Music Review | posted 20.06.2011
Mark McGuire
A Young Person's Guide To
Editions Mego, 2011
Text Sebastian Hinz , Translation Julia Frohn
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Cover Mark McGuire - A Young Person's Guide To

Little by little, within the last two years, in the course of the gradually growing enthusiasm towards »Noise«, »Drones« and »Psychedelic in the USA and elsewhere, the Emeralds started stepping into the limelight. Pitchfork explicitly praised their last two albums for Editions Mego and in June, everybody’s favorite artist Caribou invited the trio from Cleveland, Ohio, along with Oneohtrix Point Never (another one of those) to his »Caribou & Friends«-party in Berlin. In addition, it’s the constant flow of new material (Discogs counted more than 40 releases within the last four years, mostly on tape and Cdr), that keeps the Emeralds in the talks. Moreover, Emeralds’ guitarist Mark McGuire additionally works on his own music on the side. His debut Living With Yourself was released in October 2010, now he’s presenting his first body of work: A Young Person’s Guide To combines 2 ½ hours of carefully selected solo-material from the years 2007-2010, of the artist being only 24 years of age. So how does he do it? And: what else is there to come? These questions beg to be asked when one realizes how mature Mark McGuire’s music is and when confronted with the fact that, artistically, there’s nothing quite comparable out there. When solo, McGuire puts the guitar into his focus but doesn’t disclaim the whizzing and oscillating sounds seemingly fusing into unity, which the Emeralds are known for. The gates to Mark McGuire’s realm are passed in the opener Dream Team, in which the artistry of putting loops next to loops next to loops is already practiced in perfection. Thereby, he creates a seventeen-minutes-undertow that’s almost impossible to escape from. There are more of these odes but they are always impressively opposed by tracks like the one-and-a-half-minute Slipstream, in which 2 guitar-figures get caught in a quarrel. Ghosts Around The Tree works with old record-samples (stuff like old Russian work- and battle songs) that are lovingly washed round by McGuire’s guitar-playing. Sick Chemistry is yet again Drone. And the guitar riff of Flight first mutates to Noise, to finally, yet subtly, merge into Electronic. Besides all that, uncountable examples of fine melodies are hidden within the tracks. Making music like this has lots and lots to do with instincts. In short: Mark McGuire plays the Blues of the modern man. And impressively so.

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