May 11, 2006

Norwegian aural alchemists Alf Terje Hana (guitar) and Arne Hovda (sound design) do a ton of sonic juggling on this blissfully schizoid listening adventure. Fairly common prog textures ebb and flow amidst bloops, bleeps, and assorted dance/electronica elements, but it’s Hana’s evocative guitar tones and melodic sensibilities that keep the album from evaporating into merely an interesting sound collage. Hana can soar and stab, spew greasy blues licks, negotiate modal runs, and get all jazzbo, and his tones are always just right for whatever he’s communicating. His diversity might make it difficult to pick him out on an iPod in shuffle mode—and some of his tones are very close to those of more famous players—but his penchant for delivering ear-catching riffs and stunning melodies puts him firmly in the strata of “Players You Should Check Out.” Curious? You can audition this album right now on iTunes if you’re intrigued. (West Audio Production).

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