Sunday, 5 February 2012

El Tejedor

This is fucking brilliant. I can't overstate how much of an influence John Martyn has had on my guitar playing. This may surprise some people, but bear with me, this will make sense when you've seen this fucking fantastic version of Skip James' I'd Rather Be The Devil, from 1973.

Bastard. That's just so fucking good. It doesn't matter how many times I hear that song, I'll never, ever tire of that echoplex guitar. And I'll happily and shamelessly rip it off wholesale when I'm in the mood, because unlike so many echo/loop pedal fiends who (consciously or otherwise) use the Göttsching/Hillage/Fripp/Pinhas style of looping and layering, John Martyn never wasn't much of a looper, preferring to use the percussive nature of the dying echoes along with what is possibly the greatest left hand of any guitarist I've ever seen to create a shifting, pulsing forward motion that has more in common with a conga player than the usual billowing tonefloat associated with heavy delay abusers. And that, in a nutshell, is why I love his guitar so much, he took the same tools as so many other contemporary musicians, went completely his own way with them, and in the process created a whole new perspective with them, one which was decidedly not ambient and slowly evolving, but simultaneously driving and fluid, so you don't hear the tapestry, you hear the shuttling of the loom, and trust me, that's way fucking harder to do.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah....absolutely fuckin genius musician. Fuckwit of a man.