Monday, October 5, 2009

2009 Review in Time Off Magazine for 'Mistakes & Palpitations'

The songs of Brisbane guitarist/musican Kahl Monticone are within themselves like small floating worlds - instrumental pieces that structure themselves however they please. But here form does not equal function, with the hypnotic qualities of the instruments' interplay building upon avant garde qualities that Monticone has been harvesting onto CD for some years now.

Played and recorded entirely by Monticone, these songs consist of tiptoeing piano and scattered bass threaded together with guitar - sometimes played, sometimes plucked at and often bent into unique shapes of sound. There is a true improvised feel to these untitled songs that lilt and play, always in an undulating fashion and always ignoring the conventions of repetition. Mistakes and Palpitations is akin to a novel, filled with twists, turns and vivid landscapes but also possessing with a storyline that's there for you to write yourself into.

Those who find the expanses of Mick Turner, Domenico DeClario or Lorren Conners a wonderful respite from the world should take shelter in Monticone's songs because, like a mild opiate, the ability of the music here to wash away one's aches and pains is wholly refreshing. The key to, not only the music here, but to Kahl Monticone's playing, is space. You won't find a cluttered moment over the course of the album's half-hour - whether it's the distances of tides on endless beaches, the horizon of the ocean in the distance or the purple moutains that frame deserted landscapes just out of focus, it's the gift of space to breathe as much as music that makes this album one to enjoy again and again.

**** Alex Gillies

12 x 12 works on paper

2009 Album Review by Mats Gustafsson from Broken Face

On the lesser known side of the scale we have Kahl Monticone and his self-released Mistakes and Palpitations. As a matter of fact I don’t really know anything about this fellow besides that he’s from Brisbane, Australia and given my personal sonic connections to that city it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that this is right up my alley. Subtle piano playing and scattered bass walk alongside a meandering river of open-ended guitarscapes to stunning effect. The improvised sound sculptures form a gentle curve towards the delicate sonic equilibrium, but instead of taking the shortest route Monticone takes some time to fully explore the space within his pieces which makes these recordings work like a gravitational pull, glacially taking the listener to the conclusion. The whole thing is mournful and melancholic, but the beauty and elegance that lies within the guitar notes is just as impressive. This is the sound of an endless beach or of the morning sun slowly finding its way into the hidden valley. Very few are able to create this sort of sublime and eternal beauty with so little but if you need companions Loren MazzaCane Connors and Scott Tuma come close.


2007 Paris Transatlantic Album Review

There's a practicality to the title of this record that understates its worth and measure. Kahl Monticone, a long serving member of the Brisbane rock underground, has developed a language on guitar loaded with skilfully deployed actions that drift from technical accuracy to spatial compositional excellence. Recorded to bring out much of the character of the instrument, including a richly detailed audio image of the strings (as much as the tones that follow their strumming), Solo Nylon String Acoustic Guitar assumes a pensive quality over the course of its ten pieces, each of which enquires into the melodic possibilities of the instrument. Most impressive are "four", which leaves a series of open chords to waver amid clusters of pitches, and "eight", a more picturesque sound tale, generous in movement and scaling a variety of playing styles. The rustling of Monticone's clothing emerges from time to time, adding a sense of the "person" to the musical space. Effortless, handsome and ultimately charming.