They Haunted Most Thickly is British guitarist Andy Cartwright‘s latest exploration of the possibilities of acoustic guitar used to create soundtracks to the imagination. In this project, images of a threatening sea or, on fewer tracks, the desert preponderate. Using an open tuned resonator or twelve string, and indeed sometimes both, to create his foundation he builds atmosphere by layering electronics, drones, bowed guitar to great effect. The work demands pictures in your head and, in fact, Bookmaker records have uploaded a couple of videos which demonstrate how well this music works to underpin video.
Like many minimalist works the album is built upon repetition. Those tracks which relate to the sea are generally founded upon a musical expression of wave motion. The fall and rise of simple intervals being reinforced by arpeggio picking or scale based runs, particularly on the twelve string. These are often accented by staccato lines on the resonator. The overall effect is one of the power and menace of the sea. The tracks relating to desert landscapes use Arabic sounding lines and a cleaner, perhaps drier, overall mix.
Whilst They Haunted Most Thickly might not be the kind of album readily to hand in my own collection, I am glad that it came my way. The guitar is controlled and inventive even when underscoring rather than leading, the layered whole demanding the listener’s concentration. This is work on the edge of what might be defined as acoustic guitar and anyone pushing the boundaries of the genre this well has to be applauded.
Out now via Bookmaker Records
Available to order via Bandcamp: https://seabuckthorn.bandcamp.com/
Tour Dates in Switzerland, Belgium & France
01 June – CH, Lausanne – Le Bourg
02 June – CH, Genève – Bongo Joe’s Record shop
03 June – FR, Grenoble – Le Casse
04 June – FR, Lyon – Le Bal des Fringants
05 June – FR, Saint-Etienne – Le Dix-Sept
07 June – BE, Brussels – Secret Venue
08 June – BE, Ghent – Apartment Show
10 June – FR, Nantes – Salon de Musique
12 June – FR, Bordeaux – Ricochet Sonore
19 June – FR, Lisle (24)
21 June – FR, Beauregard (46) – Fête de la Musique
22 June – FR, Biarritz – Pioche projects
23 June – FR, Pau – Café suspendu
24 June – FR, Poitiers – Festival Bruisme
25 June – FR, Campénéac (56) – Tapette Fest
29 June – FR, Paris – TBC