Bruce Kaphan | Hybrid

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Hybrid

by Bruce Kaphan

Following in the footsteps and moving beyond Slider- Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar, Hybrid consists of 12 new original compositions featuring the unique pedal steel guitar sound of Bruce Kaphan. Steel guitar music for the 21st Century!
Genre: New Age: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Pohaka La
6:11 album only
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2. Maya
3:48 album only
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3. Gleaming Towers
3:11 album only
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4. Senbazuru
2:33 album only
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5. Loops For Larry
5:02 album only
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6. Arctic Front
5:01 album only
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7. Okanagan Jubilee
6:19 album only
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8. Dustbowl Revisited
5:48 album only
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9. Legacy
3:24 album only
clip
10. Silenzi
3:33 album only
clip
11. Renewal
2:22 album only
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12. There But 4
4:31 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Whereas Slider was almost entirely a solo effort, this time Bruce is joined by Jake Shimabukuro, Jeffrey Wash, Kent Darnielle, Salar Nader, Matt Brubeck, Real Vocal String Quartet, David Immerglück, John Loose, Paul Olguin and Karl Perazzo. Fans of Slider will recognize some familiar sounds, and some new sonic territory. Of Hybrid, Thomas Dolby says: "Bruce's music truly soars, transcending genres, redefining everything we know about the pedal steel guitar. A beautiful, feel-good album, full of intriguing twists and turns." In the May, 2010 issue of Guitar World Magazine, legendary guitarist Jeff Beck is quoted as having said "There's a guy now, Bruce Kaphan, who is amazing."

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Reviews


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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Bruce Kaphan kicks it up a notch on his second album by augmenting his already unique pedal steel guitar stylings with a full band. In addition to accompanying himself on keyboards and acoustic guitar, Kaphan is joined by other musicians on ukulele, electric guitar, bass, and drums. A string quartet also joins the proceedings.

Most listeners identify the twang of the pedal steel guitar with country and western music. Thanks to Kaphan’s creativity and originality, that perception is a thing of the past. The sound of the pedal steel guitar is still unmistakable, although Kaphan uses it in completely different contexts. For example, he plays leads and rhythms on pedal steel that are traditionally played by electric guitar.

On the standout track “Gleaming Towers,” the pedal steel sounds almost like a slow-burn electric guitar solo. However, at the same time, it also sounds like a sitar, especially with the accompaniment of tablas. While the song features elements of both Western and Indian music, it does not belong fully in either camp. Rather, it is cosmological, like much of the album.

Other memorable tunes include the rockabilly rhythms of “Loops for Larry,” the nostalgic and idyllic tones of “Legacy,” and the bright, feel-good optimism of “There But 4.”

The album has the cumulative effect of Patsy Cline wandering into the Twilight Zone, and the resulting Hybrid is exhilarating.
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REVIEWS NEW AGE

Un álbum sorprendente, apasionado y expresivo!.
Una de las sorpresas más agradables que he recibido en los últimos días es el último trabajo del productor, ingeniero musical y compositor Bruce Kaphan, Hybrid. Bruce no es un recién llegado a la música, ha colaborado con innumerables artistas, de los que podemos destacar: Jewel, R.E.M, o el gran John Lee Hooker. Hybrid es un trabajo riquísimo en cuanto a sonidos, se pueden distinguir diferentes instrumentos: Cello, tablas, ukelele, violines, viola, bajo, cuerdas, piano y congas; aunque la voz principal de los doce cortos que se incluyen este CD, es el Steel Guitar de Bruce; un tipo de guitarra eléctrica originaria de Hawai, formada por dos o más mástiles en posición horizontal. Un instrumento poco común, que alcanzó su auge acompañando a algunas bandas folk, rock o blues entre las décadas de los 30 y los 70. Bruce le ofrece un interesante papel en el estilo New Age, inusual, pero a la vez acertado.

"Pōhaka lā" abre el CD. Un track inspirado en un atardecer en Hawai, donde los rayos del sol, se abrían paso entre las densas nubes dibujando un bello escenario, donde el oscuro de las nubes se une al cálido color de los rayos del sol, un atardecer increíble. El ukelele de Jake Shimabukuro y el bajo fretless de Jeffrey Wash acompañan a la sedante melodía que reproduce Bruce en el pedal steel. Una pieza de curso lento, con un extraordinario poder de relajación. Me encanta!.

De carácter cálido es "Maya", donde las notas del piano de Kent Darnielle y el expresivo sonido del steel guitar forman un tándem extraordinario. La conversación entre ambos instrumentos es fascinante, creando una melodía dotada de una gran delicadeza.

Con "Gleaming Towers" comienza el ritmo. A esta pieza se le añade el sonido de la percusión india de Salar Nader, el bajo fretless y un teclado synth. Un ritmo de tempo rápido pero de golpe suave que acompaña a la inquietante melodía que reproduce Bruce en el pedal steel. Una pieza, que aunque no es excesivamente rápida, posee un agradable sentimiento de bienestar.

La guitarra es la base para el steel guitar de Bruce en "Senbazuru". Un tema que originariamente era un solo de guitarra que Tom Size grabó en el año 82 y al que posteriormente, Bruce le añadiría el sonido de su steel guitar. Senbazuru es el nombre que los japoneses dan a un símbolo de la paz, compuesto por 1000 grullas de Origami (papel). Bruce narra que fue, mientras paseaba cuando una música sonaba en su cabeza, corrió a grabarla y su esposa, le apuntó el título, Senbazuru, recordando el desastre de Nagasaki hace más de sesenta años. La pieza es de carácter esperanzador y emotiva, donde la guitarra rasguea poderosos acordes que acompañan al cordial steel guitar. Una de mis favoritas!.

"Loops for Larry" es un tema dedicado a su vecino, una pieza que fue el último tema grabado para este álbum. Un bajo suena de fondo creando una base repetitiva para la melodía hipnótica que crea el pedal steel de Bruce, que hasta pasado el minuto, no reproduce la melodía principal y que se repite de principio a fin, mientras un synth reproduce un misterioso sonido ambiental. Una pieza interesante y desconcertante al mismo tiempo!.

Otra de mis preferidas es "Arctic Front". Es asombroso como el steel guitar reproduce un solo mientras el chelo de Matt Brubeck y la percusión de Salar acompañan a Bruce a partir del minuto y medio. Con un fuerte carácter oriental gracias a las tablas, la melodía es profunda y misteriosa, donde un lamento es acompañado por la rápida percusión y el sutil golpe del chelo. Me encanta!.

"Okanagan Jubilee" es la pieza más extensa de este trabajo, más de seis minutos y la pieza más completa en cuanto a número de instrumentos. Podemos distinguir un cuarteto de cuerdas compuesto por: el chelo de Jess Ivry, la viola de Dina Maccabee y los violines de Alisa Rose e Irene Sazer. Compuesta e inspirada en Okanagan, en una estación de esquí de Canadá, la melodía que dibuja Bruce con el steel guitar se une en armonía con el cuarteto de cuerdas. Es impresionante como instrumentos de estilos, aparentemente opuestos, pueden unirse para dar vida a una melodía dotada de una pasión increíble!. Otra de mis favortias!.

"Dustbowl Revisited", podríamos decir que es la pieza más étnica de este trabajo y también las más desconcertante. Sonidos misteriosos como el lloro de la guitarra eléctrica con el e-bow o el penetrante estruendo del didgeridoo le aportan esta pieza un gran sentimiento de pérdida y dolor. Otra de mis favoritas!.

Sencillamente emocionante es "Legacy". Con una mirada al pasado, Bruce ha dado vida a una melodía nostálgica, donde el steel guitar es acompañado por un synth. Quizás la pieza más melódica y sentida de este CD. Un momento para el recuerdo; la foto del bisabuelo de Bruce (Wolf) es la imagen de esta tierna pieza. Otra de mis preferidas!.

Nuevamente, en "Silenzi" el dúo lo forman Bruce al pedal stell y Kent Darnielle al piano. Un tema bellísimo, perfecto para la introspección. Es asombroso, una alianza perfecta entre ambos instrumentos, fuera de lo común. Me encanta!.

"Renewal" es un track inspirado en una lluvia de otoño que Bruce presenció después de un largo verano. Un solo de pedal steel da vida a una melodía expresiva y apasionada, donde no se extraña en absoluto a los demás instrumentos. Toda la sensibilidad y emoción la transmite el toque de las cuerdas del steel guitar. Otra de mis favoritas.

Con un toque más folk, Bruce nos presenta la última pieza de este álbum, "There But". El track más alegre y optimista de este trabajo. Por primera vez, Karl Perazzo acompaña con sus congas y Paul Olguin con su bajo eléctrico. Un perfecto final, risueño, para este estupendo CD!. Mi preferida sin duda alguna!. Wow!.

Realmente ha sido una muy grata sorpresa recibir el último trabajo de Bruce Kaphan. Hybrid es una música increíble, jamás pude imaginar que llegaría el día en que escucharía al pedal steel guitar como instrumento solista en el New Age y realmente estoy encantado!. Un sonido distinto y nuevo, que se aleja de lo habitual en este estilo, pero que sorprende; es asombroso como este se une a los otros instrumentos en perfecta armonía. Con una expresión alucinante y un apasionado toque en su instrumento, Bruce ha creado un CD sorprendente, interesantísimo y muy muy recomendable.
reviewsnewage.com
17/06/10
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
It is always a treat to be exposed to a musician who is a master of his or her instrument. When that musician is also an innovative artist who puts his or her instrument into an unexpected context, the treat takes on an additional “wow!” factor. Traditionally, the pedal steel guitar has been a staple of country and Hawaiian music, but Bruce Kaphan has created a unique niche for the pedal steel via his original compositions and unconventional approach. On his 2000 debut CD "Slider - Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar," Kaphan played most of the music himself. On "Hybrid," he includes a very impressive group of musicians on such diverse instruments as cello, ukulele, piano, fretless bass, tabla, congas, and strings. The music is also diverse, ranging from melodic to more conceptual and experimental work. The album as a whole is far from “business as usual,” but it is indeed a fascinating ride!

“Pohaka la” begins the album with a piece inspired by sunbeams poking through clouds in Hawaii. Ukulele and fretless bass join the pedal steel to paint a vivid but serene portrait of the experience. “Maya” is a piece for pedal steel and piano composed and performed by pianist Kent Darnielle. It’s a very unusual combination of instruments, but Kaphan and Darnielle make it work beautifully. “Gleaming Towers” brings in tabla and fretless bass along with atmospheric keyboard sounds to create one of the more ambient tracks - effortless and floating. “Senbazuru” has a fascinating history that I’ll try to condense. The guitar track was recorded by Tom Size in 1982. While taking a walk and reflecting on the anniversary of the bomb blast in Nagasaki, Kaphan started hearing this track in his head along with a pedal steel accompaniment which he raced home to record. Kaphan’s wife then named it “Senbazuru,” which is Japanese for 1000 origami cranes, a symbol of peace. “Okanagan Jubilee” was composed during a ski trip in Canada, and is written for pedal steel and string quartet - a very different sound, to be sure! “Dust Bowl Revisited” is very challenging, but given that the stimulus for writing it was the fear “that with the amount of carbon dioxide being dumped into the atmosphere, and the inability of human beings to get organized over anything other than finding new ways to kill each other (and any other species in their path), Bleakest House is on the horizon...” (quoted from notes on the music on Kaphan’s website), the discordance and feelings of chaos and confusion are absolutely right. “Silenzi” is a second piece composed for piano and pedal steel by Kent Darnielle. Quiet and thoughtful, it’s another beauty! “Renewal” is the first time Kaphan has recorded a solo pedal steel piece. The sound is lovely, and I hope this is the first of many solo pieces! “There But 4” ends this album a bit more traditionally with a happy, contented piece with a country flavor. Great stuff!

"Hybrid" provides an eclectic and very enjoyable assortment of musical experiences. Check it out!
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John P. Olsen NewAgeMusicWorld.Com / NewAgeMusic.nu

Bruce Kaphan Creates a Hybrid
Pedal steel guitar is a stringed instrument that often receives no respect in relation to New Age music in part because the instrument is often classified in the Country and Hawaiian music scene only, but believe me the ground rules have changed and this is primarily due to one man. Bruce Kaphan from California has taken petal string guitar to a whole new level in New Age music for years, making this instrumental transition not only a surprising one but a dazzling one, giving even music purists a reason to love pedal steel guitar with his earlier release Slider and now Hybrid. The reason behind his new adaptation in an otherwise strict classification was pretty much the colorful sound quality it provides and a love of exploratory music. What many find interesting is that Bruce Kaphan began his early career as a studio technician, engineer and producer for many highly recognized artists in other genres, where he either played a role with the recording production of their album or performed with artists such as REM, Jewel, The Black Crowes, Thomas Dolby, John Lee Hooker and many others. During his early days in San Francisco he was a member of Indie / Alternative band American Music Club and his music has been featured on film scores and television broadcasts. Hybrid is an album with 12 original song compositions by Bruce Kaphan who makes it crystal clear right from first track Pohaka La that you are listening to a unique composite of exotic blending with unrivaled beauty harvested from another cross section in the vast field of music and quickly becomes apparent this new emerging beauty will remain a lasting entity. Songs like piano enhanced Maya and guitar renditions in Senbazuru & Loops for Larry are displayed in a new manner and show the instrument as an appealing choice while clearing a new path during improvisation in light ambience while also reproducing a well conceived follow up for his Slider – Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar 2000 release. Pedal steel guitar happens to be the prominent instrument in Hybrid and a natural selection after listening to songs like Gleaming Towers, Legacy, Silenzi & Renewal, which breaks new ground by classifying the instrument as a main entry melody contender versus a mere supporting instrument. In an age where hybrids in all shapes and forms are becoming more relevant daily, the new Hybrid album by Bruce Kaphan becomes a natural contender when placed side by side among traditional New Age albums. The lighter exploratory metrical patterns of Jazz, Hawaiian & Country in Hybrid are a prized natural attraction that shows well beside other music forms while earning the respect it deserves. Bruce enlisted numerous artists on this album including, Jake Shimabukuro, Jeffrey Wash, Kent Darnielle, Salar Nader, Matt Brubeck, Real Vocal String Quartet, David Immerglück, John Loose, Paul Olguin and Karl Perazzo and Real Vocal String Quartet that is featured in Okanagan Jubilee.
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