Alex Machacek: "24 Tales"

Alex Machacek (Guitars and everything else); Marco Minnemann (Drums); Sumitra (Vocals-1 track); Martin Ptak (Trombone-3 tracks)


With his provocative new release "24 Tales", Alex Machacek has sought an inventive new context for both his incredibly fluid, precise guitar work and his expanding compositional vision.

This is how it all began:

Marco Minnemann gave Alex Machacek and several other musicians (Trey Gunn, Mike Keneally, John Czajkowski, Mario Brinkmann and Phi Yaan-Zek) a 51 minute drum solo to compose to. Minnemann also composed his own version. The whole project ran under the title "Normalizer 2" (Minnemann released "Normalizer" based on the same concept several years ago). Minnemann's solo is a kaleidoscopic rush of rhythmic, textural, and even melodic devices, all improvised without a click track became the backdrop for "24 Tales". An astonishingly musical effort, nearly symphonic in its vast range of timbres, use of space, and elegant sense of structure and development, 24 Tales finds Machacek breaking Minnemann's solo into 24 discrete (but connected) sections. He then composed music for each section, taking extra care to make sure the transitions were smooth and musical. From rapid-fire 13/16 scrambles to resonant, chiming long tones all the while colored and propelled by Minnemann's supple tr! aps , the variety of timbres and rhythmic feels allows Machacek to explore an enormous range of guitar tones , often in quick succession, expertly creating and releasing tension and making for unexpected (and unexpectedly appealing) contrasts. Warm, classic jazz hollow-body sounds intersect with frenzied fuzz, acoustic slide, and trebly palm-muted figures, sometimes playing the same passages in unison to create an entirely new tone.

Born in 1972 and raised in Vienna, Machacek has emerged among the most riveting guitarists and improvisers of his generation, parlaying his varied background, influences, and experiences (ranging from extensive classical and jazz training to stints in rock, pop, and folk outfits) into a rich, unpredictably personal music. His prior two releases , [Sic] and Improvision (both on Abstract Logix) were widely acclaimed, and featured Machacek alongside such musicians as Terry Bozzio, Matthew Garrison, and Jeff Sipe. Upon hearing Machacek's music, guitar icon John McLaughlin exclaimed, "Alex Machacek's music starts where other music ends. He has done some very deep excavation in the mind of music."

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