Awash in color and texture, Arian Shafiee’s debut album, A Scarlet Fail, brings to light a guitarist whose sound and mastery are in full bloom. Best known for his work in the East Coast dance/punk group Guerilla Toss, Shafiee has spent years warping the idea of what a guitar can sound like. In a group setting, Shafiee does what’s best for the composition, often blending seamlessly into the electronics and rhythmic grooves of his peers. A Scarlet Fail gives him a revelatory solo spotlight in a series of new electric and acoustic compositions. Inspired by visual elements of Western mysticism, Arian’s playing glows like light through stained glass. With a deluxe die cut sleeve designed by Robert Beatty, Arian Shafiee’s solo debut is a gem of 21st Century guitar artistry, one based not on the precepts of American Primitive but rather on a more fully realized world view of contemporary guitar. By using unconventional tunings and techniques atypical to the acoustic guitar, the music on this album finds itself in constant flux. While Arian’s style is hard to pin down, each piece exists in its own expansive harmonic world, unfurling and ever moving. Equally dynamic in terms of technical skill and emotive resonance, tracks such as ‘Oxy Blonde’ and ‘Muted Heather’ glisten, with an every-note-in-the-right-place perfection. The melodies linger, sometimes hauntingly in the spaces between notes, resulting in a solo guitar album whose sound reverberates long after the needle stops.
Transcendental acoustic guitar mysticism from the VDSQ shaman of Western MA, following up on his debut last year, Pasquarosa returns with a six string tranquility accompanied by field recordings. [...]