Life Of by Steve Tibbetts

CD Hotlist, October 2018

“a floating cloud of sound that unpredictably delights when a note suddenly (but subtly) blossoms into three or four others”

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WeGotMusic, Germany · September, 2018

“Es ist schon ein erhabenes Gefühl in die Unendlichkeit des Tibbett’schen Klangkosmos einzudringen. In dieser Musik findet sich so viel, man sollte sie mehrfach hören, um die Stimmungen auf sich wirken zu lassen.”

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Life Of by Steve Tibbetts

Downbeat 5-Star Review: Life Of

“It might be less than an hour long, but Life Of will provide years of deep and reward­ing listening.”

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Rolling Stone, August 2018

“The effect is a seductive impressionism of fluid melodic figures and rippling arpeggios with a quietly firm, emotional undertow.”

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Steve Tibbetts - Stereophile review photo

Stereophile’s Recording of the Month: Life Of

“This mannered approach has resulted in a soft, glowing sound that manages to capture plenty of detail and character across a deep, wide soundstage.”

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Steve Tibbetts, guitar, turkeys

Washington Post, May 2018

“one of the most underappreciated musicians of our time”

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Knut with Steve Tibbetts and Steve's son Joel

Xpress Magazine Review

“a beautiful, soothing and utterly unique sound.”

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Steve Tibbetts

Atlantic Monthly

“Tibbetts’s guitar-from-beyond-the-solar-system will take you to realms hitherto glimpsed only by the Hubble space telescope and will offer several plausible explanations of dark matter.”

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Choying Damaru

Live Reviews / Radio

Audio files from various radio reviews.

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Downbeat Review: Natural Causes

“To call Natural Causes exotic would be to deny the labor of love that went into making it. You might say Steve Tibbetts has, in a sense, redefined the word ‘natural’ for all to hear.”

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Chöying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts: Selwa

Tricycle Review: Selwa

“On Selwa, a Tibetan nun and American guitarist grant each other the space to move freely through their respective disciplines, and the result is a lesson in listening for anyone who is fortunate enough to come across the album.”

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Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts

Review: Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts in Philadelphia

“The voice becomes even more magical when shared with the exquisite accompaniment of Tibbett’s guitar and the diversified percussion talents of Anderson.”

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Isthmus Review

“Great stuff and a must for those who enjoyed the collaborators’ earlier album Chö.  Now if only Tibbetts and Drolma would return to Madison for a live concert.  Their last one here (which included several other members of Drolma’s order) was among the most poignant live musical events the city has hosted.”

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Marcus, Marc, Jim, and Steve

Guitar World / The Sensible Sound reviews

“when a new CD from Steve Tibbetts unexpectedly showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I literally shouted for joy, pumped my fists in the air, and ran up the driveway so that I could get it into my CD player just as quickly as possible”

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Downbeat Review: A Man About A Horse

“A Man About A Horse embodies Tibbetts’ established strengths – feral electric guitar solos, complex percussion and meticulously detailed production.”

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Jacket Sacrifice - photo by Steve Tibbetts

Isthmus Review, August 8, 2002

“Tib­betts is one of this city’s great, underappre­ciated native sons precisely because he deals in a potent magic that’s not easily understood”

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A Man About a Horse, album cover

New Note Magazine

“Tibbetts operates a fine balance between sensitive acoustic shivers and heavily petted electric fuzz…”

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Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Lotus Festival review

“Deep stirrings I can’t even begin to discuss here were triggered by the sound of Chö, and from the response I felt from the audience, it wasn’t just happening to me.”

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Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts

The Sensible Sound

“What Steve has done on Chö is to produce an utterly compelling musical synthesis by recording traditional Tibetan singing and then weave into it synthesized and acoustic layers of sound that truly capture the imagination.”

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1996-choyingdekenagi

Ottawa Citizen

American guitarist and soundscape artist Steve Tibbetts was in the middle of his first tour in support of the album Chö last November, and things seemed to be going pretty smoothly.  Until he lost one of the Tibetan nuns.

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Steve, Turid, Knut, and Marc standing outside the church they recorded in.

Downbeat, August 1999

“Å (just say “ah”) successful­ly joins the hardingfele, a.k.a. hardanger fiddle, with Tibbetts’ distinctive, often beautiful con­structions.”

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Å, reviewed on Amazon.com

“Å brims with haunting moods and textures that splinter like the spider-web cracks of an ice-covered lake”

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Billboard Magazine, 1999

“Å” conjures up an enveloping and imagistic soundscape.

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Olav Vinndal, Knut Hamre, Turid Spildo and Håvard Kvanndal

Å, Musician Magazine

“The result is pan-cultural sonic magic that transcends the limitations of language.”

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Å: Minneapolis Star-Tribune & Playboy

“repeating fiddle phrases evolve into fresh ideas, while Tibbetts’ guitar slithers off on sympathetic tangents, and gongs and other elements chip in their own wry commentary, creating an ebb and flow of stylish nuance like mist on the fjords”

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Turid, Knut, Steve, Marc near Utne, Norway

Jazz times, Å

“…music is the only genuine universal language… That idea springs to mind while listening to the latest project from the category-defying tone poet guitarist Steve Tibbetts, who has teamed up with Norwegian hardanger fiddler Knut Hamre for an intriguing and impressionistic set”

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Å by Steve Tibbetts

National Post (Canada)

“…this new collaboration between jazz guitarist Steve Tibbetts and world music is dazzling”

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Steve Tibbetts and Choying Drolma in Madison, 1998

Isthmus Review, November 20, 1998

“There was no encore, and, frankly, none was needed.  The window onto bliss that Tibbetts, Anderson and the nuns offered was treat enough.”

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Chö by Steve Tibbetts and Chöying Drolma

Philadelphia Inquirer Review

“Tibbetts is a man enthralled by the sound of a single strummed chord vibrating in space, his love of the sheer physicality of music makes a perfect marriage with the disembodied songs of Tibetan nun Choying Drolma on Chö”

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Steve Tibbetts, Choying, Marc Anderson, etc.

Guitar Player, March 1997

“Steve Tibbetts… dressed the pieces in the spacious, almost transparent robes of bouzouki, opened-tuned guitar, strings and percussion. A miracle of East / West alchemy.”

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With Sumandhi and his Father in Tunjuk

Car Stereo Review, March 1995

“Ever wish you could take a ride on the Space Shuttle? Here’s the alternative: Pick up Steve Tibbetts’ The Fall of Us All instead. It’ll transport you to places in the cosmos you never knew existed.”

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USA Today

“The guitarist’s extraterrestrial groove music is a supersonic kick.  He melds spacey jazz, rock and world beat into a gripping soundscape that fluctuates from primal rage and caustic guitars on the industrial sizzlers to ambient ear massages on acoustic interludes… The Fall never falls short of exhilarating.”

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The Sensible Sound, Fall 1994

“The Fall of Us All is a stunning recording, a whirling devilish dervish of a disk that alternatively assaults and seduces listeners with electric and acoustic energy.”

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Soundscapes review

“A sense of looped transcendentalism is never far away in the first suite with its swooping guitar distortions, Anderson’s relentless and entirely appropriate percussion and the carefully mixed contributions from samples and the other musicians which creates Tibbetts’s unique kinetic sound sculptures.”

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The Fall of Us All by Steve Tibbetts

Philadelpia Inquirer

“he adds droning guitar textures that shift in slow-motion to create gripping, ever-changing polychords. And atop those come his solos, which fracture every guitar cliche”

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The Fall of Us All: CD Review Magazine & Baltimore Sun

“the best thing about “The Fall of Us All” is the astonishing fluidity of Tibbetts’ guitar work, which can be as percussive as a tabla pattern or as liquid and lyrical as a Hendrix solo”

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Steve Tibbetts Studio

Pulse Magazine July 1994

“…his music screams with the brain-melt electric guitar overdubs and pounding percussion which dominate the first half of his latest album, The Fall of Us All.”

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Downbeat, May 1994

“The Fall Of Us All ranks with his best and wildest work (alongside Yr and Exploded View), because it smoothly reconciles Tibbetts’ volatile mood swings with his developing interest in the music of Indonesia and Tibet.”

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Tibet Flags by Steve Tibbetts

Riverfront Times, St. Louis

“this man’s musical teeth seem to be getting sharper and sharper”

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Lawrence Journal World

“if you’ve grown weary of the Viennese confections underscoring large chunks of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001,” tune out the Strauss and plug in the Tibbetts, and ponder the monolith once again”

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Dog Approaching, Bali '89

Guitar Player, July 1994

“Veering from ambient dream­scapes to violent, post-industrial rave-ups, from spellbinding acoustic fretwork to apocalyptic electric fret burn, Tibbetts’ first album in five years is an emotional and sonic tour-de-force.”

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A dog in Nepal

Cartographic Perspectives review

“fingered guitar sings a wanderer’s muse, improvised intricate as gnarled branches of winter oaks”

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Downbeat, February 1990

“we hear original sounds produced from the elements of World Music, intelligent sounds that caress the ear and stir the imagination”

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Big Map by Steve Tibbetts

Sounds Like…

“In short, the sound here is about as fine as you’re likely to wish for: I rate Big Map Idea at the top o′ the heap, sonically.” -Glenn Hammett

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Steve Tibbetts - photo by Martin Daniels.

Rolling Stone, June 1988

“Yr… a trancelike otherworldly quality that is nevertheless rooted in the rock & roll here and now, thanks to periodic wake-up blasts of frenzied Frippaphonic soloing.”

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Le Droit, Ottawa-Hull

“A beautiful sensitivity displayed by this trio, a contemporary truth…”

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Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson, Bob Hughes, 1985

Downbeat, June 1987

“Steve Tibbetts seems intent on producing music that doesn’t have a name.  It ain’t Third Stream, though he mixes lots of acoustic guitar and wordless vocals a la Steve Reich in his typically lengthy structures.  It ain’t New Age, because it’s got balls and ideas. “

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Exploded View by Steve Tibbetts

Guitar Player, March 1987

“weaves through two sides, running the emotional gamut from serene to violent, always intense. This is truly unclassifiable, but then, it’s not searching for a compartment.”

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Steve Tibbets band, with Marc Anderson and Bob Hughes

Minneapolis Star-Tribune March, 1987

“Tibbetts does it with impeccable taste and economy…”

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College Media Journal review from 1987

College Media Journal, February 1987

“the drums pound, the guitar riffs flutter and fly, tapes mess around, the energy flows, and somehow it all falls together”

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Border Crossing, Burkina Faso

Musician Magazine, August 1984

“there is a sobering purity about Tibbetts’ alien mix that shakes you up in some wondrous ways” -David Fricke

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The New Rolling Stone Record Guide

“the album is a startling combination of electric guitar, tabla, acoustic guitar, kalimba and a little synthesizer.  Tibbetts weaves from heavy rock to several kalimbas playing a duet and it never falters.”

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Northern Song by Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson

Stereo Review, October 1982

“In a sense, this album is an acknowledgement of the ultimate power of silence over music.”

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Twin Cities Reader, April 15, 1982

Review by Paul Fishman Maccabee.

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Oakland Tribune Review, April 25, 1982

“It has overtones of classical, jazz, rock and Martian style but mostly it is just an extreme pleasure for the senses. Approach with an open mind.” -Larry Kelp

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Tibbetts, Greg Wallace, Doug Ross

Trouser Press, November 1978

“Another homage to the guitar, but a good one: intricate acoustic excursions (and one crazed electric burst) that never become limp, topped off with enough electronics to produce gimmickry in less sensible hands. Superior background space music that is also actually fun to listen to!”

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Bad Reviews

A few clippings of bad reviews…

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