Material Records MRE 019

Glow is the second recording where Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel meets Tunisian singer and oud player Dhafer Youssef. Only this time, the roles of host and guest are dissolved into a duo; the first collaboration resulted in the mind- boggling beauty of Electric Sufi.

On the second encounter, our duo is accompanied by trumpeter Tom Harrell, Alegre Correa on percussion and Matthias Pichler on bass. This smaller setting makes the recording more intimate than the larger ensemble that was performing on Electric Sufi. Also, the more subdued use of electronica enhances the emotional content and emotions are abundant with this CD and on both sides of the listening experience. It is clearly evident that while the recording took place, there was a strong interaction between the participants on more than just the musical level. All songs were strongly based on improvisation before they reached their final form pressed to polycarbonate.

Wolfgang Muthspiel is not merely Glow's guitarist, he is also its producer and the owner of the label it is released on. He states on the label's website that it was thrilling for him to inspire Dhafer to sing just as he himself has to be seduced so that he feels good with the music he plays. It is evident that the latter succeeded. The music on Glow communicates more than just notes. Whether the setting is acoustic or more electronic, Youssef is able to use just three notes to paint a complex emotion that is very intense. Intense emotions only last for a short period and are followed by smaller emotions. It is within this natural phenomenon that Dhafer plays par excellence. Strong emotional content is balanced by silences and small accents only to lead to other emotional vocal climaxes. Muthspiel and Youssef give each other all the space and freedom they need to bring out the best of the other.

Glow is not just a recording you put on and listen to. Casual listening is impossible in fact. The music's force draws the listener into another world, a world where two musician friends embark on a journey of which they only know the starting point and where the finish is not important, just the journey itself.