Exposé Online banner

Steve Tibbetts — The Fall of Us All
(ECM 1527, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01

The Fall of Us All Cover artSteve is back with his first solo offering since 1990's Big Map Idea. For the uninitiated, this Minnesota guitarist's music is truly in a league of its own, anything from a swirling maelstrom of multitracked guitars, hand drums, kalimba (though not featured on this album), tape-loops and percussion, to ethereal quiet acoustic guitars in dissonant interference patterns (typified by 1982's Northern Song). On this release, ideas are frequently worked out behind backdrops of heavy feedback, voices, and under heavier-than-usual percussive assault; for those familiar with his earlier work, the intensity here is comparable to his 1986 offering Exploded View, yet with greater variation and refinement. Marc Anderson, percussionist with Tibbetts since the late 70s, is featured more prominently here than any other album to date. In a very free form and seemingly unstructured way, each track connects a series of moments related only by abstract sonic textures, yet every one of the album's eleven titles has a distinct focus, with its energy concentrated in that area. This music is challenging, yet not difficult; those who are not familiar with Tibbetts' music may require a few listens before its subtleties are appreciated, yet this album is probably as good a place as any to start. Its only fault - and only a fault in the overview of all of Tibbetts output - is that this album only further refines the styles he embarked on almost ten tears ago, and doesn't really reach out into any new and unexplored territory. Once a master of unpredictability, there is plenty of great music here, but no major surprise.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 3, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paolo Angeli - Tibi – Part concert, part love letter to an instrument, this is a fascinating piece of work. Recorded in Bologna, Italy in 2009, this is a one-man concert by Paolo Angeli on a highly modified Sardinian...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues