Mark McGuire: A Young Persons Guide to Mark McGuire Review
I imagine I am not the only person who was bowled over by the amazing album Living With Yourselfby Emeralds guitarist Mark McGuire who proceeded to search out everything I could find from this amazing young artist. Unfortunately I found that the LP, which was released on Editions Megos last year, was pretty much the only thing the prolific artist had released in mass format. He had lots of 7”s, CD-R’s and tapes, but all were limited run and are now out of print. Until now. Luckily it seems like enough people were looking for these releases, which promoted Editions Megos to put together the very awesome project A Young Persons Guide to Mark McGuire, a two CD collection of the best work he had done prior to Living With Yourself.
While I am guessing most “Young People” wouldn’t make it through the first (17 minute) song, ambient/noise music fans are going to eat up this amazing collection. Those familiar with the soaring soundscapes of Living With Yourselfwill be right at home with the ambient guitar and synth journeys that McGuire takes listeners on. In my spins with the material on A Young Persons Guide…., I found myself slightly missing the found sound tape interludes from Living With Yourself, but the music as recorded is still pretty amazing. The guitars are massive and the solos can bring you to your knees with a “Maggot Brain” like emotional intensity, all while still having moments of sonic minimalism that shouldn’t be possible from a guy still in his early 20’s. The sheer volume of solid material on this collection proves, if nothing else, that McGuire is a consistent, bordering on prodigious, recorded of his favored type of music. The record, which spans 2 CD’s (unfortunately no vinyl for this one yet) is the kind of record that can weasel its way inside of the listener and cause hours to pass in a memorizing haze.
I am sure this record, like Living With Yourself, isn’t going to get the attention or praise that it deserves, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be recognized for the amazing material contained within it. McGuire, both on his own and with Emeralds, is creating some of the most interesting and arresting noise and ambient music around today, as documented on this collection. Hopefully this release will help rope in a few more listeners and will help hold us over until McGuire or Emeralds release their next voyage into ambient, melodic, droning and downright jaw dropping musical landscapes that they have proven to be able to do so well.