"Guitarist Az Samad has done it again with his solo album "in the deep night/electric poetry," achieving a stunning mix of virtuosic technique, creative improvisation, and sonic discovery. The album takes us through a meditative exploration of sound, each song a new story told directly through the guitar. Sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy this beautiful musical journey from beginning to end."
Carrie Jahde, Drummer, Composer, and Educator
[About The Album - by Az Samad]
It started with a guitar. Back in 2009, I met guitar builder William Jeffrey Jones at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival. That's also where I first tried the Proteus electric guitar that is now my main electric guitar. There's something special about finding an instrument that inspires your music. That led to my first solo electric guitar album 'the amsterdam recordings' in 2012. Now, in 2013 - I'm exploring electric guitar with live looping and guitar effects. You can check out the pedalboard here: www.azsamad.com/gear
The album is actually divided into 2 parts. The first half is entitled 'in the deep night' and is music meant for relaxation. The 2nd half is 'electric poetry'. This half is an exploration of multi-tracked electric guitar & live looping. There's one composed piece entitled 'an open mind' and the other tracks are all improvisations.
[in the deep night] Tracks 2-6
Inspired by nature, these improvised solo electric guitar pieces are meant to accompany inspirational words from yourself or people you admire.
The moods range from the gentle reflections of life in water to the subtle apparent darkness of the night. Two pieces, 'in space’ and ‘asteroid’ are explorations of outer space through atmospheric harmonics and low chordal textures. The closing piece, ‘thoughts that drift’ uses soft melodies that cycle interspersed with a louder recurring note. This parallels how our thoughts wander from what is important to us to the concerns of daily life.
I hope that this music will accompany your chosen words or inner thoughts.
[electric poetry] Tracks 1 & 7-10
These are layered electric guitar pieces. The pieces are darker in feel compared to the first half of the album.
Tracks 2-6 are solo electric fingerstyle guitar improvisations.
Tracks 7-9 are multi-tracked electric guitar improvisations.
Tracks 1 & 10 are live recordings of live looping & electric guitar. Track 1 is a composed piece & track 10 was improvised on the theme of "magic".
Track 1 recorded on 25 March 2013
Tracks 2-6 recorded on 13 February 2013
Tracks 7-9 recorded on 6 March 2013
Track 10 recorded 31 March 2013
[What people have been saying about the album]
"in the deep night/electric poetry" Mr. Az Samad achieved a unspoken words of sounds with great compositions and fearless journey into a new world form of expressions through his ideas that gives me an inspiring feeling to create an imaginary world of sounds, magnificent creation...”
Valtinho Anastácio, Vocalist & Percussionist
"I always love hearing Az’s new musical explorations and in this release he takes the listener on a wonderfully engaging series of improvisations – if you enjoy sweet sounding arpeggiated chords, looped textural guitars and introspective melodies then you’ll love this collection!"
Stuart Ryan, Fingerstyle Guitarist/Acoustic Columnist, Guitar Techniques.
“Az Samad's new CD, "In the Deep Night / Electric Poetry" is a dreamer's paradise of contemplative meditation and thoughtful reflections . My favorite track is "Asteroid" as it portrays the ethereal emotions at the heart of this recording. With abstracted harmonies, slowly paced rhythms, ringing tones and subtle dissonances, Az's solo guitar embraces the peaceful beauty of traversing the omniverse while looking out across dimensions of both time and space, admiring the inherent wonder of the universe in which we are all an integral part.”
Garrison Fewell, Author, Educator, Composer-Improviser
“These ethereal songs paint the listener with starlight. Songs of the mind and spirit, they allow us to experience the majesty of space and the depths of the heart.”
Omar Musa, poet and rapper
"Guitarist Az Samad's latest album, ‘in the deep night/electric poetry’, is a masterpiece of different moods and textures on electric guitar. While listening I found myself thinking many of the tracks would make great music for a film. A personal favorite for me is the emotive track, Chorale.”
Anton Emery, Celtic Fingerstyle Guitarist
"By combining melodic improvisation with generous use of effects and other sound tools, Az is able to create a listening experience that focuses on texture and atmosphere. This is music for poets, or maybe just for your inner poet."
Mason Razavi, Guitarist-Composer
“Az Samad's new all electric guitar album, "in the deep night/electric poetry," is something I've been looking forward to for a while. Much of the first half of the album is very melodic, reflective and textural. It's as if you're sitting right in front of his guitar in the same room, listening to his fingers touch the strings, creating melodies, patterns and harmonics in a very close and personal way. If this was on vinyl and we were about to listen to side 2, Az begins by introducing new and exciting textures. This is where the ride takes a gentle turn, exploring new sonic territory. Progressively, things become more curious and visual, with the use of distortion, volume swells and other effects, all done in a tasteful way. All the while, Az displays a unique subtlety and sense of wonder, complimented by his proficiency on his instrument and his ability to present each piece with a fine precision. You always hear people says things like "this album sounds best through headphones" but I think this may really be one of those albums truly deserving of such a statement. Put on your headphones, and listen privately, and you will feel as though Az has created a personal soundtrack, just for you.”
Eric Hausmann, Multi-Instrumentalist & Composer
"It has been my real pleasure to have known Az and his playing for about 8 years now, and to have witnessed the development of a uniquely distinctive style. Recently he’s been experimenting with looping and effects pedals, and this album bears testament to those explorations.
The decision to record a whole album of solo electric guitar with no other instruments is very brave. Az has achieved the impossible here by creating something fresh and interesting that bears repeated listening.
The album is split into two separate parts - more meditative chordal fingerstyle pieces, and others with overdubbed distorted jazz-rock solos and heavy use of effects.
The first thing that strikes you is what a wonderfully recorded album this is. The Proteus guitar sounds beautiful, whether clean or heavily processed. Az’s choice of (and use) of effects is refreshing and incredibly effective. There are a great variety of tones and sounds, which provides constant surprise and interest.
Some of the pieces develop into surprising directions over a short looped riff, others demonstrate Az’s inventive use of chords, and a harmonic sophistication that is always accessible but has a depth which bears repeated listening.
As with much of Az’s music, what is astonishing is the degree to which it is freely improvised. Many of the pieces sound like they were fully written out before the recording, when in fact they just developed as the tape rolled. This is part of Az’s genius, and makes for fascinating music.
Personal favourites? I love the use of effects on the first and last tracks (An Open Mind and In the Hall of words), and Chorale is wonderful in its Frisell-esque simplicity.
A tremendous album, which I’m going to enjoy listening to for a long time, thank you Az!"
Dylan Kay, Guitarist-Educator
“Az's latest work is mind bending in an awe-electrifying way.”
Patrick Lim, Founder of Greenroom136
"Electric Poetry" is just what it says. Soulful, like meditation done to you - but with an "open mind". From the contemplative musing on the space between the notes, to the intense angularity of sound, to the delicious quasi-3rd-Stream "chorale" you'll be transported into Az's exploratory & rich textured sound-world that is both stream of consciousness and considered attentive direction. You can hear him listening acutely to the process of becoming. This new voice of Az's is more about "being" than "doing" and the world needs it...Switch off the lights, & enjoy the invitation...
Helen Sherrah Davies, 5-String Violinist, Composer, Assistant Professor at Berklee College of Music
Az Samad is the kind of guitarist who can translate his acoustic style to an electric medium as an enhancement rather than an overstatement. We hear this in its purest form on the five new age tracks, all solo guitar, all statements of subtle flow. Of these, "Reflections on Water" presents hypnotic ostinati of tense and resolving chords, conceptually simple yet pulling us in with deep fascination. "Asteroid" feels stark with chord changes at unexpected intervals, beginning with the puzzled surprise of a first listen to Syd Barrett or early Lou Reed, and then resolving into a stately but unsettled progression as the arpeggios fill in. The five jazz and free improvisation tracks are seasoned with the rock flavor of electric guitar, two or sometimes three parts layered together via looping pedals. Of these, "In the Hall of Words" feels the most thematically complete, a rock groove emerging from a gentle bass-and-harmonics attack, with minor notes and pairs arriving on treble strings over the muted bass. These notes leave vapor trails of sustained, processed tone, building into a sad melody with real bite. If not for the drift into ragged and wavery, this piece could almost serve as a movie's closing theme. (There will, of course, be many, many sequels to that movie.)
Alan K. Lipton of Information Sickness
Az Samad's intensely personal explorations (in the deep night/electric poetry) are evocative, lyrical, mystical and beautifully contemplative - reminiscent of long solitary walks through magical landscapes. His mastery and musical maturity are indisputable. Not an album you might want to dance to (unless you're a post-modern choreographer) but one you will most certainly enjoy living with and getting to know and love.
"When discussing a largely instrumental record, the term 'lyrical' isn't one that you would expect to hear all that often. But when Az Samad plays his guitar, the sensitivity and seamlessness in his phrasing, it feels more like you are being serenaded by an otherworldy voice than listening to fingers dancing across six strings. It is absolutely lyrical. He is a true master of his craft, and this record presents yet another compelling reason as to why As Samad is one of Malaysia's most important musicians"
Gabriel Lynch, Australian troubadour
"Listening to Az Samad’s In The Deep Of The Night/Electric Poetry Album is like watching a painter express his feelings on a blank canvas… you close your eyes and in the dark you can feel the expression of emotion like brushstrokes crafting your imagination. The guitar melodies and sounds are purposefully chosen to take the listener on an intimate, personal journey with the music."
Jennifer Thompson, Malaysian Music Industry Activist & Event Producer
"Like a proverbial chilli, the electric guitar adds sonic bite and newfound ambient textures to Az's noted melodic fingerstlying. Comforting and familiar like a old pair boots but with a new shine and added zest that makes a good companion for long journeys."
Azmyl Yunor, Malaysian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, academic and writer
"I must admit that I was quite surprised during the first listen. I own a few of Az Samad's previous albums and I have seen his performances. This album is completely different from my impression of his amazing finger style performances. He tells a story in a very simple and direct way without the flashier approach. A few simple chords going through effects pedals created a very poetic image, giving listeners endless space for imagination."
Keith Tan Tyzz Chau, singer & songwriter for Platform 11