Alexandre Navarro: Black Bird

Though it's over quickly, this thirteen-minute live guitar session by Alexandre Navarro (300 copies) goes down very well indeed. There's nothing terribly complicated about it, just the guitarist laying down three thick soundscapes without fuss and ensuring that each one is subtly different in character. In “Part. 1 (Envol),” scarred ripples of bleeding electric guitar stretch out until the track comes to an end with an ear-piercing screech. “Part. 2 (Survol)” finds Navarro sculpting a denser textural mass of sombre design, with a softly shuddering theme of hymnal character repeatedly intoning alongside ambient six-string shadings. “Part. 3 (Resolution)” adopts a more assertive and aggressive stance when plucked chords establish a martial rhythm before phasing treatments banish the pulse altogether. Being a live set of such brief duration, Black Bird can't help but seem like a stopgap of sorts until Navarro's next full-length appears, but, at the very least, the EP makes one look forward with anticipation to that album's eventual release.

April 2010