Bill Orcutt & Michael Morley - Electric Guitar Duets LP
Release Date: May 22nd, 2020
LP reissue of Land And Sea's limited 2016 tape documenting a performance by guitarists Michael Morley and Bill Orcutt at the L&S gallery in Oakland.
"... Once regrettable antics were permanently affixed to the rearview mirror, the pair chauffeured across the bay to Land And Sea, the cozy gallery on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland and sobered up on vegan cocktail wieners and gummie vitamins. You may doubt, you may scoff – have fun with it, champion, seriously – but on July 6, 2016, they rendered a landscape where miniature squalls grind in between seamlessly intersecting improv, and they did it sharp as the slap of a palmful of plum-colored hazelmyer elixir following a good, close shave. The distinctive sound of the Fender Telecaster as played without effects by Orcutt ('one of music's premier abstractionists,' according to Osmo Montesanto) remains unblunted throughout the album, an aggressively serrated presence within Mr. Morley's contrapuntal flanking. This freely improvised performance is imbued with discipline and deliberate restraint, the better to connect the players more to the sound than to the instruments... The duo's number-one fan worldwide Cye Husain, pictured on the back cover, would surely attest that the singular structure-building of Orcutt and Morley defies and transcends most any 'well, actually' bloviature that the usual bore-splainers will need to hurl into the troposhere. For instance, that a third guitar is clearly audible at certain parts in the mix – beautifully recorded by Gabie Strong, by the way – can be accounted for most sensibly by Aotearoan metaphysics. Mr. Morley's ax of choice was 'Patu Tutae Opoko Nui, a 2006 Squire Telecaster made in Indonesia that I had modified over the years. It died and was ushered up to Valhöll in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2018.' Readers opting to take a moment to refer to Morley's Instagram post dated 6 June 2018 and view the last rites of this extraordinary combination of wood and metal should do so now. He cried. You should expect to do the same... Electric Guitar Duets is that otherworldly modulation we all crave and rarely find, hovering halfway between a deeply satisfying lattice of blurred sky roars and the soundtrack from a Stefan Jarworzyn biopic scored by Sergio Leone left on the floor out of its sleeve. Morley and Orcutt hold everything sideways at least as well as the centrifugal force required for slow-motion footage of mannequins riding tiny motorcyles around the inside of a chrome replica of Lee Van Cleef's skull. For other examples of fluid-splattered shards glistening inside crimson murk pulsations, only murder rolling through cold, cold blood comes to mind as superior to this 44-minute live recording." – S. Glass