gone native - dave stafford


stafford's first progressive rock / rock album since 2003's "all things being equal", "gone native" is the long-awaited "guitar" album from dave stafford, where he plays all of the instruments himself (except for drums on one track); this record is the culmination of three and a half years of work on these 19 songs; at the same time, it's a representation of the "state of play" after 41 years playing experience. 12 "full band configuration" (drums, bass, mellotron, guitar, and guitar synth being the main instrumentation) songs composed, produced, recorded, and engineered by stafford himself between late 2008 and mid 2012, are enhanced by an additional 7 tracks of a more experimental nature, mostly drumless, some ambient, some synthetic, even one piece composed entirely of korg kaossilator sounds - giving us essentially, the best 19 tracks conceived and recorded by stafford during the last four years, 2008 - 2012; the best of the best, and stafford has totally stretched himself here, including songs and experiments that demonstrate a really, really broad range of guitar styles, techniques, effects and sounds. up until now, stafford has been mostly known as an ambient looping guitarist, known for his ambient records such as "the haunting" and "sky full of stars", also known as a crafty guitarist - but this record demonstrates stafford's legacy as a rock guitarist - and this owes more to the music of the progressive rock bands of the seventies than to anything even remotely ambient. it's a bit of a shock, hearing stafford tackle music in the "song" form after so many years of almost wholly live, improvised music - it's a shock to hear stafford play blazing lead guitar instead of gentle, quiet, ambient music - but it's a good shock, and it's nice to have an active album full of "songs" to add to the largely ambient/looping catalogue of this very versatile guitarist.

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