As much as I've been trying to convince everyone that 2012 will one day be looked upon as the year of guitar's mighty return, the mere logic behind such an idea is inherently flawed. First, did the guitar really go anywhere to begin with? And second, these synth nerds have been ruling so incredibly hard that the way of the keys is hardly ingorable. And no, I don't think it's a contest. And yes, I do think the guitar and the people who are playing and recording the instrument these days are definitely extrapolating the instrument's position in the realm of experimental music to a higher degree than perhaps ever before (see: Dustin Wong, Sparkling Wide Pressure, These Wonderful Evils, Insect Factory, Last Eyes, etc... I could go on... and on... all killing it), still, there's Grapefruit. And a lot of others. This guy, along with Event Cloak, Belarisk, Panabrite, anything on Laser Palace and many, many more are overhauling the ubiquital synthetic tone with infinite textural manipulations and smelting their sounds together into a variety of paradoxically classic yet forward-looking styles.
Today's style is Kraut with a capital K. Unlike a lot of the contemporaries listed earlier, Grapefruit isn't quite so absorbing because of the shape-shifting, mutagenic manipulations of the centric tone or even necessarily how those mutant tones are (however expertly) layered throughout this cassette tape affair. It's really the arrangement therein and the calming psychedelic symptoms that ensue. Genius in its patience of pace, the timing, the knowing of when a build has been built, and when it's time build even further, or maybe when it's time to ease off, relax, and let things die down. And the execution makes it all really happen, the 1/8th pulses padded with soft-attack synths that hover around the tonic, polyrhythms and rollicking triplets created with subtle delay techniques, etc. All of it pieced together and organized into perfectly hypnotic extentions of sprawling expanse for those late night, long-distance drives that have no real destination in mind. A real focus on the journey.
But then again... the textures, the synths themselves—buzzing and buttery alike, soft-strings singing some beauty on top every now and again to make the lovely even lovelier, bass loops grumbling underneath into focused, menacing trots like the one you'll find in "Zone Sourcing," or shimmering high in harp-like strokes as evident in the tape's closer "Aleatoric Tone Tunnels." Grapefruit indeed represents the total package; form and function, body and breadth, means and ends. An exquisite amalgamation of careful attention to sonic detail and a bottemless appreciation for the geometric designs those sounds should take to carry a listener off into... well, wherever that listener may want to go. The results offer plenty of options as to the depths or heights Grapefruit might lead one to at any given moment.
...And a couple of videos for you by Charlie Salas Humara, "Science Wars" and "Phase Accidents," respectively (the first is brand spankin' new, by the way) ::