Alexander :: S/T / dbh :: Mass

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Two highly recommended, late breaking 2017 guitar masterworks …

First up is Alexander’s self-titled/self-released LP – the work of New Haven’s David Shapiro (a name heads may recognize from contributions to such bands as Headroom and Nagual). Performing solo on a guitar of his own design, Shapiro makes a meditative sound with deep frequencies and soothing tones. He never rushes things, preferring to let his intricate compositions unfold and unwind at their own speed. You’ll be hanging on every note. That’s not to say Shapiro can’t pick up the pace at times; check the rolling waves of fingerpicking expertise on “II,” which calls to mind the visionary grandeur of Fahey’s America. Positively dazzling.

Next, we’ve got the latest from dbh, a somewhat enigmatic British player whose playing can run the gamut from Windham Hill-worthy pastoralism to gypsy-jazz zones, from sublime electric reveries to janky pedal fuckery. This eclectic approach works brilliantly on Mass – wherever he goes, there’s a sense of discovery and pure imagination at work. Personally, I can’t get enough of the dreamy cathedral of sound that dbh builds on the reverb-laden “Light Pools.” Give it a listen and bliss out … words / t wilcox

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