Escape Veloopity (1998)
CD available from Burning Shed
Download this album in 256k MP3 or CD quality FLAC format
category: electric guitar loop improvisations
Recorded 1996/1997 at home directly to DAT
Mastering: Klaus Stühlen Musikproduktion, Köln; Greenworld Studio, Geldern
Sounds: Ovation Legend & Fernandes Sustainer Guitars, Boss SE-70, Lexicon Vortex, Paradis Loop Delay; anonymous Frogs & Birds & Waves
Cover Drawing: Theo Lässig, 1954
As a solo guitarist, I've always made extensive use of tape loops. In the eighties, I used a setup consisting of 2 Revox tape recorders. In 1996, I finally replaced this system with a Paradis Loop Delay which is the predecessor of the more advanced Oberheim Echoplex, and offers many musical possibilities that simply didn't exist before. In the following months, I spent long evenings at home playing guitar duets with myself. I usually started without any plans, and open for the unexpected.
Working with a loop delay is a great way to explore new territory. It is easy to build up ambient clouds or noisy walls of sound, polyrhythmic patterns, or simple or complex themes which can be a basis for soloing. Some of these improvisations later turned into beginnings of compositions.
ESCAPE VELOOPITY contains no compositions in the traditional sense. It is a logbook of explorations into ambient spaces, a collection of compositional sketches, and it contains some unexpected results of experiments. The music is fresh, rough, and unpolished, and there are almost no overdubs except for some environmental sounds here and there.
- Michael playing an Ovation guitar
Sid Smith (King Crimson biographer):
“Escape Veloopity” contains many interesting sketches and moods with some gorgeous cinematic sweeps
Wind and Wire magazine review
Michael Peters was referred to me by Jeff Pearce, which should have been the tip off. Michael is another guitar wizard, albeit as different from Jeff as Steve Roach is from A Produce. But, the man can play, make no mistake about that.
His CD, Escape Veloopity (no typo!), is subtitled "Electronic Guitar Loop Improvisations." He left off the words "kick ass" 'cause a lot of this album does just that. Starting with the opener, "Blue Ascension" which plays like Pat Metheny on steroids. It's only a minute and a half, but I bet you'll be hittin' that "repeat" button a lot! Next up is "April For No Reason" which slows the loops down a bit but the chords are maxi-crunchy - yum! Delicious! Crisp chords are struck, with an undercurrent of ambiance. Soon, the electric undercurrent becomes a lead guitar line that wails and whines, a la Jon Durant. Love it, love it, love it! It's great to see more musicians exploring the guitar in innovative ways. I like keyboards, but artists like Michael, and the aforementioned Messrs Pearce and Durant, help me appreciate the wondrous diversity inherent in other instruments.
Not all of Escape Veloopity is rave-up. There is ambient music here as well - the same drifting guitar ambiance of Jeff Pearce, albeit with enough of a difference that the two stand apart. Michael's drifting pieces are, at times, louder and less serene, yet they're as beautiful as Jeff's. Slow languid notes seem to bend space and time and echo out into the edge of darkness, looking for a home.
Make no mistake, though, that this is solidly a guitar album. Don't expect the same kind of Studio wizardry that Pearce brings to the party. Most of the time you can tell that strings are being plucked, strummed, or picked. Not that the music is ordinary. Far from it. These improvisations are varied in tempo, texture, and mood - but the quality of production and technique is uniform. Of particular note is the jaunty, "Arrivals/Departures," the Zeppelinish crunch of "Stegosaurus Orbit," the eerie "Fog Lights," and the weirdly beautiful "Infinite Moment."
Besides being a richly diverse set of improvisations, Michael has proven that the guitar is just beginning to be explored as a musical instrument. Escape Veloopity is a multi-hued rainbow of wild colors. And, to top it all off, the cover art kicks ass, too! - Bill Binkelman -
April For No Reason (excerpt) - (1:05 min, 0.7 MB)
On The Move (excerpt) - (0:51 min, 0.6 MB)
Candi Dasa (excerpt) - (1:23 min, 0.8 MB)
- Escape Veloopity CD Cover