Octal: Book Three
Elliott Sharp (g),
There’s a saying in Portugal which tells us that there isn’t two things without a third one, and the confirmation seems universal: Elliott Sharp’s “Octal” project has a new volume, the third, with more material coming from his very special Koll 8-string guitar/bass, an electroacoustic hollow-bodied guitar with two extra bass strings built by the luthier Saul Koll. More and different, we should add, because the New York guitarist uses distortion and electronic processing in these new pieces, and the strategy is rather distinct from the two previous volumes of the series: instead of meticulous compositions he worked from a base of improvisation with a sonic approach and loose structures. The recording and mixing procedures were the equivalent: there is no editing and no correction of the overload of tubes and speakers. What you hear is what he played, only with some minimal reverb and tailoring of the ending. This is as true and organic as it gets and forgoing all the tricks of studio technological capacities. Here is one more notable achievement by a musician who defies all genres and clichés, again and again.