Friday, 17 May 2013

Rich Bennett – DiBenedetto

Short but perfectly formed – like the man himself, perhaps?! – DiBenedetto is an excellent new instrumental guitar EP by Rich Bennett (Monocle, Rebecca Pronsky). Featuring five songs that sail past effortlessly in fifteen minutes, with not a moment's mis-step, I can recommend this without hesitation to anyone who likes their instrumental guitar music smooth, atmospheric, and beautifully arranged, played and produced.

Rich's interpretation of the great Ennio Morricone's 'Il Grande Silenzio' kicks things off in tense style, declarative guitar resonating atop a tense piano ostinato and tambourine. 'Lee's Summit' is so much like prime Sea and Cake that I half expect Sam Prekop to start singing at any moment. 'Narcissus' features the most gorgeous fretless bass (courtesy of Jesse Krakow) since Scott Walker's Climate of Hunter. 'Cianciana' edges close to an '80s power ballad, but proves affecting rather than irritating thanks to the wonderful restraint of the playing. And closer 'Oss' is simply some heartbreaking piano chords and a sparing guitar motif – that's all Bennett needs to round out this release in style.

Personally, I could listen to an hour of this stuff and still be begging for more. For now, I'll have to put this EP (and Rich's mini albums) on repeat, drift away, and dream of a time when he'll get the opportunity to release an album's worth of instrumental music of this quality.     

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