GUITAR POETS & MANIACS
Tibbetts’ Safe Journey (his fourth LP and second for ECM) is anything but. Not so much a guitar record as a kind of ambient Electric Ladyland, it liquefies the expressionist pastels of post-Eno art rock with crystalline Oregon-like folk impressions and startling streaks of heavy acid wail. Acoustic passages like “Running” and “My Last Chance” echo with electric church-bell plucking and distant banshee wails. In “Test” and “Vision,” Tibbetts erupts into primal Hendrix shrieks over stampeding congas and tabla. In the end, it’s still fusion, but there is a sobering purity about Tibbetts’ alien mix that shakes you up in some wondrous ways.