There is a kind of music that can be thought of as perfect. That’s not a qualitative statement of taste so much as an attribution that recognizes how fierce dedication to an elegant scope can yield something singular, effecting, evocative. The term applies, certainly, to a series of live improvisations for digitally mediated electric guitar recently posted by Valid Lover, who’s based in Brussels, Belgium. The music is deeply spare, consisting of brief, tentative moments, not so much riffs as instances when fingers hit strings, moments smaller still, within a cycle of a vibration. Those riffs trigger digital refractions, echoes, and splinters, high-pitched sounds that linger in the air like sulfur, quavering pulses that your ear keeps listening for long after they’ve passed.
The track “Sketch 16″ — they’re all “sketches” in the titling — is a great entry point to what serves as two full albums of examples, (Air ( and the divisions between ) and Weight ( with those held beneath ), both available from his validlover.bandcamp.com page for free streaming or a small download expense (â‚¬5). At times the derivations from guitar are so precise that they bring to mind the artificial strings employed by Oval (Markus Popp) on his 2010 album, O, but the majority have a casual quality that draws on the unique characteristics of live performance.