Arto Lindsay, self-taught corrosive guitar scratcher, might be the closest experimental noise has to a soul man. Since the late 1970s, when he unleashed one of the world’s greatest manifestations of—in the immortal words of Lester Bangs—“horrible noise” with his experimental rock trio DNA, one of the flag-bearers of the New York City's downtown No Wave zeitgeist — this vanguardist guitarist, singer, record producer and experimental composer has spent decades at the off-the-beaten sonic paths and colorful intersections of music creations and stage performances, including forging art-pop (a)tunes that melds koan-like poetry with the sophisticated Latin pop he grew up hearing while living in Brazil with his missionary parents. His heavy involvement, as both artist and producer, in a string of Tropicalia and Bossa records from the late 1980s onwards attest to his maverick, shape-shifting interests.
Most of Arto's songs bask in a lovely sonic tension, where the hushed intimacy of the melodies and vocals is battered by low-end grooves that shimmy with elegance but aren’t overcrowded by the singer’s gentle warble. The King of Skronk doesn’t play actual soul jams. Rather, his trademark iconoclastic guitar style is, kinda unsexy-sexy: rhythmic, atonal, full of discordant bursts and unseemly, metallic feels. But in a career that goes back more than 40 years, with help from a changing cast of instrumentalists and songwriters at the vanguard of various styles, including by his long-time collaborator Melvin Gibbs (once called "the greatest bassist in the world" by Time Out New York magazine), the pioneer “non-musician” Arto Lindsay has put a high premium on feelings, expressing universality of love and intimacy even while he’s bucking convention.
Arto Lindsay feat. Melvin Gibbs keywords:
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