Blog

16 January 2007
By Mike Wood in Foxy Digitalis (USA), January 16, 2007

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“They hear each other, and respond well to ideas from each other’s encyclopedic mental understanding of guitar history.”

This is Bull/Heïkalo’s third release of solo guitar improvs, give or take some electronically altered sounds here and there. It is the interplay between acoustic and electric guitar that, with the addition of a “prepared drum kit”, create six diverse, virtuoso pieces that are moody, groovy and occasionally fiery.

Building off the delta blues and fusion guitar structures, La solution de l’énigme, Cobra Skin Necktie, and others ring with tones pulled from history and aim beyond it. Moment intense de répit coloré, like Afterthought for Ornette burn with purpose, in homage as well as with an ear for deconstruction of trad rhythms. Lonnie Johnson and Decoction bluesee are the highlights, in which both Bull and Heïkalo—the latter adding percussion—find their peak in rocking yet centered power.

Noted guitar players who hook up tend to disappoint their core fans; the results are usually more tentative and lame than other work. This is the third collaboration between Bull and Heïkalo, and they have moved well beyond any start-trip temptations to form a solid duo. They hear each other, and respond well to ideas from each other’s encyclopedic mental understanding of guitar history. (8/10)

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