Shifts
Trees/Leaves
LP (E43)

 

Belgium £16.50 (including postage)

Europe £18.50 (including postage)

Rest of world £23 (including postage)

 

Edition of 200 copies


This record is Shifts’ probable farewell, following over a decade of recordings 

and concerts. Initiated by Frans de 

Waard for a ‘soft guitar’ record on Richo Johnson’s Fourth Dimension label in 1995, the project has evolved to include many releases, all distinguished by their singular instrumentation (including two deviations from the guitar — Sonates and Interlude uses the piano, while One 

Piece for Cymbal has a single cymbal). 

 

Trees/Leaves was made with a four-string Spanish guitar de Waard bought for a Euro on Koninginnedag (Dutch Queen’s Day) in 2004. Besides running his Korm Plastics and MOLL labels, and recording variously as Kapotte Muziek, Goem, Freiband, Captain Black or Zebra, 

Frans de Waard is also the founder and editor of Vital Weekly, the music news and reviews bulletin he has been publishing 48 times a year since 1987 — an impressive commitment in our 

fickle times.
 

See also
Idea Fire Company (E51)

Reviews

An indicator of how the mind of Frans

de Waard is disposed to a long memory 

and great precision in recalling the exact
sequence of events in his musical career, can be discerned through perusing the sleeve notes to Trees/Leaves, which
he made under his Shifts alias in 2005. Precisely ten years before that, he recalls how he made a ‘soft guitar record’ for the English Fourth Dimension label. He goes on to describe subsequent electric guitar and sampling experiments that he recorded and performed, which may or may not be connected with the acoustic guitar music you hear on this LP.

 

Ed Pinsent in The Sound Projector


This LP will likely constitute the last release by Frans de Waard under the Shifts moniker. Started in 1995, this
project has probably gone even too far away in respect to de Waard’s original intentions, but it has surely meant
quite a lot for aficionados of string-

based droning (even if once he did 

make a piece with a cymbal). This final chapter is exactly what one would expect in a Shifts album: two long mantras for superimposed guitars, whose strings

are bowed or in some way stressed with motorised appliances. No changes in 

the harmony, no illusions of modulations, nothing. The only thing that we feel mutating is the frequency of the vibration, and this makes the sound range from 

a bagpipe-like drone to a harmonium replica. Imagine, if you will, a cheaper and mellower version of Tony Conrad’s most entrancing material and you’re almost there.

 

Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes