Virtuosity isn't always bad. In the hands of most, it leads to complete schlock. Don't believe me? Just walk into any guitar shop. But in the case of Eric Arn, it provides all the tools he needs to create compelling and in-depth guitar music. This release, his third solo effort, consists of 8 tracks of both improvised and composed acoustic guitar work, and finishes with a lush, perfectly titled (Greets the Dawn) electric guitar drone-space.
At times, Eric sounds like a cross between Django Reinhardt and Derek Bailey, and at other times, he's forging his own brand of Americana (via Austria), with Eastern, psych, and experimental influences, echoing the sounds of John Fahey, John Martyn, and Popol Vuh. Ranking right up there with releases by contemporaries such as Richard Bishop, Jack Rose (RIP), David Grubbs, Daniel Bachman, and Rob Noyes, High Order is an amazing mix of frenetic fingering and strumming, along with pieces that use space, tempo shifts, and melody to build super-descriptive narratives and landscapes; notes cascading like ice water running down a mountainside; dragging your ears thru a thorny thicket of sharp sonics; exploring ancient wooden churches with rotting floorboards.
Eric Arn has mined the nether regions of avant-rock, free improv, drone and psychedelia beginning with the Crystalized Movements in the 1980s, and continuing with Primordial Undermind for over three decades.
Recorded in Vienna 2018-2019 (except Greets the dawn, Italy 2015) by Eric and Boxer John. Mastered by James Plotkin.
Front artwork by David Schweighart, photographed by Jen Rapouch, meddled with by Eric. Back photo and layout by Joe Tunis.