There’s an elemental quality to the music of the Gunn-Truscinski Duo, like it’s existed for all time instead of just 10 years. At its most basic level, the combination of guitarist Steve Gunn and drummer John Truscinski follows a streamlined formula that’s worked since any two generous jammers bounced off each other like McLaughlin and Cobham. The sprawling, tuneful instrumentals played by this two-piece have an uncanny ability to shift the temperature anywhere they appear, whether drifting in slow motion, galloping through a desert-rock haze, or scorching the ground in fire music mode.
Soundkeeper is the duo’s fourth proper album, collecting the highlights of sessions at various studios alongside a pair of live recordings at Brooklyn’s Union Pool, stretching out to 16 minutes on the charging title track. It follows their 2019 collaboration with Body/Head’s Kim Gordon and Bill Nace, swelling into an octo-armed avant-rock supergroup to perform a soundtrack for the Andy Warhol film Kiss. Body/Head join Gunn-Truscinski once again in a series of six albums to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Three Lobed Recordings, which also includes upcoming releases from Daniel Bachman, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Six Organs of Admittance, and something yet to be unveiled by Sonic Youth.
“For Eddie Hazel” is the Soundkeeper’s wistfully fried closer, buzzing with amp noise as Gunn’s gorgeous riffs and Trucincinski’s steady cymbals fade into a shimmering reflection. As the guitarist explains, it was their attempt to pay tribute to one of history’s most ground-shaking soloists. “The tone and feel of Eddie Hazel’s guitar playing has always been a particular talking point, especially Hazel’s open playing and inventive use of the echoplex on the album Maggot Brain,” says Gunn. “Because we’ve listened and talked about him so much, we figured it was time to dedicate something in his honor.” Mother Earth is pregnant for the fourth time. | j locke
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