Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth | (as is stated...before known)

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Avant Garde: Psychedelia Avant Garde: Experimental Moods: Featuring Guitar
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(as is stated...before known)

by Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth

From their 2004 CD release, a kaleidoscopic range of post-Bailey approaches, quiet Fahey-esque folk-influenced fingerpicking. "I highly recommend this disc for a taste of some other aspects of what guitars can do." --Steve Koenig, Jump Arts Journal.
Genre: Avant Garde: Psychedelia
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1. The Sun Is Shining
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3:43 $0.99
2. How Little Observed...half a Mile Distant
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3:45 $0.99
3. Tomorrow
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5:54 $0.99
4. Some Years Since (the Moon, Supposing It to Be Uninhabited)
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7:21 $0.99
5. One Afternoon Last Year
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6. I Once Carried...from Time to Time
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7. This Same Afternoon
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8. On a Morning Five Years Ago (touched My Trembling Ears)
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9. Some Weeks of Close Scrutiny
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10. Six Minutes Last Fall
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11. Six Years
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
ernesto diaz-infante, acoustic steelstring guitar
chris forsyth, electric guitar

(as is stated...before known), their fourth studio recording, continues and extends their joint investigation of the full range sound/music making capabilities of the guitar. A kaleidoscopic range of approaches, including quiet modal folk-influenced fingerpicking, atonal noise, drones, pointillistic micro-melodies, lower-case electro-acoustic improv, and feedback are juxtaposed as Diaz-Infante and Forsyth subtly bridge the gap between composition and free improvisation, creating a thoroughly unified, wholly unclassifiable music in the process.

recorded may 5, 2003 by willis bowen at black helicopter, nyc
mixed by jaime fennelly
all compositons by diaz-infante/forsyth


Reviews


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Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations

It's always amazes me how adept these guys are at pure sound creation...
As Is Stated... Before Known is Ernesto and Chris' fourth duo recording, and once again features Ernesto on acoustic and Chris on electric guitar. This may be their most subtle, and consequently most demanding album yet. It's always amazes me how adept these guys are at pure sound creation. The opening track features the acoustic guitar laying down a rolling, droning ambient drift, while Chris colors the music with rumbles and groans. "Tomorrow" is a highlight on which Ernesto's strumming creates a sort of avant-garde Shoegazer feel. The tension builds as Chris uses the strumming groove as the canvas to paint little sonic nuggets of electric guitar manipulation. And the boys get a bit into space on "Six Years", with it's dark atmospherics and head throbbing pulsations.

But it's the quiet, understated melodic-dissonance of the album that grabbed me on most of these tracks. My favorites consist of Ernesto doing his textural acoustic magic as a foundation for Chris' string scratchings and various other techniques. Just dig that fluttering sensation he creates during "On A Morning Five Years Ago". "Some Years Since" is a bit different, if only because Chris decides to take off for a while and do some nimble dancing about the fretboard. As usual, these guys excel at exploring sound and the possibilities of what can be communicated through their stringed instruments.

Brian Olewnick, The Squid's Ear

a fine, understated album, one that should appeal to listeners...
The duo recording with Ernesto Diaz-Infante (on acoustic guitar) is made up of eleven pieces of relatively short length that do, in fact, come off as “songs.” There’s just enough of a hint of rhythm and of recurring structure, not to mention a fairly soft-edged attack, that you can barely imagine a vocal emerging from the haze. Often, effects are dropped, as on the lovely “how little observed…half a mile distant” and the two wander briefly into Loren Connors territory, strumming as gently as they are off-kilter, evoking an enchanting avant-folk sensibility. Forsyth is just as likely to intentionally throw sand into the gears, interjecting staticky pops and crackles, a healthy gambit lest things get too smooth. A little Fahey sneaks in too, especially in some of the more languid pieces like “some years since,” where Diaz-Infante acts as quasi-tambura to Forsyth’s more abstract explorations. The longest song, “some weeks of close scrutiny” is perhaps also the strongest, a very attractive balance achieved between pastoral, acoustic ruminations and granular, “a-musical” electronics. (as is stated…before known) is a fine, understated album, one that should appeal to listeners fond of the abovementioned musicians as well as, say, Burkhard Stangl.

Steve Koenig, Jump Arts Journal

I highly recommend this disc for a taste of some other aspects of what guitars c
Perhaps the best duo disc yet from these great guitar grinders, Forsyth electric and Diaz-Infante acoustic. The opener, “The Sun Is Shining,” is not the Bob Marley tune. This sun’s brilliance comes from a grated guitar drone, with skronk percussion detonations. “how little is observed...half a mile distant” features strummed guitar, abstract with a tinge of folk influence, with the electric guitar’s sparse commentary. The eleven tracks are well sequenced, varied in mood, the listener’s interest never flagging. This reminds one that music can be hypnotic without needing to trance, drone or trip. For guitar lovers who know only Frissell, Chadbourne, Bailey, Mazzacane Connors, Licht, and the Sonic Youth boys, I highly recommend this disc for a taste of some other aspects of what guitars can do. The recording by Willis Bown and mix by Jaime Fennelly is rich and visceral; one hears and feels all the texture, color and overtones. (as is stated...before known) will encourage you to seek out their other discs, my favorite perhaps being their Wires and Wooden Boxes. (Note that several of Diaz-Infante’s discs are solo piano, and sparse like the desert. One must be patient.) Both performers travel a lot, so look for them in your town

RKF, Dead Angel

Excellent, as always.
Eleven more collaborations from these experts in modified guitar nuances. Ernesto plays acoustic guitar and Chris plays electric guitar, not that you'd recognize them half the time, thanks to unknown modifications of said instruments, unorthodox methods of "playing," and a southern-sized helping of efx processing. The beginning track, "the sun is shining," frequently sounds more like insects buzzing around a grunting rhino; the final track, "six years," sounds like bells chiming over the hum of telephone wires. In between they manage to evoke the sounds of a heavily-reverbed piano ("how little observed... half a mile distant") reverberating in slo-mo and the percussive sound of tuned drums and droning wires ("i once carried... from time to time"). Their methods of attack vary, although they have a tendency to interact, then drift apart, especially on "one afternoon last year." You can hear the ghost of John Fahey reverberating around in the hollow spaces of Ernesto's restrained and near-tentative stabs at melody in "on a morning five years ago (touched my trembling ears)," even as Chris destroys them with odd sounds and textures. Similar in style and (probably) execution as their first collaboration, but gentler and more contemplative, perhaps. Excellent, as always.

Downtown Music Gallery

patience is required, but is rewarded if you can take the time.
This east coast/west coast guitar duo has been playing together for the past few years in duo and larger group situations. Although Ernesto has a number of solo piano efforts out, here he is playing only acoustic guitar, while Chris plays electric guitar. Considering that this is a guitar duo, it is often difficult to tell. The bowing of strings and feedback noises open the proceedings, before some quiet, acoustic strumming floats in. Ernesto's acoustic guitar has a folky, drony quality while Chris adds bits of el. guitar noise punctuation from time to time. Sounds like Ernesto is both tapping on the strings and even sticking thing between them, giving things a gentle, yet alien quality. Much of this is quite minimal, with a great deal of space in between the notes. There are also moments of dark and suspenseful pauses, as some of them low notes hang in the air for a while. As with most minimal music, patience is required, but is rewarded if you can take the time.

François Couture, All Music Guide

This is the strangest album this pair has released yet, but perhaps the easiest
Number four in the ongoing collaboration between Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Chris Forsyth continues to picture the duo reinventing itself with each release. After two albums that were outgrowing the guitar duo format (to include piano, voice, objects), this one comes back to basics. Diaz-Infante plays an acoustic guitar, Forsyth handles an electric one, and that is what they do for the entire duration of the album. Of course, there is plenty you can do to make a guitar sound like something else — and these two improvisers know it very well. The acoustic guitar is brushed, hammered, and prepared. The electric guitar is left to hum quietly, a flip of the pickup selector triggering new textures. But overall, (as is stated...before known) is a collection of guitar duets that sound like guitar duets. Both musicians develop delicate fingered patterns that echo Diaz-Infante's shift toward dark avant-psychedelic folk earlier in the decade. And both also explore sound textures reminiscent of Forsyth's recent explorations in lowercase improvisation (see his release with PSI). This album is both quieter and more peaceful than previous offerings, but it could hardly be described as "minimalist." Things do occasionally get very calm, especially in "Some Weeks of Close Scrutiny" where all the electric guitar emits is an unbroken flux of amplifier hum and light noise produced by what sounds like a hand-held fan held close to the pickup, evoking the extreme sonic research of Taku Sugimoto. But the other pieces all feature inspired nonidiomatic playing and dreamy song-inducing themes, as fragile and fugitive they might be. This is the strangest album this pair has released yet, but perhaps the easiest to listen to.

Marco Carcasi, Kathodik

L'ultima battuta di uno scialbo film italiano dice 'TUTTO E' BELLO'.
Prendete questo cd, osservatene la copertina anonima per un breve momento; poi con decisione infilatelo a forza nel lettore e stendetevi ad occhi chiusi dove meglio credete. Ricordatevi di coprirvi ben benino con una copertina adeguata e poi pigiate delicatamente il tasto play e lasciatevi semplicemente andare.
Verrete introdotti da un loop chitarristico in un'universo rarefatto dove l'assenza di peso sembra essere una piacevole costante, verrete introdotti in un'universo popolato di lunghe ombre autunnali che lentamente vi avvolgeranno facendovi rallegrare di aver i piedi ben al caldo.
Nella testa pian piano vi appariranno come per magia immagini di viaggi in auto mai fatti da fare, con il sole all'orizzonte che sembra sempre troppo distante, sentirete forse le mani intorpidite ma nessuna paura; è tutto a posto.
Forse inizierete ad addormentarvi e la vostra percezione della stanza lentamente svanirà come un brutto ricordo, l'anima comincerà a bruciarvi; forse sognerete delle labbra non troppo rosse.
Il tempo verrà assorbito come acqua dal deserto nel quale vi troverete stupiti ad osservare il cielo.
Riconoscerete strutture degne di Feldman prendervi per mano, guaderete placidi torrenti contemplativi con una bottiglia vuota in mano per giungere di fronte ad un cartello polveroso con su scritto Fahey, durante la notte riposerete senza stanchezza accanto ad un fuoco sotto l'oscuro cielo di Bailey; ed ancora al mattino seguente vi ritroverete come Travis in Paris-Texas ad osservare l'orizzonte infuocato.
Poi tutto finirà quasi all'improvviso ma non vi costerà nessuna fatica pigiare di nuovo il tasto play scordandosi del telefono che suona a vuoto.
L'ultima battuta di uno scialbo film italiano dice 'TUTTO E' BELLO'.
Vien voglia di crederci..........