on 21 September 2010
This is the 1976 debut album from 'Automatic Fine Tuning', and unfortunately their only album.
It's an instrumental guitar based album with the exeption of one short vocal song. The main track is 'The Great Panjandrum Wheel' which is in two parts and is separated by an track called 'Gladioli'
'The Great Panjandrum Wheel' consists of many changing sections of music which flow together as one complex continuous piece. The last track is a vocal piece titled 'Queen Of The Night'.
I was fortunate enough to have seen AFT back in 1977, and they performed the whole album brilliantly. The twin guitar parts played by Paul MacDonnell and Robert Cross are excellent throughout, and anyone who loves instrumental guitar based rock music will certainly love this album. I am a guitarist and have many instrumental guitar albums, and I can honestly say that this is one of the very best! The musicianship is excellent. The guitars parts are fluid and clear at all times, and ocassionally sound like early Wishbone Ash. There is one short section where effects are used to make both guitars sound like violins. The bass played by Trevor Darks is very good and can be heard clearly as it provides the bottom end while at the same time complementing the guitars perfectly - Trevor plays a Rickenbacker bass which was very popular at the time for this type of music, and has enough treble edge to cut through the mix. The drumming, played by Dave Ball, while not exceptional, does the job very well. All in all this is a brilliant instrumental album which I thoroughly recommend to all guitar lovers and rock fans.
on 27 November 2010
Two guitars, bass, percussion: no keyboards, synths or MIDI, virtually no vocals: yet perhaps the most complex and amazing rock album of all time. Forget the idea of "lead guitar" and "rhythm guitar": what we have here is astounding interplay between both guitars and the bass: think J.S. Bach with a fuzzbox at double speed. I was first knocked over by this album when it came out in 1976 - more than three decades later, it NEVER fails to have the same effect!