Thursday, February 08, 2007

Keith Rowe Goes Boutique?

These days there are a lot of small companies, generally refered to as boutique makers, that make guitar effects pedals. One of the more original and distinctive makes is Zachary Vex's ZVex line, a collection of boxes known for their funky graphics and imaginative circuitry in a market that tends towards making variations on Ibanez Tube Screamers. But even given the originality of Zvex's stomp boxes I was rather surprised to see in some recent pictures of Keith Rowe tonight that he's apparently started using a couple of their products. Rowe is not what one would call a conventional guitarist. Indeed many folks would question whether he's a guitar player at all. A founding member of the improvised music group AMM Rowe lays his guitar on a table and manipulates it in very unguitar like ways, uses all sorts of odd things to excite it's strings, and feeds radio and other audio signals through it's pickups. He is not the kind of guy who sits around reading Guitar Player to see what the latest hip trends for trendy guitarist are. Yet he's now using devices that those kind of folks would think of as cool and hip. One appears to be a Lo Fi Loop Junky, a low tech, low fidelity device that allows you to record up to 20 seconds of audio and loop it. This wouldn't be that much of a surprise, since of late Rowe had been using a Boss RC20 Loop Station. Can't tell what the other box might be.

No comments: