Bill Orcutt (born February 2, 1962) is an American guitarist and composer whose work combines elements of blues, punk, and free improvisation. Inspired by seeing Muddy Waters in The Last Waltz, Orcutt began playing the guitar as a teenager in Miami. In 1992, he formed the band Harry Pussy with his wife, Cuban/American drummer and vocalist Adris Hoyos. The group recorded three LPs and toured the US frequently, often in support of indie bands like Sonic Youth and Sebadoh. Their music, which drew from American no wave, hardcore punk and free jazz was influential and “served as a progenitor for the Noise movement.” In 1997 the band dissolved and the couple divorced. Orcutt moved to San Francisco and took a long hiatus from music, returning in 2009, with an LP of solo guitar entitled A New Way to Pay Old Debts which was well received, ranking third of 2009 in The Wire’s annual “Rewind” list. His follow-up release How the Thing Sings was similarly praised, reaching number 3 on NPR’s The Best Outer Sound Albums of 2011. Since 2009, Orcutt has toured often appearing at festivals in the US and Europe, including Hopscotch, Incubate, Le Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Donau and Big Ears. Typically a solo performer, Orcutt has also recorded or performed with Loren Mazzacane Connors, Chris Corsano, Peter Brötzmann and Alan & Richard Bishop.
Music for Four Guitars by Bill Orcut, Bandcamp, 2022 on #neuguitars #blog #BillOrcut
Music For Four Guitars | Bill Orcutt (bandcamp.com)
Order the LP at Forced Exposure : bit.ly/3nApTYE
In a trajectory full of about-faces, Music for Four Guitars splices the formal innovations of Bill Orcutt’s software-based music into the lobe-frying, blown-out Fender hyperdrive of his most frenetic workouts with Corsano or Hoyos. And while the guitar tone here is resolutely treble-kicked — or, as Orcutt puts it, “a bridge pickup rather than a neck pickup record” — it still wades the same melodic streams as his previous LPs (yet, as Heraclitus taught us, that stream is utterly different the second time around). Although it’s a true left-field listen, Music for Four Guitars is bizarrely meditative, a Bill Orcutt Buddha Machine, a glimpse of the world of icy beauty haunting the latitudes high above the Delta (down where the climate suits your clothes).
I’ve written before of the immediate misapprehension that greeted Harry Pussy on their first tour with my band Charalambides — that this was a trio of crazed freaks spontaneously spewing sound from wherever their fingers or drumsticks happened to land — but I’ll grant the casual listener a certain amount of confusion based on the early recorded evidence (and the fact that the band COULD be a trio of crazed freaks letting fly, as we learned from later tours). But to my ears, the precision and composition of their tracks were immediately apparent, as if the band was some sort of 5-D music box with its handle cranked into oblivion by a calculating organ grinder, running through musical maps as pre-ordained as the road to a Calvinist’s grave.
released September 2, 2022
Recorded Spring/Summer 2021 at the Living Room, San Francisco, California
Bill Orcutt: 4 guitars
Thanks Larry Marotta
Photo: Dawid Laskowski
Mastered by James Plotkin