Review of split with Tomás Tello


The split cassette with Tomás Tello on Andesground got a wonderful review in Vital Weekly 1021. Just a few copies available, get your copy on my bandcamp page if you’re interested!

Improvisation guitar player Arvind Ganga is from The Hague, The Netherlands and quite active when it comes to playing concerts, the natural habitat of the improvisers. So far I reviewed two of his releases, a solo cassette, ‘Saraswati’ (VItal Weekly 948) and a CDR with percussionist Rogier Smal (Vital Weekly 895). This new release is a split with Tomas Tello, who is from Peru and who also plays the guitar. Ganga has three pieces on his side of the tape, in which he plays the guitar with objects. I assume this to be an electric guitar. He plays it with great care; hard to say of course what kind of objects are used. Some metal sheets, wiring or wood is placed upon the snares and Ganga adds sparse effects to that and creates some wonderfully great music. It never bursts out, becomes a drag, but it remains playful until the end. Carefully, but not necessarily silent; delicate and sketch like but without the idea something is half finished or missing. Excellent improvised music; now that’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing in concert!

On the other side we find Tomas Tello, who plays here guitar and charango, a traditional string instrument from the Andes. Along with these uses field recordings he made in Bhubaneshwar in India. In the first piece, called ‘Electric Storm – 2 Radios – 3 Cameras – Train’ it is very hard to recognize either of that, instruments or field recordings. It seems as if Tello is taping sounds through the pick-up device of the guitar. There is some thunder outside but otherwise it sounds like feedback generated through very low means. Perhaps the sound sources are indeed radios, cameras, train and electric storm? It has some great captivating quality. Here we have a highly obscured sound but it creates a lot of richness. The other piece is ‘Máquina Natural (Charango y viento)’, in which I assume to hear the Charango, coming to me with some beautiful overtones, ringing and singing, while along
we hear some distant rain falling. This is quite a moody piece, which shares a similar
loose notion as the other piece.

Great cassette altogether.