Industrial Blue

Chris Parker, The Tablet

"Guitarist G. P. Hall is another UK figure who should be much better known. 
He specialises in sound sculptures, utilising everything from battery shavers,
toy cars and all manner of electronic guitar-triggered gizmos to create a unique
and immediately identifiable sonic world, but his extraordinary, multi-textured
compositions should be enjoyed by anyone with even a passing interest in guitar
playing, either acoustic or electric.

Industrial Blue (Burning Shed, c/o Windsor House, 74 Thorpe Road, Norwich NR1 1BA)
anthologises material from previous Hall albums, ranging from shimmering waves of
ethereal guitar sound to powerfully atmospheric pieces underpinned by the
blisteringly heavy beats that gave the album its name, and thus provides a useful
entry point for new listeners wishing to acquaint themselves with the work of a 
strikingly virtuosic, wholly individual musician."

Burning Shed label 'continous loop' gig
featuring (collectively) :
Tim Bowness | Andy Butler | centrozoon | Peter Chilvers | Darkroom 
| Roger Eno | G.P. Hall | Steve Lawson | Deive Montaigue 
| Theo Travis at The Assembly House Hotel, Norwich ( December 6, 2002 )

G.P. Hall is also noted for eccentric, something-weird-in-the-woodshed approaches -
playing his guitars with Velcro, toys, palette knifes and similar implements while
warping the sound through assorted pedals and gizmos.

As he takes over from Butler , though, he keeps his avant-garde edge reined in and
concentrates more on his traditional skills.

An accomplished gut-strung guitarist (with an abiding love of melody balancing
any of the odd sounds and methodology in his armoury), he offers us a delicious
rock-pool take on serenely wandering flamenco, rippling the notes across a lake
of echo and delicate processing. 

The magnificent Spray Of Waves, which follows, is one of his patent chord-
constellation adagios – more echoed layers, some keening sustained curves 
of E-bowed acoustic guitar, more whalesong sounds somehow squeezed from the
The gizmos make an appearance here, as Hall coaxes a fluttering burr of notes
by applying the spinning blades of a battery fan to his guitar strings, and fills
gaps in the music with crackling, blurred dialogue played from the tiny speaker of a

Like centrozoon, G.P. Hall seems a little detached from the rest of the evening's
performers – but then, as a contemporary of people like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton,
he's been doing this kind of sound-painting and looping for longer than anyone else

And in many ways his music is better suited to the solitude of the lone, isolated

It addresses the detail and wonder of the things you notice when you're alone and
open – as demonstrated in White Wilderness' evocation of a slow walk in a snowfield,
executed by Hall on a mutant six-string baritone guitar played with gauzy sawings
of a tiny psaltery bow. Nonetheless, there is one moment of duet.

As Theo Travis takes up his position stage left on alto flute, he's briefly accompanied
by Hall – not on guitar, but on a length of rubber piping, blown through as Hall
whirls the other end round his head. It's a touching gesture of primitivism in the midst
of all this technology, somewhere between an Aboriginal bullroarer and a shepherd's

The return of Bernhard Wöstheinrich – still a wild card, but this time gripped by
the power of the evolving music – tilts the magnificent sound into a coiling,
slow eternal collapse.

Eerie dischords loom through the panorama, are caught by one or another of the
players, are lifted back into shape. 
Small alliances form and dissolve between the players.
Andy Butler is kneeling at the front of the stage – it's unclear whether he's adding
another layer of texture, fixing Montaigue's pedalboard or just praying… But bar 
Roger Eno (long since gone home) all of tonight's performers are united onstage.
Markus Reuter is stroking another level of thrilling sound from his touch guitar,
and G.P. Hall – wide-eyed at the immense swirl of mutual music around him,
is bowing small shivering chords from his baritone guitar.

By now, music fills the ballroom – beyond self, beyond agenda, beyond
anything but a nourishing alliance of beautiful intent. It passes over our heads,
fades, resolves; diminishes, vanishes satisfied.
The next-to-last sound is – incongruously – the miniature whirring, grinding
noise of a toy car's clockwork motor as G.P. Hall shepherds it up the 
strings of his guitar. The last sound is a chuckle of delight from the audience.

Dann Chinn (with thanks to Charles Imperatori + Tiz Hay for extra 
impressions + feedback)