Tuesday, 17 February 2009

77 Slightly Delayed

Today I’ve been listening to the Blackouts album and wondering why 77 Slightly Delayed, one of my personal favourites in the Manuel Göttsching catalogue is particularly challenging to write about. After a while the penny dropped: this is because in just under seven minutes there are more musical ideas than you will find on a lot of albums. The track is particularly dense with layer upon layer of cyclical note patterns, played both on guitars and keyboards. There is a fantastic guitar solo in a sort of Greek bouzouki style and a keyboard swoops, rises and circles in the mix with all the drama of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. All the while the note cycles continue relentlessly, underpinning yet more fine lead guitar work. There is a palpable sense of excitement here, both at the fusing of rock and minimalist sensibilities and the harnessing of new technology. For me 77 Slightly Delayed is right up there with Manuel’s best music.

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