A funny thing happened to Jeff Beck on his way to the recording studio: somebody spiked his blues-fusion cocktail with a techno-mickey. From the first pulse of the first track it's evident that the enigmatic, legendary guitar monster is operating heavy sonic machinery under the influence of the revved up, loop-filled and sample laden electronica that keeps the wired and oh-so-hip rave culture bug eyed and bouncing to the unrelenting beat.
Beck is listed as co-writer on 3 of the CD's 11 tracks,
but this is not an -album of songs-. More like a zip disc of audio files. There
are few chord changes or melodies here to propel the arrangements, mostly techno
beats and crunchy, grinding yet sparse power chords punctuated by sporadic explosions
of chop heavy speed riffing. At any given time, the tones launched from Beck's
six string freak station range from gurgling post-fusion midi synth to the midday
blare of an industrial strength, steel refinery lunch whistle. -Brush with the
blues- is one of the CD's stylistic exceptions. Featuring soft brushwork drumming
on a slow, understated blues arrangement, Beck's lean, emotive and masterfully
wild guitar phrasings are inventive and vintage. Who else but Jeff Beck, renowned
over the course of his soon-to-be five-decade career as much for the element
of danger in his playing and his fierce independence as his technical brilliance,
to push boundaries as an artist, rather than as a profiteer like so many of
"classic rock" contemporaries. Who Else, indeed!