Pure Imagination, No Country by Dave Harrington GroupRelease date: February 1, 2019
Label: Yeggs Records
To use inspiration derived from Miles Davis electric years and use the manipulations of guitar sounds as your basis certainly requires pure imagination as one element, the one guitarist and producer Dave Harrington stresses in the title of Pure Imagination, No Country, his second album release.
As you might expect, such pure imagination requires a parallel set of skills, not only on the part of the main player, but those that are a part of such a music project, and on the evidence of this albums, Harrington has both of these elements covered. For one, his guitar skills that range from the tone manipulation capabilities of say, Eivind Aarseth, on brief tracks like ‘Well’ and ‘Dreams Field’ or touches reminiscent of Krautrock master that is Michael Rother on tracks like “I Woke Up’ certainly cover the personal skills part.
For two, the cast of players that includes the likes of Will Shore or Jaga Jazzist multi-instrumentalist Lars Homtveth is definitely up to Harrington’s levels of playing and at the same time cover that no (just one) country part of the title.
On the other hand, skills for just their own sake don’t necessarily produce good music. If you want to make a comparison to sports, sure you can have perfect skills to play football, but if you don’t score goals or your team doesn’t win, if you don’t come up with music that makes sense, what’s the point?
Luckily, Harrington has that point covered too, as his compositions have both head and tail and serve the purpose of telling a musical tale, whether it is in the brevity of tracks like ‘Neoarctic Organs’ or the elongated ‘Patch One’, where his fascination for the likes of Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, heard in Darkside, his previous musical incarnation.
Covering a wide musical field from electric Miles to meandering fields of Krautrock and psychedelia with a guitar in your hand is a thorny field, and on Pure Imagination, No Country Dave Harrington and his group walk through it with no thorns stuck to their sides.