Nick Millevoi – In White Sky (2012)

Nick Millevoi, the experimental guitarist of Many Arms fame, follows up last year’s solo 12-string guitar project Black Figure Of A Bird with another solo guitar album. In White Sky, as it’s called, is performed by an electric six string this time, an intimidating and fearless electric six-string.

For some guitarists, such a record might mean being “loud,” too but Millevoi doesn’t have to resort to sheer volume to get his point across. He’s mainly making it interesting by creating timbres and tonalities that throw of opposing vibes, from ambient to acidic, and he gets it done without relying so much on effects, as far as I can tell (although feedback plays a big role on this record). The resonance of notes, sometimes ringing out forever (as with a single note drone spanning the entirety of “Before A Constant”) replaces what we know of as song structure. There’s no real structure on In White Sky, because like Bird, this goes beyond the realm of music, out to primal sound.

“Slowly Dark” explores the fine art of string scraping and feedback and that track happens to have its own official video, too (check it out above) that keenly combines sonic art with visual art. He plays silence like he plays notes on “Super-Lith Part 1″ and then proceeds to obliterate silence on “Super-Lith Part 2″ with earsplitting drones. “Endless Unfolding Hallways” begins spaciously, but then the notes get closer together until Millevoi has created a dense, tidal sonic wave of white noise, and he reloads for another such wave.

Like any Nick Millevoi project, this ain’t for everybody. Regardless of how his music strikes you, it’s clear that he’s a restless experimentalist guitarist with both the insight to find uninhabited spots along the fringes of music and the technique to carry it out. In White Sky is the mark of such a guitarist.

In White Sky is currently available as a free download in its entirety, by Flenser Records. Visit Nick Millevoi’s blog for more info.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews.com.