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MP3 Gabriel Tavares - Cipher

Shades of literary trance-folk sketched with droney guitar tabla and painterly lyrics.

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Power-folk, ROCK: Acoustic

Best known as the guitarist of Plastic Nebraska and the Jennie Stearns Band, Gabriel Tavares stepped out in 2001 as an exciting solo artist with the release of "Cipher," a homemade legend of symbols and signs which attempt to limn that part of human cognition where shadowy memories and blurred associations circle, endlessly informing every tick and gesture of what we are.

Cipher grew out of a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist, Steve Curtis of the band HEM on DreamWorks Records (https://www.tradebit.com). On this record Steve plays tabla, an instrument he has been studying for several years in Nepal. Also featured on this record is the producer of Plastic Nebraska''s last two records, Matt Saccuccimorano, working not only the faders, but also playing drums and xylorimba, along with a string arrangement by Judy Hyman of the Horseflies, mbira by Sim Redmond and backing vocals by Uniit Carruyo of the Sim Redmond Band.

In 2003 a power trio was founded with long-time band mate Brian Dudla and multi-instrumentalist AJ Strauss. Creative intensity is what this band is all about. Full-throated vocal harmonies, and unconventional rhythms are the core of our sound but we,re not afraid to hit a distortion pedal, pitch shifter or loop du jour.

What Critics have to say about Cipher:

"Best Solo CD of 2001"
"Best male vocalist of 2001"

--Jim Catalono, Ithaca Journal

"The music on this disc is a testament to the creative potential of an individual brave enough to explore his inner muse without shying away from any aspect of it. No, there is nothing shy about this disc at all. The urgent lyrics evoke images of the natural world using poetry that is like a modern form of haiku. Brilliant Tabla playing by Steven Curtis and traditional south Indian vocals by Sri Priya Sundararajan on several tracks fit perfectly into Gabe''s harmonic sphere. Sim Redmond and Uniit Carruyo also lend their talents to this project to brilliant effect. All this is rounded out by a few tracks with thundering drum and bass work by the team of Matt Saccuccimorano and Brian Dozoretz. Then there is the guitar work, which of course is not very much like anything you''ve heard before. Gabe''s single acoustic guitar has the power of Jimmy Page''s famous (and usually electric) "guitar army" sound. There is a drone and there is a melody- sometimes stabbing into the sky and others strolling through the hills and valleys of a few of the more gentle numbers. Given it''s timelessness and intensity I think this music might stay with us for a long time to come..."

--Nate Richardson, John Brown''s Body

"There''s nothing to decode about the quality of Gabriel Tavares'' new album "Cipher." The album is packed with poetic lyrics and a diverse range of musical instruments. From mbira to xylorimba, Tavares delivers his sincerely bold messages with the help of several talented musicians.
"Whether it''s the soft vocals of Unit on tracks like "Loom" or Judy Hyman''s soothing string arrangements on "Apple," "Cipher" is the kind of album that begs to be played on a sunny Ithaca day.
"Tavares'' personal and powerful lyrics of unification, dissolution, and childhood memories saturate the air with strong feeling. Although Tavares features many instruments, listeners should be sure to catch his renowned guitar work on songs like "Sleepwalk."
"Sim Redmond, among others, makes an appearance on this solid solo album that proves Tavares is as a gifted guitarist on his own as in Plastic Nebraska."

--Derek Smith, Ithaca Times

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