Artist: AERIAL ACOUSTICS

Compositions: Hot Air Balloon, Wake Of The Flood, Boxhead, Cafe At Night, Mr. Moon, Turning Away,

Tell Me More About My Eyes, Girls Who Drive Camaros

Dorothy Wagner - classical guitar, Dennis Smith - steel string guitar

 

By mixing a variety of genres - jazz, classical, new age, folk, guitarists Wagner and Smith have spun a web of very accessible acoustic guitar music. By mixing the mellow tones of classical guitar with the more crisp steel string, these two obviously gifted musicians compliment each other and eloquently capture the wide variety of emotions that the two instruments can produce The vibe of the tape is very laid-back and serene, perfect for early morning (or late night, for that matter), and from the lilting 5/4 opener 'Hot Air Balloon,' you are taken away by the soothing yet spirited nature of the music. I applaud the duo for applying true musicianship and restraint; You can tell they made a conscious effort not to overplay and muck up the works. This is not to say the music is simplistic; In fact, some of the intricate counterpoint and complex chord structures ("Mr. Moon", for example) are just the opposite, but it is arranged in a way that makes it accessible to tamer ears by avoiding DiMeola-esque flourishes in favor of subtle complexities. I have a feeling that they have the prowess for such pyrotechnics, but realize it's not called for in this context. The times when things get a little 'musiciany" (there's a section on 'Turning Away' that sounds like an arpeggio exercise instead of a composition) are few and far between. When they throw in some added influence, like the Spanish tinge on "Boxhead," it definitely makes you take notice, for it makes those moments stand out from the sometimes similar material

With the perennial success of genre-mixing guitarists such as Acoustic Alchemy, Pat Metheny, and Michael Hedges, Aerial Acoustics could definitely be a find for the right instrumental or other wise adventurous record label.

 

Rich Lupescu, "The Nebula Music Magazine"


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