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Hans Reichel


Known equally as an improviser and inventor of instruments, Reichel has been constructing his own alternate musical reality since the early 1970s. He deals mainly in guitar-like creations, installing frets, pickups and other instrument parts in places no one else has thought of. What comes out -- given his unique picking, tapping and two-guitars-at-once techniques -- often seems like the work of multiple instruments. Some creations sound as much like hammered dulcimers or Japanese kotos as they do guitars (see The Death of the Rare Bird Ymir and Bonobo Beach). For all his far-flung creativity, his music is often surprisingly melodic, especially if you consider his place within a European post-jazz improv scene in which atonality and noise dominate. His most famous invention may be the daxophone, a wooden, stringless plank that lets out an unbelievable range of vocal, animalistic, creaks and groans (see Shanghaied on Tor Road, Lower Lurum, or its appearance on the invented-instrument compilation Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones).
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