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«Blank Body»

American, Brooklyn-based experimental guitarist Drew Wesley describes his music as sounding like «non-linguistic psychic image ancient memory transference. The perennial ritual home remedy for late capitalist dissolution and the violence of concepts and cultural constructs». Wesley plays the electric guitar in a non-conventional manner, with a cello bow, bowls and other objects, and feedback as well as with more conventional pickup and amplification systems. His free improvisation explores the relationships between timbre, gesture, duration and the fractal scales of form.

Wesley’s new album, Blank Body, is an intermedia audiovisual work using sounds drawn from improvisations on prepared guitar and other objects. It was recorded at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn in March 2021 mixed by cellist Lester st. Louis (who played with him in the Hypersurface trio with percussionist Carlo Costa) and mastered by polymath Elliott sharp, two like-minded sonic explorers. It is accompanied by a  vellum art book that provides a visual analog: suggestive photographs, shapes, and textures emerge from and return to non-existence as the semi-transparent pages are turned like individual frames of a film.

Wesley transforms the prepared guitar into an otherworldly sound generator that produces layers of shimmering, resonant harmonics, loud and soft noises, feedback dances and unsettling drones. With this approach, Wesley investigates possibilities of polyphony, percussive and other physical touch textural relationships, and abstract sound-oriented timbres. Few of the pieces vary this cerebral, methodical approach with more emotional veins like «All Waters To Tears».

Clearly not for the faint of heart, but Wesley offers a strange yet arresting immersive sonic environment that owes much to the innovative work of Derek Bailey and Keith Rowe.

Eyal Hareuveni

Drew Wesely (g, bowls, objects)



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