Thursday, February 25, 2010

Steve Tibbetts, STEVE TIBBETTS

Frammis, 1977; reissued by Cuneiform; available

9 tracks, 34:44

Steve Tibbetts is an acquired taste. Some of his work is incredible, while some is decent but unremarkable. This, his debut effort, falls squarely into the former category. Made when he was still a teenager (and originally released on his own label), this is a seamless piece of space rock bliss. Tibbetts claims he graduated while making this and had to sneak back onto his former campus to finish it (they had a Moog and a studio, after all!). The majority of the tracks are Tibbetts alone, but Tim Weinhold adds percussion on a few. Tibbetts is credited with "instruments", tape effects, vocals (VERY sparingly used), and engineering. While there are distinct songs, they seamlessly blend into each other to make two loose suites. Some tracks, like the folky "Sunrise" and "Interlude", focus on Tibbett's acoustic guitar with slight electronic coloration. On the opposite end, tracks like the trippy "Alvin Goes To Tibet" and "Gong" are entirely electronic, and fine examples of the genre at that! "Desert" and "How Do You Like My Buddha?" combine synths, tape effects and guitars in nearly equal measures to stunning effect. This is the place to start with Tibbetts; all of his albums have something to offer, but he was never quite this consistently incredible again. Who says a debut has to be rough? Kudos as always to Cuneiform for their continued dedication to keeping amazing obscurities like this in print!

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