Andy Summers: Metal Dog

Another arresting solo work from the former Policeman.

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When a planned collaboration with a dance troupe ultimately faltered, veteran guitarist Andy Summers took the ideas he had accrued in the studio and added them to his already impressive catalogue of solo releases.

Playing all the instruments himself here, Summers offers up his eclectic range of influences, settling on a surprisingly gritty collection of ambient-tinged post-rock and jazz-inflected excursions. Throughout a varied career, Summers’ playing has tended to shy away from any overt rocking out or grandstanding, favouring instead a subtler construction via the thoughtful layering of textures and tones. Metal Dog exemplifies this almost painterly approach. He makes carefully considered strokes to backgrounds and settings, and when he does burst forth his soloing lines are elegant yet dazzling, focusing on sprightly, quicksilver melodies. The astronomical themes within Oceans Of Enceladus and Mare Imbrium are particularly apposite, given the way the music shimmers weightlessly, slowly orbiting around sporadic rhythmic spurs, harmonic pulses and gaseous, nebulous chords. Sparkling with so many lustrous points of light and detail. A gem of a record.

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.