Review: Talvihorros ‘Solo Guitar Improvisation II’ (Rural Colours)

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Free Download, Reviews
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Rural Colours is an off-shoot of the boutique label  Hibernate Records, focusing on an on-going series of subscription-based 3″ CDr releases and paid or free downloadable recordings.  Concentrating its efforts  in and around Ambient, Folk, Drone and other experimental genres, this label houses a number of interesting records with notable names including D_rradio and Celer contributing pieces to the impressive back catalogue,  nestling comfortably with newer names such as Listening Mirror and Zvuku.

Talvihorros, the work of Londoner Ben Chatwin, first came to my attention via his sublime 2009 album ‘Some Ambulance‘, a record that literally blew me away with its attention to detail, fantastic musicianship and downright excellent compositions. At the time, I called Chatwin’s debut LP ‘endlessly listenable’ and ‘the first port of call for those with even a passing interest in where electro-acoustic and ambient music is heading in 2009/10′. It’s a record I definitely intend to revisit again on this blog.

Solo Guitar Improvisation II‘ is as exactly as stated in its title, a long-form recording using differing guitar textures and effects, the difference being that it’s recorded using unconventional techniques  and implements including an ebow, a buddha machine, battery operated instruments and shortwave radio via an array of pedals and effects units.

Chatwin’s controls each sound beautifully, forming them into a cohesive whole.   From the scything guitar wails, the screeching feedback, free-form riffing and the layer of electric scree that seems to engulf this piece, there’s a deliberately tempered flow pervalent here and one cannot help but picture an erupting volcano when listening.

Unlike ‘Some Ambulance‘, this track is aggressive and relentless, yet isn’t exempt from the compositional flexibility that made that record so interesting.  It belies the fact that it was recorded live in one take with very little digital tinkering or over-dubs.   A phenomenal piece that’s not short on melody and one that reminds of the guitar and anything-goes experimentation approach of a certain Jonny Greenwood.  This is available as a free download, so there really is no excuse not to check this fantastic,  Rural Colours release out.

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Talvihorros is an experimental composer from London, exploring the possibilities of the guitar.  His compositions venture into the fields of ambient, modern classical, drone, post-rock and folk but fails to fall into the cliches associated with any of these genres.

Old and broken equipment and recording techniques are favoured over new and modern tools.  Both acoustic and electric guitars are layered with organ, synthesizer, mandolin, radio frequencies and various percussion instruments to create dense collages of sound, sometimes melodic, sometimes challenging but always captivating.

Live Talvihorros performs solely with electric guitar and effects pedals.

  1. […] context, with his array of pedals and effects units.  Perhaps you can read my recent review of his free download Rural Colours release, ‘Solo Guitar Improvisation II’ while […]

  2. […] ‘Solo Guitar Improvisation II’ on Rural Colours (a Free Download composition which I compared to Jonny Greenwood, no less.  Here, Ben discusses his Talvihorros project; its origins, its […]

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