Guitarist Mark Wingfield collaborates once again with touch guitarist Markus Reuter and drummer Asaf Sirkis on Lighthouse, a second release from a series of sessions that were first introduced earlier in 2017 on the album Stonehouse. Born of the same improvisational vision, the trio digs deeper into tumultuous terrain on Lighthouse, carrying the listener into a deep abyss of sonic bliss. Stretching across several genres, the Lighthouse is difficult to categorize with its texture driven elements, soaring solos, and extemporaneous rhythms.
Like its sister release the Stonehouse, the Lighthouse has been recorded live and mixed to 24bit / 88.2kHz two track. Fans have a choice of vinyl, CD, or both, any of which includes a complimentary copy of the album as a HD download in 24/88.2 when ordered through Moonjune’s BandCamp page. I am reviewing the high resolution version here.
I continue to be impressed by the recordings from these sessions. There is a broad and deep soundstage that is wonderfully transparent. Sirkis’s drums are some of the best sounding I have heard, with a brilliant snap to the snare and a rich kick drum, along with shimmering cymbals that spread beyond the center.
Opening with “Zinc,” there is a Prince like quality to Wingfield’s guitar introduction that is soon pounced on by drums and held down by the Reuter ‘s deep distorted textures. The lows are full and resonant, while the flourishing solos spread across the left and right channels.
Reuter makes excellent use of textures on the third track “Ghost Light,” a space that is so pronounced on his various Centrozoon works. Both his parts and Wingfield’s sustaining guitar elements fall deeply into the soundstage and spread widely across the front over this 14 minute song. The cavern is somewhat deep, but keeps you on the edge as drums accent the improvised guitars. Each nuance of the slowly changing tonal qualities have been perfectly captured making for a stupendous listen.
I found the balance to be exceptionally good and dynamics to be fantastic. Hats off to recording engineer Jesus Rovira who laid down the unedited tracks at La Casa Murada Studios, plus Mark Wingfield & Markus Reuter who mixed the seven tracks at Heron Island Studio. Producer Leonardo Pavkovic noted that the intent was to create three albums from these sessions, but there is enough material for more. We can look forward to those in the future. Meanwhile, fans can also check out Wingfield’s duo album with keyboard and pianist René von Grünig titled “Guitar Encryptions,” or venture into “Three Windows,” another earlier album from Wingfield, harpsichordist Jane Chapman, and saxophonist Iain Ballamy.
One thing is for certain, Mark Wingfield has rapidly become a powerhouse filled with adventurous releases that lean toward the fusion side and extending far out into the outer boundaries of many other genres. I highly recommend Lighthouse to fans of fusion and improvisational jazz, space rock, and experimental music. An excellent sounding hi-res release that surely will take listeners through an aural canyon from darkness into the light.