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Highway My Friend

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
Without oversimplifying, Trapist's Highway My Friend is in immediate continuity with SSSD's Home. In both albums, Viennese guitarist Martin Siewert pursues a form of post-improv folk, of improvised instrumental songs informed by the Free culture (from Caspar Brötzmann Massaker's rage-on blows to the restraint of Berlin reductionism) but hammered into something more structured and -- dare it be said -- more palatable. On this album Siewert also integrates lessons from experimental electronica. Accompanied by drummer Martin Brandlmayr and bassist Joe Williamson, Siewert lays down contemplative riffs and cutting-edge noise-making. Tracks like "Impex" and "Mine Was the Shoulder You Cried On That Day" could almost be mistaken for the Necks tunes (minus the duration, of course). Williamson locks himself up in a smooth ostinato, Brandlmayr sticks to decorative brushing and hitting, while the guitarist walks in circles around a simple motif. It's all done delicately, with an effort to push the music into new territories while keeping it grounded into an atavistic form of song-making. Other pieces like "FM" and "Fenrus" remain in the realm of electro-acoustic free improv, developing slowly over a limited amount of sonic material, yet captivating the listener. A tension is established between the two musical forms, giving Highway My Friend its distinct personality. Trapist comes out of this session a tightly knit unit, and Siewert's ongoing musical journey produces yet another fascinating postcard. Recommended. ~ François Couture, Rovi
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