While the world has been rightly gaping about the new LP by Emeralds (which we here at EXPDX think is fantastic, by the by), the members of that band have been keeping themselves busy outside of the fold. And some of the more enticing material to come out of those solo ventures has been that of Mark McGuire. The guitarist/synth master has been dropping little gems around the underground music scene, including this recently released three-song EP. After a dreamy, ambient beginning, McGuire starts getting into drawn out syncopated forms that flutter around the stereo field like earwigs. There’s a relaxing quality to even those jittery tunes aided by his Metheny-like guitar playing and the intrusion of long wispy drones at varying intervals. Intrusion is perhaps the wrong word, as those tones are welcome additions to already well-built multi-tiered compositions.
UPDATE — For those of you who are so inclined to purchase things online, Mark McGuire just today released the digital version of Nightshade, the limited edition cassette release that he sold off on a tour of Japan. Here’s his short description of the music’s creation — then give it a listen below: Guitars, vocals, and electronics recorded during the first first-quarter, and the last first-quarter (the waxing gibbous and the waning gibbous) of March 2012 at Heavenly Bodies, Portland, Oregon. This music was first inspired under the bright and beautiful night sky of the southern hemisphere. More specifically, at 41° 15 41.12 S, 174° 57 3.04 E, Wainuiomata, New Zealand, February 11th, 2012.