Ernesto Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth - "As Is Stated... Before Known" (Pax Recordings/Evolving Ear 2004, PR90263/EE07)

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: June 2004

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.

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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