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Jim Davies Goes Just Guitars

April 1, 2010
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gp0410_riffs_jimCOMPUTER BEEPS, ALIEN TRANSMISSIONS, and heavy guitar riffs collide into a wall of dance beats to form a new musical universe on Electronic Guitar [Mascot], the debut instrumental album from former Prodigy and Pitchshifter guitarist Jim Davies. “All of the sounds on this album apart from the drums and the bass synths were created by the guitar,” reads a disclaimer on the CD booklet, reinforcing the impression created by the title. From the incoming rocket sirens on “Sayonara” to the industrial clanking noises in the background of “Requiem,” decidedly un-guitar-like sounds pervade the album.

Davies’ main guitars are Ibanez RG550s, and he eschews amplifiers for the most part, conjuring the majority of his tones and effects from a vintage Rocktron Chameleon rack unit that he ran directly into the mixing board, and Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 software. “I ran straight into the effects while recording,” he says, “rather than adding them in post-production.”

The guitarist did, however, employ a few pedals. “I used the Line 6 FM4 Filter Modeler so much that I broke it,” he says. “Now it makes noises it’s not supposed to.” Davies also used a Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler to create cool, swell-and-recede effects on “How We Roll,” and on “Empire” he used a Digi-Tech Whammy pedal to sustain a note and then “play” the melody by manipulating the pedal with his foot to change the pitch.

Davies didn’t concern himself with how he might replicate the sounds on the album live as he was tracking. “I knew if started thinking about how to perform these songs live, that would just hold me back.”

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