Slow-Burn Guitar Quintet MP3s

Following a coy opening chord, “Funnel Cloud” (MP3) by a guitar quintet that goes by the name the Family Tapes quickly descends into details of the instrument that rumble below the familiar techniques — in the absence of strumming and finger-plucking, what’s left are feedback, drones, squelches, tactile noises, and pizzicato pulsing. The Tapes are Alfredo Genovesi, Jeroen Kimman, Jasper Stadhouders, Raphael Vanoli, and Mark Morse, the latter better known to readers as (dj) morsanek, a participant in the Brian Eno/David Byrne remix collection Our Lives in the Bush of Disquiet. Together they create an admirably restrained sense of ensemble, a mix of distinct sounds that seems, from the distance provided by a recording, easily imaginable as the work of just one individual, alone with a guitar, a toolbox, an amplifier, and perhaps some simple looping technology. The overall sense is that each of the five members of Family Tapes, aware of the energy potential inherent in a guitar, is holding back, so as not to overwhelm the others. And the resulting detente is therefore just as full of tension as it is of quietude.

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