Review of Electric Creatures by Giacomo Baldelli, 2018
1- G. Baldelli – And Watch – 2018 Kate Soper – Voce / World Premiere Recording
2- Eve Beglarian – Until it Blazes – 2001
3- Andrea Agostini – Three Electric Creatures – World Premiere Recording
4- Ryan Pratt – Two – 2018 World Premiere Recording
5- Jacob TV – Grab It! – 1999 World Premiere Recording
6- Nick Norton – Slow Earth – 2018 World Premiere Recording
There is a ghost, a ghost that is…”ramming” around the world of contemporary music. Oh God, to be a ghost is definitely concrete and tangible and noisy. It’s true, ghosts can be very noisy and not very respectful and there is no doubt that the electric guitar may represent some difficulties in approaching those with an academic background. We just get over it: the electric guitar is an instrument in itself, rather it’s not just a musical instrument, but it works as a very complicated mix of techniques, meanings, images and desires.
As an instrument, the electric guitar configures totally different from a classical instrument: the instrument’s chain: cables, effects, pedals and amplifier requires a series of technical skills characterized by a decidedly specialized nature. Its nature made of strictly popular ancestries requires the analysis of a series of music based on characteristics very distant from those studied in the Conservatory. And I’m not just talking about rock, jazz and pop music. Take for example the radical ideas of Bailey and Fripp. For a composer to be able to create a new “contemporary” stylistic context is definitely a complex and complicated matter. Complex and fascinating, because the electric instrument allows a series of combinations and possibilities almost endless and because very few things are so exciting as to know that they can force the consolidated iconic limits.
I must say that, from this point of view, 2018 has given us great satisfaction. First the excellent record by Sergio Sorrentino, then this masterpiece by Giacomo Baldelli, “Electric Creatures”, which incorporates and amplifies the discourse already begun in his previous cd “Italian Guitar XXI Century”.
This record brings together several aspects that make it, in my humble opinion, simply unique: it combines different compositions specific to the electric guitar, being able to demonstrate the great possibilities that this instrument can offer, and at the same time it makes you listen to a full electric sound , full-bodied, loaded and dirty at the right point managing to get out of the most iconic rock forms. Does it seem cheap? Believe me, it’s not a trivial thing, definitely! To achieve this stylistic aspect it’s necessary to listen attentively, dedicated and above all a thorough and passionate study. Baldelli was able to combine the energy and the indiscipline of the electric guitar, a perfect sound, an attention to maniacal details and the utmost respect for the ideas and desires of the composers. It is a difficult and complex balance. But Giacomo Baldelli did it. This is a highly recommended record. “Electric Creatures” will be released in Italy on November 30th 2018. A US version of the album is expected for Spring 2019.