hard rocking side of Rush. It's another classy piece of music. It does get into a bit more of a straightforward rock and roll sound.
Rivera Court
There is definitely some world music built into this number. It's another solid instrumental. I really love some of the melodic things here. This probably lands closer to fusion than anything we've heard to this point does.
Techno Tilt
I love this cut. It has a bit of a surf guitar element. There are also some metallic edges. Overall, though, it's solid energized proggy rock. It has some smoking hot guitar soloing.
Kneadle Variation
Here we are back in the vein of King Crimson or CGT type stuff. This is definitely more on the KC end of that spectrum. This is pretty hard edged. It's also quite shifting and rather tastefully bizarre.
Asciae Obliquiae
Although this is proggier than the comparison would indicate, in a lot of ways this feels like something Cheap Trick would do. I suppose there are some Rush hints in it, too. It's a more mainstream piece than a lot of the others are.
Alamo Tilt
There is some amazing bass work on the opening segment here. That track works out from there into some more standard proggy stuff. This is classy, but not a huge shift or change.
Polymetric Patterns
The title on this really fits the piece. This is another that has a lot in common with the music of King Crimson.
Beaubien Blues
This is scorching hot. The riffs driving it land in the vicinity of something Joe Satriani might do. It's fast paced and very cool. There is some nearly metallic music in the midst of this, too. There is also a little excursion into fusion later in the tune.
Corridor 84 + Krimson Coda
Hard rocking stuff opens, but the cut works to more melodic material as it moves forward. It does get to more King Crimson like stuff later.
Shapes 2
More of a melodic number, this has some metallic crunch, too. It's another classy piece of music. There are definitely some cool moments here. This is still proggy, but more mainstream than some of the others are.
Tuanna Claonta
The opening riff here is part metal and part psychedelia. It gets some Celtic sound as it works forward. This is pretty cool, but not one of my favorites.
Harmonic Revolutions
As the title suggests, this is built upon lots of harmonics. It is intricate and subtle. It's also quite a great piece of music.
The Sound of Burning Chairs
This cut is more of a screaming hot, high energy crunchy riff driven piece.
 
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