The expanded and definitive double LP edition of Kevin Drumm's groundbreaking first album, originally released in 1997. Featuring some of the most fiercely abstract and organic guitar work ever heard, Drumm's debut is both jarring and completely alien. Dubbed by some as the greatest prepared guitar record ever recorded it prefigured (and continues to trump) almost an entire decade or so of contemporary "out" music that would follow. Beautiful and completely essential.
This edition includes an entire fourth side of previously unreleased recordings from Drumm's personal archive, all recorded in the same era as the original album. It also includes entirely new artwork featuring the body of the actual guitar used to record the album.
"Looking back at Kevin through his formidably individual tunnel of works, it's hard to remember that his first official recorded statement would be caught sneaking into bed alongside history's milestones of "solo instrument improvisation." Or that, in turn, it also would be caught trying to sneak out of the house built by Father Jazz, into a backyard that still hasn't quite been fenced off yet. Those running around Chicago chasing down the sound in the mid-90's should've already known about this guy and his contributions both in and out of the relative spotlight. For those far from the city winds, thankfully they might've gotten the message in the form of this missive. In the afterglow of later love letters titled “Sheer Hellish Miasma” and “Imperial Distortion”, it's absolutely overdue that this first musty green postcard be dug out, polished off, and framed. Judged by its understated title, "Self-Titled" aka "Guitar" is incredibly literal -- what you hear is what you get. In the simplest considerations, the ensuing connotations and possibilities are wide open; the real-time velocity of urgent decision and movement are wrapped in a clearly-mapped compositional endurance that continues to stand firmly in the relative spotlights of this day. No surprise then, that even all these years later, we would still be trying to figure out exactly at which table Kevin should squarely sit.
They say that every kid who heard this record immediately went out and grabbed a busted guitar with a scratchy selector switch, ready to subject their friends to fuzzy pauses of amp hum. I know of at least four."
-- C. Spencer Yeh, spring 2010, Brooklyn NY