By Jonathan Smith
Amigos de la Guitarra is the sort of album that plays through three times before you realize it’s even reached its ending the first time around. This isn’t a bad thing. A little bit of background information: the record is a collaborative project between two Mikes — Mike Mare and Mike Gallager (of Isis fame). Amigos is a 40-plus minute single-track of ambient guitar textures and carefully pieced-together layers of sound that, just as they are on the verge of overstaying their welcome, shifts gears so as to keep things from getting too boring. The second “mutation” of the sounds heard here is the strongest, but throughout the whole track the guitar sound frequently goes for a combination of effects that leaves the listener the impression of a lone musician playing to an empty, echoing arena. It’s an occasionally eerie sound, relaxing in its gaping void-like atmosphere. Amigos is best played as background noise while doing something else, as its leisurely taking of its time in getting to its eventual sonic destination (abrupt as it is) doesn’t always make for the most riveting of listens. However, for those looking to sit back with an ambient record that doesn’t demand your full attention, Amigos de la Guitarra is well worth a listen.