Dusty warehouse find!! Last copies ever?! "On "This Book...", Atlanta-based Ahmad Szabo emcees a panel of influences such as Savath + Savalas, Microstoria, Loren Mazzacane-Connors, vintage Adrian Legg, and perhaps even a folked up Stanley Clarke, building supple, acoustic and electro-ambient compositions uniquely his own. Soulfolk stylings, trickling guitar chords, eight perfectly formed little tracks, quietly flowing electric whispers and buzzes, Szabo is a storyteller giving a message of hope and power through simplicity. Anyone who recalls Donnacha Costello's entrancing "Together Is The New Alone" album should be in some ways prepared for this gossamer fine, yet sensual and wiry selection of musical vignettes. As with most cats coming up in the 80s and 90s, Ahmad was heavily influenced by Hip Hop, and the growing electronic music scene. To all of us then, and now, these musics were unavoidable. We couldn't escape the ways in which they stirred up in us a new way of thought. But as Ahmad began to address his own work, taking stock of himself and his influences, it became clear he would belong to a distinct company of artists. Ahmad explores a more subtle palette, based on the warmth of acoustic guitar, a somewhat endangered instrument in modern music. Ahmad combing and searching the strings is a music truly, in the original sense, digital, that's to say of the fingers or digits. Szabo engages and explores an intimate, yet open relationship with his instruments: a set of songs creating their own sincere space, moving, dancing in the ear, music that navigates and reacts to its own tactile changes. The tunes here invite the listener in to do the same, sit back, take part in some good magic in a warm and familiar space. As Ahmad recently said to me, "You got to have both roots and wings, but now is the time for roots." "This Book is About Words" peels back any facade, revealing the root of what music can and should be about, our love for one another. Word to that. Gorgeous music and as always with this highly developed [for a comparative youngster] label, comes unreservedly recommended!
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