Radio Amore: Innovations For Electric Strings

Its title an intentional riff on Manuel Göttsching's Inventions For Electric Guitar (issued in 1974, the album was released under the Ash Ra Tempel name but is essentially a Göttsching solo project), Adnan Duric-Steinmann's own Radio Amore release (his debut under the name) similarly positions electric guitar solidly at the forefront. Issued on the Munich-based Filigran imprint, the forty-two-minute collection is notable for the way it embeds Duric-Steinmann's fiery guitar expressions within a variety of genre environments, from house and electronica to nu-jazz and pop.

Certainly Innovations For Electric Strings leaves little doubt as to Duric-Steinmann's prowess as a guitarist and crafter of song-styled environments for the analog instrument to appear within. Working with acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, and beats as raw material, Duric-Steinmann creates multi-tiered settings that typically unfold at a high-energy level, even if an occasional serenading moment does work its way into the set-list (e.g., “Triads”). The thing you'll probably remember most, however, about the release isn't its diversity (though it is that) or the quality of its arrangements (which are uniformly strong) but rather the raw attack of his guitar. He isn't afraid to amp up the distortion, and there are times when you might think you're listening to an Eddie Van Halen type as opposed to a comparatively more restrained and refined player, someone like Pat Metheny perhaps.

Representative of the album's guitar tone, “Bacchus and Me” combines a jazz-tinged piano-and-drums backdrop with a bluesy, distortion-drenched guitar statement, whereas “Libero,” powered by a booming pulse, transplants the album into the dance club, without subtracting his ‘rock'-styled guitar wail from the equation. A slightly different style emerges during the electronica setting “Guardian,” one that sees him playing in an ambient-experimental mode that has more in common with Robert Fripp than Ritchie Blackmore. Duric-Steinmann isn't without a cheeky sense of humour, either—or so it would appear, given the choice of an Abba-esque piano riff to jumpstart the quirky strut of “No Pasaran”—and if I'm not mistaken, “Voodoo” even works a smattering of talkbox into its heady blend of swamp blues, Frippertronics, and trip-hop.

January 2017