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steffen basho-junghans - In the Morning Twilight
Undoutedly one of the leading figures in modern Takoma-style acoustic guitar playing, Steffen Basho-Junghans isn't necessarily as prolific as the likes of James Blackshaw or Jack Rose, but his releases are rightly met with the same levels of reverence. This outing on Kning Disk is a live recording, capturing the guitarist's hugely impressive technical range and beautifully judged phrasing at its rawest. As common place as acoustic guitar maestros seem to be nowadays, some of the solos captured on this set sound like no one else: the excerpt from '7 Books (I-II)' features what sounds like an extended two-handed tapping run paired with an onslaught of harmonics and overtones stemming from rapid fire string-slapping techniques. It's all very out of the ordinary for a steel strung acoustic guitar, but it's a welcome change from the usual stuff you hear on these records. These more traditional performance styles are still very much in evidence, and the likes of 'Wild Horse Ramble' demonstrate a firm grasp on old-fashioned bluegrass modes, rounding off the set, 'Water I-III' features a healthy dose of slide guitar, further contorted by a few choice preparations to the instrument, resulting in something that doesn't sound too far away from a subdued Derek Bailey.