Sticky Licks 2005 CD $15.
German Stick players compilation
If variety is the spice of life, these 16 artists (15 from Germany and one
from Austria) deliver a highly varied compilation that showcases their
diverse song-writing and playing talents which is sure to keep the
listener’s palette entertained. Everything from simple solo Stick playing
to loopy overdubs and full-blown orchestrations with drums, percussion and
vocals is here.
The experience of many years of cumulative Stick playing shows in the shear
variety of techniques. Thomas Ederer’s "Scenes from an African Market"
presents a great example of this - muted tapping setting the stage for
layer upon layer of sound. His solo sound recalls classical guitar but
throws in pulloff trills and other rock elements.
Mathias Sorof’s "Sandteufel" presents a vintage Stick sound with all of the
chimey high notes and slappy, percussive bass we associate with the
instrument, but with his own harmonic understanding, and lyrical soloing.
The true masala on the record comes in Johannes Korn’s "Frederik Und Die
Fünfte Herzkammer," which deftly presents taste after taste of deliciously
processed sound, each within its own space and time so as not to be
overshadowed by the others.
Things get heavy and proggy with Marc Menningmann’s "Virtual Time," and
there’s even a cover of Don Henley’s "The Boys of Summer" complete with
Amid all of the intense productions are the spare and solo pieces, some
deceptively simple, like Frank Heim’s "Rose" which weaves several simple
elements together into a beautiful and restful moment. The record gives
scant details about how the tracks were recorded, but if you want more
information about the artists there are web links provided for each track.
There’s a great variety of instrumentation here - guitar, trombone, synths,
vocals, drums, making this less a compilation of "Stick music," and more a
reflection of a community of musicians. One can hear the years of absorbing
influences from both inside and outside the Stick world (occasional shades
of Cides, Culbertson, Baggerman, Chapman) as well as true individuality and
unique creative voices.
It might seem like there are too many elements at work here for the record
to be a success, but it all works well together. Thanks to thoughtful
programming and excellent production, which glue all of these tracks together,
instruments from different eras with different pickups and even MIDI sounds,
playing vastly different styles all fit seamlessly together.
As a compilation, this one does exactly what it’s supposed to do on every
level. Congratulations to Harald Rost and all of the contributors.
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