Christy Doran / Alfred Vogel

Christy Doran / Alfred Vogel
Guitar, fx/ double drum set, octopad
mixed by Roli Mosimann (Faith No More, Björk a.m.o)
available as Download, Vinyl + CD limited edition

review for salt peanuts

The cancellation of a marvellous music session at the Austrian provincial village of Bezau was prevented at the last minute by “contact 60” a special, oxide-releasing detergent for contacts of all kind. It was last year in spring, when two musicians started their exceptional experiment: creating an audiophile magical world ad hoc.

Christy Doran, a guitar artist who, without a doubt, writes European jazz history, was sitting flabbergasted in front of his guitar effect in March 2015. His well thought out chain of effect devices didn’t release a single tone. Only the simple and low jingle of a naked, unamplified electric guitar …

Alfred Vogel, Initiator of this gathering, sighed since it was he, who painstakingly built up a kind of “double drumset”: A tenor set to his left, a baritone set to his right, operable from the stool. Was this planned improvisation and the joyful anticipation that came with it, about to take a sudden end?

Thankfully, Vogel remembered his recent and very positive encounter with a certain contact chemistry – and it was ready to hand!

Well, it is fair to say that there is not necessarily a music shop with effect devices waiting at every street corner of the Bregenz Forest. Rumour has it though, that this Vogel was capable of bringing the city creativity without any loss of quality to the province. He publishes productions on his label “BOOMSLANG Records” that appeal a growing audience. His festival “BEZAU BEATZ” attracts artists from New York, over London to Berlin and brings them to the scenic alpine village. Now, even the brilliant Christy Doran, who has already performed on festival stages around the world, when Alfred was still sucking on his toy rattle, makes his way to Bezau.

The session was booked into the blue, motivated by Vogel’s enthusiasm of Dorans guitar work. And, since the latter makes no secret of his verve about experiencing new artistic adventures (“ … there is still a lot to be discovered, explored and evolved”), the two artists meet without a safety net nor a double bottom.

The double-drum set guarantees a stage for percussion in cinemascope format and with closed eyes, conveys the feeling of two percussionists bustling around. This playground was extended by an Octapad with electric sounds that, in a wondrous way, was merged to an entity with the acoustic drum set. Vogel has a weakness for bright and abstract colours and beats, which he intuitively and tastefully mixes in a peculiar way.

On this screen, Christy Doran unfolds a lyrical play with unique sounds, rich harmonies and his notorious phrasing. Dark drones meet bell-like flageolets, fine motor virtuosity and complex rhythm – at times, the guitar sounds blend in with the drums to an extent where it is unclear who is producing which colours.

This common output formed ad hoc, sounds very much like structure at the second listening. After a view minutes, both musician realise that this contact spray did not only cause the oxidised input-socket to function.

Doran and Vogel tie a coherent dramaturgy, fuse to one inspirational source and provoke inner pictures. One can plump down into the music and delve deep. It invites to an acoustic trip of universal creativity to the inner soul in a state of limbo. It must be the contact chemistry …

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V9i53YmBYs