Exposé Online banner

Steve Tibbetts — Natural Causes
(ECM 1951, 2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Natural Causes Cover artOn first listen, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that Natural Causes might be a collection of out-takes from Tibbetts' 1982 album Northern Song, his very first LP for ECM. Indeed, the feeling is very similar, driven by introspective and spacious acoustic improvisations that celebrate fragmentary melodies and intermittent bursts of intensity, where the absence of sound is every bit as important as the elemental fabric of guitar, percussion and kalimba that makes up the dreamy concepts that make up the thirteen titles here. One important difference is that while the earlier album centered on longer pieces, most of what's here could be thought of as vignettes that often barely last over a minute or two (although there are several that stretch out a bit more). His playing style is immediately recognizable, which seems to channel the essence of Hendrix by way of John Fahey, and even in this near-total acoustic setting there are few moments where even a listener familiar only with his electric work wouldn't pick out some of the stylistic quirks that are uniquely his own. Percussionist Marc Anderson, who has been Tibbetts' primary sideman since the late 70s is the only other player here, and even at that his contributions are spare. Those who only know the guitarist’s more recent electric work will be in for a nice surprise.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hiromi's Sonicbloom - Time Control – Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara's previous releases have all borne the name "Hiromi" and basically consisted of her standing trio with bassist Tony Grey and drummer Martin Valihora. Guitarist...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues