It’s january 2004, quite a cold winter in Geneva, Switzerland. Not exactly the perfect moment to go out to a concert in a humid and ill-warmed squatbasement, to say the least. Yet somehow, we managed to get to the moisty yet brilliant cave12. First remarkable thing upon entrance: on stage, 3 guitars were plugged in, yet only one name was billed, Greg Malcolm. We had no idea what to expect, but at least the setting was interesting.
Now, 3 years later, we got to lay our hand on the 2006 release Hung. Without doubt, this is another great episode in Malcolm’s musical voyage. He doesn’t excel in virtuous guitarplaying or doesn’t try to show off his fingerpicking qualities. Instead, his working method involves the use of his three (prepared) guitars, by which he slowly builds an intruiging atmosphere. Playing the instruments simultaneously – call it Malcolm’s trick – involves the use of at least three limbs. The two ‘floorguitars’ are manipulated by foot when playing melodies on the third, but on other moments, the melody fades and the ‘floorguitars’ get Malcolm’s full attention. These parts make for interesting excursions in feedback and basic electronic manipulation, for example the suitably entitled ‘Maltronics’. On other moments, the melody is more prominent, ranging from cold-textured slow songwriting to emotion-laden patterns. Here, the floorguitars are used as rythmic support, a job they do surprisingly well. Listen to a version of Steve Lacy‘s ‘Prayer’, we’re sure it will silent the most convinced atheist, as it did with us.
Compared to 2004’s LP ‘Swimming in it’, Malcolm seems to have found a new drive for his music. On the previous record, Malcolm chose for a more laidback approach, whereas Hung has more dynamic and alternations of mood. The working method has remained the same: recorded in real time without any overdubs or processing. A rewarding way of working.
Greg Malcolm’s latest album marks another fine moment in the man’s career and is worth checking out. We’re sure you won’t regret it, just as we didn’t regret a single moment sustaining the cold that night in 2004.