Austrian guitarist Alex Machacek is one of the more exciting young players in the fusion world. He sounds like a cross between Allan Holdsworth and Mike Miller, in my opinion. Very dynamic phrasing, with great legato lines mixed in. [SIC] is his latest solo album, and it's a fantastic showcase of his writing and playing. This is one of the coolest fusion guitar albums I've heard in a long time. The writing is sometimes dense, in a Zappa sort of way, but the production itself is airy and light. There's lots of space. At the same time, the album is loaded with complex guitar lines, often played in unison with the drums, or other instruments (Machacek added the piano, oboe, sound effects, and various other instrumentation himself via computer samples). When I first heard this album, it hit me the same way Michael Landau's 'Tales From The Bulge' did when I first heard it. Though Tales is a completely different album stylistcally, that combination of hip writing, great guitar tones, and smooth production, made me want to play it all the time. [SIC] gave me that same "Man is this stuff cool!" sort of feeling.
Legendary drummer Terry Bozzio appears on 3 songs. According to the liner notes, 2 of those songs, 'Dijon Don' and '[SIC]', were Bozzio improvisations that Machacek then built his songs around. The result with 'Dijon Don' is one of the heaviest, "Zappaesque" things I've ever heard.
My favorite song on the album is 'Out of Pappenheim'. It's got a melody you can't get out of your head, and the rich-clean guitar tones are awesome. 'Austin Powers' (originally recorded on the BPM>Delete and Roll album with Bozzio) is also great. It features a nice, stretched out guitar solo with some good legato runs and sweeps. 'Yellow Pages' is another standout.
[SIC] was released through the Abstract Logix recording label, and you can obviously get it through their site. It's safe to say if you're a fan of The Guitar Channel stream and blog, you will love this album. Very highly recommended!
Terry Bozzio - Drums
Raphael Preuschl - Upright Bass
Herbert Pirker - Drums
Mario Lackner - Drums
Sumitra Nanjundan - Vocal (one track)
Randy Allar - commentary (one track)
Alex Machacek - Guitars "and everything else"