Tim Olive Ė The Specialist (CD EM Records)
Short but sweet first solo release from free improviser Tim Olive. The thirteen tracks on The Specialist all use Timís homemade guitar, which is basically a plank of wood with a couple of pickups, a couple of bass strings and an unwound guitar string. Doesnít sound like a particularly special instrument but he manages to wring from it all manner of sounds, textures and percussive notes and noises. Thereís no effects or post recording computer manipulation going on. What you hear is what was recorded at the time. All the pieces have been recorded in real time.
You could almost see this album as a crossover between noise music and the sort of guitar improv that someone like Keith Rowe pioneered. Itís noisier than Rowe but you can see where he was coming from as a starting point for elements of The Specialist.
The variety and rapid changes and short lengths of the pieces are what make this album work. The tracks move from noisy scrap metal sounds a la early Merzbow to more steel sounding drones to more abstract and ambient type deep throbs. Nothing hangs about too long and the fast pace of it keeps your attention. An impressive debut solo album. DB