[13 July 2008]
Matt Bartram’s guitars not only coexist with one another, they coalesce like colors on the canvas of a magnificent, yet bleak, landscape. Bartram pretty much has this whole nu-gaze thing down to a science. He’s done it for years with his band Air Formation, and has now released a more solo-centered bedroom project. His repertoire of six-strings sounds like a Sam Ash catalog: Fender Jazzmaster, Jaguar & Telecaster, Fender Jaguar Baritone Custom, Burns Double Six. There are songs such as “North Facing Window”, where Bartram peppers lyrics and percussion around his guitar tapestries, and “Leave by Nine”, where he lets the atmosphere of the guitars take hold, buoyed only by a minimal piano riff. Then there’s the skuzzfest “View of the Downs”—basically well-regulated distortion. Bartram is based out of the UK, but hopefully Arundel will bring him across the pond. Maybe he could teach those guys at Death by Audio a thing or two.