Mark McGuire – A Young Person’s Guide To Mark McGuire album review

Mark McGuire released the double CD  A Young Person’s Guide to Mark McGuire on May 11, 2011, making it the thirty-first release of his young career. It’s a compilation retrospective of individual arrangements from limited earlier releases in older formats, such as cassettes and CD’s.

The opening track  “Dream Team” is a 17-minute voyage of harmonized distortion, with subtle vocals keeping the progression building. It’s a looped piece sure, but carefully shaped by delays, echoes and synthesizers. Evolving into distinct patterns, the driving beats that underpin the whole arrangements are the only constant – and then that changes. Its a wonderful piece to daydream to.

“Ghosts Around A Tree” is another long piece, opening with distant vocals, churchbells and jarring chords. Its an interesting juxtaposition of that eventually calms down to a soothing melody without you realizing a change has taken place.”Slipstreams”, on the other hand, is the shortest track and appears to be the middle of one of McGuires musical thoughts, submerging after just a minute and twenty two.The other 17 tracks vary in length and emotion, but any of them are excellent candidates for a house playlist.

McGuire’s music is satisfying on so many levels and perhaps it’s because he has had time to hone his craft with his prolific body of work, even outside his main group The Emeralds. His plans for further releases, this year alone would put even a driven artist to shame, and McGuire claims he is “winding down.” AYPGTMM is both an excellent introduction to the artist and a catch-up CD for listeners who need to fill gaps in their collections and in either case, is a must-have.

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