eMEGO 166 / Alan Licht
Four Years Older
- 1. Four Years Later (15:36)
- 2. Four Years Earlier (19:30)
Alan Licht solo electric guitar
Four Years Later recorded December 14, 2012 at Echo Canyon West engineering: Ted Young
technical assistance: Bentley Anderson
Four Years Earlier recorded live December 7, 2008 at the Electric Possible, Washington D.C.
All selections played as heard, no overdubs
A new set by the coolest chap in New York City documenting the before-and-after development of a solo electric guitar piece that Alan Licht has been playing out for last four years. Revered for his work in the Blue Humans and Text of Light, and a key figure in his generation's pantheon of experimental solo guitar players (such as Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi), ‘Four Years Older’ is his debut Editions Mego release, representing another peak in a career of mining the rich seams of minimalism, noise and avant-garde in general that stretches back more than two decades.
As it says on the box side A was recorded four years later than the side B (and vice versa). If that wasn’t enough it's been four years since his last solo LP, 'YMCA', on Family Vineyard.
'Four Years Older' sees a move away from the loop-based pieces of recent releases. On 'Four Years Later' in particular the guitar's fingerboard is actually touched more than on any other solo piece of the last ten years, although the instrument is pushed to sound more like a suitcase synth, a church organ, a hornet's nest, and a malfunctioning PlayStation than a guitar per se.
As Alan points out: “'Four Years Earlier' was the debut of the piece; it was in three sections, the latter two of which appear here. The first section was identical to the first section of 'Four Years Later'. I scrapped the second two parts after a couple of subsequent performances and developed it into a six-part piece, and then a seven part piece in this studio version. In concert the piece lasts at least 30 minutes, I've shortened it on 'Four Years Later' with an eye towards top 40 radio play. :)”
The intial ‘Four Years Earlier’ session is a blistering electronic nailstorm that would not feel out of place on one of Russell Haswell’s legendary ‘Live Salvage’ sets. ‘Four Yeats Later’ is equally relentless but lets in some light with an ecstatic mid section that ascends toward the spiritual.
At the end of the day the final result is music which is both corrosive and lyrical, a feeling which is reflected in Stephen O’Malley’s eye melting artwork.