Anthony Pirog is a guitarist who honed his unique take on freely improvised music while living in New York City and the Washington DC area. A guitarist well versed in many styles of music, Anthony has pushed the limits of the guitar to produce this intimate recording which is at times cacophonous, meditative and forcefully brutal, while never losing touch with his signature thoughtful deliberateness. His mastery of the use of many effects pedals is counter balanced by his performances on both nylon and twelve string acoustic guitars to produce an eclectic set of improvisations and an album with undeniable momentum. Not to be missed for fans of fringe guitar experimentation and solo instrumental improvisation.
Review by Ray Cummings
Houston Press: Friday Night Noise
On Beginning to End (Sonic Mass), his debut album, NYC-based guitarist/composer Anthony Pirog offers an aural Whitman's sampler of his core competencies: sunkissed tone poems (think John Fahey), pitch-shifted glimmer, meditative squalls, discordant piano frowns and various noisy flavors. While End's odds and, er, ends hang together quite nicely, I'm predisposed to the uglier bits; singling out just one to highlight was something of a struggle.
Dug "Screaming Sun," with its halting, gargled scree and through-a-collander electronic pops, and how "Sixth Of One" was in a constant state of metamorphasis, never content to settle for straight fuck-you blare or straining-at-harnesses seethe or heavy-lidded chordal strum.
But ultimately, "Budding Peonies" won the day. It opens with a maudlin, wavering drone and cryptic, rolling clacks, letting you get accustomed to that synthesis for a moment or two before allowing the clacks to swell in volume and - crucially - shuffling in increasingly belligerant, detuned string manipulations, rivulets of static, and the sort of buckling groans one might associate with the shifting of heavy furniture on a warehouse floor.
released June 8, 2009
Recorded at Anthony’s Room Studio 2007, except track 2 recorded by Mike Harvey at American University, Washington DC. Mixed by Kevin Gutierrez at Assembley Line Studios, Vienna VA. Mastered by Randy Merrill at Scott Hull Mastering, New York, NY. Produced by Anthony Pirog. Layout by subject-matter.com
, photography by Janel Leppin, phototgraph of Anthony by Shervin Lainez. All tracks improvised live by Anthony Pirog (Conjured Music ASCAP), except tracks 1 and 4 which feature improvised overdubs.
Thanks to: J.K. Dimond, Robert Lewis Pirog, Janel Leppin, Jenna & Kenny, Jennifer Carter, Pat Gillis, Scott Verrastro, Blaise Siwula, Jeff Bagato, Sangha, Warehouse Next Door, Velvet Lounge, ABC No Rio and Electric Possible.
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