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Gareth Dickson

The Dance (Sleeping Man)

By • Oct 3rd, 2010 • Category: long players

A name which has been well-respected around the Glasgow scene for a while now, Gareth Dickson is a man of many and varied talents. He’s recorded with Juana Molina as well as working as Vashti Bunyan’s guitarist. And he’s apparently working on a tribute act – Nicked Drake!
However, virtuoso guitar work is the man’s stock-in-trade and his skill is immediately set out, with the album’s title track. An involved piece, it is, like what follows, not exactly whistleable tuneage. Indeed, it may be that it’s best experienced live, as there’s no denying that the work here is technically impressive. And recorded with no overdubs, one can only marvel at the skill exhibited.
Indeed, some of the tracks here may be appreciated most by guitarists themselves. ‘Electro Harmonix’, yes, features harmonics and its speedy multi-finger plucking would certainly be a good one to watch as well as hear.
However, the more one listens to the album as a whole the more it draws the listener in – like a series of mantras it becomes an absorbing wall of noise, as the tunes twist and turn. Though there’s contrast too, ‘Little Miller’ being a sparser work, and adding some respite to what can be a frantic run up and down the fretboard.
As the album goes on the sound seems to intensify. ‘Wag Tale’ is atmospheric with a buildup of sound including what sounds like a cello (but, it seems, is just some very clever work as the album features no overdubs).
With influences that range from eastern to west, and stringed instruments like sitars and baliykas brought to mind, it’s even more to Dickson’s credit that all the sounds are, it would seem pretty much, the result of the creator’s considerable expertise.
Certainly one for the aficonado of the six-string, but like RM Hubbert’s recent release, also one to win over any adventurous music fan.

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