Guitars A Go Go Debut with “Travel Advisory”
Improvisational Duo Teams Up for a Collection of Sprawling Soundscapes
and Pocket-Sized Electronica Collages Waxed in Live-in-Studio Performances
and Remote Collaborations During the Covid-19 Quarantine
Hudson Valley, NY, June 5, 2020 — Guitars A Go Go, the edge-pushing improvisational partnership of two acclaimed Hudson Valley-based guitarists, Rick Warren and Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music), today releases their first full-length album, Travel Advisory (Bad Egg Records 60066), exclusively on Bandcamp (guitarsagogo.bandcamp.com).
Armed with a plethora of effects pedals and a quest for meditative and melodic adventures spanning a galaxy of musical attitudes, they have been performing at leading concert venues and art galleries since early 2019 as a duo, and, on occasion, in a quartet abetted by bassist/composer Mark Steven Brooks and percussionist Pete Tenerowicz.
With Travel Advisory, Guitars A Go Go swing for the fences, with nine tracks reflecting their left-leaning influences. The duo conjures everything from the contemplative soundscapes of Fripp and Eno and wandering proto-electronica of Krautrockers like Tangerine Dream and Faust to genre-defining experimental/avant of six-stringers like Derek Bailey, Glenn Branca, Sonny Sharrock, David Torn and Bill Orcutt to electronic classicists like Morton Subotnik and Pauline Oliveros.
The heart of Travel Advisory is a quartet of live-in-studio duets recorded just as the Covid-19 quarantine took hold. They are layered, looped dreamscapes that journey through an abundance of moods, from meditatively peaceful soundscapes to textured noise and dissonance, ranging in length from 10 to 19-plus minutes – all recorded without overdubs. Five more tracks were later produced in remote collaboration, with Cataldi adding guitars, synths and effects at his studio in West Saugerties to solo pieces performed by Warren at his in Hudson, N.Y.
Recommended Listening Suggestions:
· The Volcano Lovers: Nearly 13 minutes of peaceful vibe music, setting the hypnotic template/mission of the Guitars A Go Go project. Loops and layers create an ambient bed that floats, setting the stage for a quietly unfolding back-and-forth relay of melodic improvisations by each guitarist. This trance-inducing epic was released as a single in March 2020.
· Jig for Europa: With a foundation on a modal jig figure that morphs into a blues performed by Warren on heavily processed acoustic 12-string, it is dressed in strings, electronic blurbs and backwards guitars by Cataldi, producing a blues that is equal parts old skool Delta and Deep Space.
· DeKooning Was a Crooner: The final and, at 19:57, longest live-in-studio improvisation. Jazz chordal voicings from Cataldi lead into the inside-out improvisations from Warren, before taking a long meander through a series of ambient chapters, light and dark. The piece culminates in a final section of spiraling layered loops and sonic wail, recalling the 100 guitar orchestras of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca.
· Smash Hits: A trip into a backwards world, with a fist punch and echo treated acoustic of Warren’s setting the beat/pulse for electronic dressings by Cataldi, and his melodic acoustic melody.
For gearheads, here’s a list of some of the effects used by the duo on this album: EHX Soul Food, Chase Bliss Gravitas Tremolo and Spectre Flanger, Catalinbread Csidman delay, Montreal Assembly Count-to-Five delay/looper, Empress Zoia (multi-effect modular synth pedal), several Line 6 DL4 looper/delays, Ebow guitar sustainers, Boss Heavy Metal Pedal, Morley Fuzz Wah, Electro-Harmonix C9 Organ Machine, Walrus SLO Reverb, TC Viscous Vibe phaser and Boss Super Shifter Pitch Shifter and Tera Echo TE-2.
NYC and Saugerties-based guitarist Sal Cataldi may be best known these days for his style-jumping solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. With Spaghetti Eastern, Cataldi fuses hypnotic Eastern beats, blues, jazz and electronica-influenced guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal tunes and looping straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook, a diverse brew featured on his debut disc, Sketches of Spam and his 2020 single, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat.” Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a wild ride” by Radio Woodstock, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag and “a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One. Cataldi is also creating acclaimed work with The Vapor Vespers, a music-meets-spoken word project with Alaska poet Mark Muro captured on the 2020 album, One Act Sonix, and on two albums with The Hari Karaoke Trio of Doom, with Kansas City based percussionist/producer Doug Hitchcock and renowned Eno bassist Percy Jones. He also performed with Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Orchestra at Lincoln Center in 2009 and 2010, captured on the album, A Crimson Grail (Nonesuch).
Originally from Kingston, Hudson-based Rick Warren has been deeply involved in the improvisational and experimental music scene fostered by renowned vibraphonist Karl Berger at his Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. It was Berger’s chance visit to a Rick’s high school music theory class that led him to become a regular participant in twice-yearly workshops held at CMS, an international hot bed of improvisational music performance and education founded in 1971 by Berger, Ingrid Sertso and Ornette Coleman. Rick is best known for his soundscape compositions using his guitar and a variety of electronic sound sources, each one a new and different on-the-spot creation. Today, Warren is also involved with the Woodstock-based soundpainting ensemble Audiocanvas , led by bassist Steve Rust and captured on the 2019 disc Some Bad Western. Rick is also active with the Hudson-based Slink Moss and the Magic Stones, the improvisational duo The Warren-Ver Straeten Half Quartet and the popular acoustic folk duo, Rick and Marilyn, with songwriter Marilyn Miller.