Dustin Wong – Infinite Love

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)





As the guitarist for the Baltimore art-punk outfit Ponytail,
Dustin Wong was party to the enthrallment of a legion of Pitchfork reading, incessantly Tweeting hipster puppies hopped up
on frontwoman Molly Siegel’s microphone-fellating stage antics and
reverberating yelp. But now that the group is no more, will these same fans
invest their deficiency-addled attention spans on Wong’s ambitious solo debut?


Well, that certainly will all depend on how many axe geeks
they accounted for in their listening demographic. Infinite Love is a two-CD collection composed entirely of solo
guitar passages that showcase Wong’s immense strengths as a six-string stylist
on a thirty track set split up between two discs entitled “Brother” and
“Sister.” Accompanied sporadically by a drum machine, he offers up spontaneous,
abstract noodles that feel closer to his work in Ecstatic Sunshine than
Ponytail, only headier and more technical – almost like a barebones version of
Steve Vai’s Flex-Able had it been recorded
for, well, Wong’s new label Thrill Jockey.


An educated ear for guitars can clearly hear the compound by
which Dustin is emulating over the course of these 80-odd minutes as he
delivers a highly textured cross-hatching of Glenn Branca drone, Guy
Picciotto’s final days in Fugazi and Requia-era
John Fahey, all filtered through an intricate system of percussive loops, delay
pedals and mild spins through the fuzzbox. Accompanying Infinite Love’s audio is a DVD of trippy visuals meant to be played
alongside the album. However, as Al Jarnow-cool the video portion of this
record may be, you don’t need to see a bunch of strange and, at times,
seizure-inducing images flit across the screen of your favorite viewing
apparatus to appreciate the finely hued artistry of Wong’s brilliantly
Byzantine palate of colors. Simply put, he’s one of the modern American
underground’s most challenging musicians. 


to the whole thing. RON HART

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