This new duo record from Ryan Pate and Andre Matos is one of those moody explorations by creative jazz guitarists having a conversation about harmony & life.
The opening track “Dreaming of tiny worlds” is introspective and harmonically interesting. Then, we go into the kind of sudden hits and surprises with “Coaxial”.
Track 3 “Deep sea floating” is a mix of harmonics and is more spacious, reflecting on the title which is appropriate.
With “Capillary escape“, there’s a mix of scrappy string noises and shorter phrases that bounce off each other. This is like ear candy for improvising experimental guitarists. The mix is actually really nice to listen to! Kudos to André Matos for the mix and mastering of the record.
Moving on to “Moving particles“, we get the contrast of percussive notes against low register chord & sneaky harmonics. The mood is the kind of stuff that would work really well at a New York art gallery or to accompany deeply philosophical installation art reflecting on the state of the world. The interaction between both of the guitarists are musical & I enjoy listening to this. It’s experimental without being inaccesible. I also liked the longer more chromatic phrases that go against the sustained chords.
On “Neurotactics“, there is some micro “Ben Monder-isms” happening with the kind of harmony and textures. The guitar tone here works, nice thick tones with the musical conversation between the two improvisors.
“Inside” continues with the existing mood, talking back and forth.
On “dis-cursive“, there is more of that textural thing happening & some of this reminds me of some David Tronzo type of stuff. The slowly arpeggiated chords work well here… and the harmonics are a perfect end for the piece.
“Ancient ethics” brings forth more low & mid-register arguments. It really feels like this track is where I’d like the album to go more into. Chords go up and down, little notes appear, some “almost blues” ideas and “Americana” vibes make cameo appearances, enough to make you ask whether it will go into Frisell territory but not enough to make a roadtrip to the Midwest. Since this track is one of the longer tracks at 5 minutes and 5 seconds, there’s more to digest and take in compared to the other micro tracks.
Closing the record, “Arimokomak” scratches into our ears with little percussive sounds. It has some tingly high register notes and some of that scratchy chords giving us a pad for rapidly uncomfortable melodic phrases on top. As the chords fade away, our little adventure into Micro Life ends.
All in all, this is an interesting record for fans of this kind of improvisational setting. The album captures the guitarists playing well. Perhaps this might be the beginning of other records for this duo. Personally I feel that this of playing is worth documenting over years, it get really interesting when we get to hear the musicians do more albums together & see what they come up with over time. I look forward to more music from Ryan and Andre… maybe even a well recorded video of a live set of them playing this kind of music. We’ll see!
You can buy this digital album on their bandcamp page here: https://patematos.bandcamp.com/album/micro-life
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About the album
Music of imaginative, inner landscapes emerges between California guitarist Ryan Pate and NYC/Lisbon guitarist André Matos. These two distinct improvisational voices find a natural affinity for dialogues in texture and color, discovering new paths of nuanced, musical narratives.
Thoughtful melodies co-exist and blend with the extended sonic possibilities of their instruments. The opening “Dreaming of Tiny Worlds” unfolds a story in waves of shifting harmonies, while the contrasting “Coaxial” is a frenetic, tightly wound debate. Micro Life contains many worlds in one.
released October 7, 2022
Ryan Pate – guitar
André Matos – guitar
Recorded in NYC March 2022
Mixed and mastered by André Matos.
Cover artwork by Ryan Pate.
Design by André Matos.
Discos Voadores 02