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MULTIPICK TECHNIQUE (NL+E)

Artiest / Band: 
ZEROESQUE
ZEROESQUE Multipick Technique

De Amerikaanse band Zeroesque is eigenlijk het geesteskind van gitarist-bassist Shawn Christie en toetsenist Tim Lehner, maar met drummer Rob DiRocco en bassist Rob Smith - niet op alle tracks te horen - is het inmiddels wel een echte band die ook live zou kunnen spelen. Multipick Technique is de opvolger van het titelloze debuut uit 2003. Hoewel dat niet noodzakelijk was, hebben de heren verschillende gastgitaristen uitgenodigd om een bijdrage te leveren. Zo hoor je solo’s van Vinnie Moore, Marco Sfogli en van Derryl Gabel. De belangrijkste gastmuzikant is echter saxofonist John Friesen die uitstekende en waardevolle bijdragen levert op diverse tracks. Het is dat Christie een uitstekende gitarist is anders zou je, zeker in het begin, bijna denken dat dit een vergeten album is van het Rudess Morgenstein ProjectDe muziek doet soms ook denken aan de stijl van Jan Akkerman op zijn geweldige album Puccini’s Café (1993), bijvoorbeeld op Puddin’; andere stukken lijken meer op Liquid Tension Experiment, terwijl ik af en toe ook wat trekjes van Mastermind hoor. Bij tijd en wijle speelt Zeroesque ook enigszins in de stijl van Karcius, met meer jazz- en fusioninvloeden. Naast de synth is soms het geluid van de elektrische piano nogal prominent; het gitaargeluid en de synths geven de muziek echter een hoger progrockgehalte. La Danza Del Fuego bevat enige Latin-invloeden, zoals de titel al doet vermoeden. De tien tracks zijn samen goed voor ruim 56 minuten luisterplezier, want beluistering is zeker een genot! Geen storende zang, een mooie volle en heldere productie - al klinken de drums soms wat hol naar mijn smaak - aansprekende melodietjes en heerlijke solo’s, waarbij de gitaar licht domineert. Het artwork is sober, maar geestig en uiteraard een uitbeelding van de titel. Voor liefhebbers van instrumentale, vrij stevige rock met wat jazz- en fusioninvloeden is Multipick Technique een absolute aanrader; mij beviel dit tweede album van Zeroesque in elk geval erg goed.

ENGLISH:

The eponomous debut album by Zeroesque was recommended by the website DPRP. Some five years later the two virtuosos are back with their second offering Multipick Technique and it’s a good one! With the addition of Rob DiRocco (drums) and Rob Smith (bass, not on all tracks), Shawn Christie (guitar, bass) and Tim Lehner (keyboards) they have formed a real band, ready to go out on the road and play live. Several guests are taking part of this project but their role is not overwhelmingly important. Guest muscians Vinnie Moore, Marco Sfogli and Derryl Gable deliver a guitar solo. Most important guest is John Friesen, who makes a valuable contribution on his saxophone. The album opens smoothly with a bit of guitar and modest drumming, then the piano joins in giving this track partly a somewhat jazzy feel. Those subtle pieces are alternated by more heavy parts sounding a bit like the Rudess Morgenstein Project (RMP). Same treat in Slippery Slope, but the big difference with the RMP of course is the guitar. Christie plays riffs when Lehner plays his solos and melodies, but he uses different sounds for his leads and melodies which makes it varied and tasting for more. Guitar hero Vinnie Moore delivers a superb solo as well. Also rather slow is Hat Hair with mild riffs, a funky beat and delightful electric piano in contrast to the full blast guitar sounds. The guitar dominates The Power Cosmic in a mid-tempo rock tune and only a few subtle contributions from Lehner on the piano and the synth. Impressive and multi-finger soloing by Christie, delivering many notes per second by the way. In Nasha a distorted guitar and in a blues-rock rhythm and sound can be heard. Lehner uses both synth and organ. Almost soft-jazz is Puddin'. No more metal riffs, but a jazzy sounding guitar and the music is comparable to Pucini's Café by the Dutch guitarist Jan Akkerman. The saxophone emphasizes the fusion and jazz influences in this piece. Totally different is Raining Sideways with hollow sounds by the keyboards and Christie playing some nasty heavy metal riffs. The music comes close to Liquid Tension Experiment (LTE), but then again there’s a surprise in the middle by way of a little piece of dreamy easy listening music before the harsh guitar sounds ‘disturb the piece’. Some definitive Latin influences as one could expect from a piece called La Danza Del Fuego. Beautiful melodies and fantastic slow soloing by Christie, who plays a mean bit of Spanish guitar as well! Funky, jazzy and full of swing is Gmaj Funk In F#min and the addition of trumpet and sax provide a sort of a horn section making things really funky indeed. Nice duets between Christie’s guitar and Friesen’s saxophone. Lehner playing a modest electric piano again, but he delivers a dazzling piano solo in the second part. Final track is called Divisible By Two. This is probably the track that has been mostly influenced by LTE although throughout the album I detected some influences from Mastermind as well. The Canadian band Karcius, also an instrumental quartet, plays the same genre but the difference is a totally different guitar sound and more jazz influences. In conclusion: Multipick Technique is an instrumental album consisting of ten tracks full of catchy melodies, daring and dazzling solos - predominantly by guitar - and superb musicianship.