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Holdsworth, Allan: FLATTire-Music For a Non-Existaent Movie (reissue)

A man and his SynthAxe...that's the name of the game here on FLATTire-Music For a Non-Existaent Movie, the 2001 release from guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, now remastered from the folks at MoonJune Records. For his 11th album, Holdsworth truly made this a 'solo' album, as he played or triggered all the parts on his SynthAxe (save for a brief opening guitar intro, and guest acoustic bass from Dave Carpenter on tracks # 3 & 8), utilizing the instruments capabilities to create the rhythms and lead melody lines.

When Holdsworth first introduced the SynthAxe into his repertoire some 25 years ago, many fans were taken aback by the somewhat sterile nature of the sound the instrument created. Not much had changed circa 2001, as there is still a 'cold' feeling you get when listening to FLATTire, as the SynthAxe has a very keyboard/wind instrument tone to it, and lacks the emotion or bite that Holdsworth gets on his guitar, but there is no denying the skill behind these tunes here. Allan's sweeping, yearning lines are very apparent on the tender "Please Hold On", and the ominous "Snow Moon" sees the SynthAxe creating plenty of eerie swells and washes underneath some blazing, fluttering runs. Still doesn't sound like a guitar, but it is impressive, and this track overall is a great, moody piece. Drum patches are triggered on the upbeat "Curves", a jazzy number complete with some blazing lead lines and plenty of groove, and both numbers with Carpenter have a more organic, jazz feel, thanks in part to his sinewy acoustic bass.

If you haven't warmed up to Holdsworth's SynthAxe dominated recordings such as Atavachron, Sand, Secrets, or Wardenclyffe Tower, chances are FLATTire is probably not going to convert you. However, there's plenty of musicality going on here, and some lush melodies, showing that despite his reluctance to pull out his trusty guitar for this one, the inner Allan Holdsworth is still in fine form throughout.

Track Listing
1) The Duplicate Man (intro)
2) The Duplicate Man
3) Eeny Meeny
4) Please Hold Me
5) Snow Moon
6) Curves
7) So Long
8) Bo Beep
9) Don't You Know

Added: June 19th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: MoonJune Records
Hits: 1717
Language: english

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