acoustic contemporary classical guitar modern classical review

Deniz Cuylan – No Such Thing As Free Will Review

Classical guitars shimmering down.

Sounds like…

Ambient trail guitars.

The review

Released last month, Deniz Cuylan took the classical guitar and took it on a slightly jazzy ambient trail by horseback. ‘No Such Thing As Free Will’ is a real hybrid of ideas that come together in a melodic and percussive way – placing the acoustic guitar front and centre in a turning musical machine.

The best way to describe a lot of the tracks on the album is flowing. On tracks like ‘Object of Desire’ and ‘Flanuers in Hakone’, Deniz Cuylan layers fingerpicking noodles over the top of either chord strums or sizzling guitar wanes and distant synths. The idea with these tracks is to create a shimmering mirage of guitars. You can choose to follow the stream of notes on one guitar or the clockwork chimes of the chords instead. Whichever route you take, you’ll be in for a melodic treat. It reminds me a little of Bibio when he layers acoustic guitars like a cake of melodies for you to indulge in.

Deniz Cuylan Photo by Sevgi Yuksel

Elsewhere, the flowing melodies are swapped out for rhythms. ‘Purple Plains of Utopia’ is a jazzy and sporadic riff of staccato strums. It feels mechanical and stilted initially but as tinged of post-rock electric guitars float underneath, it all comes together like a rainstorm. ‘She Was Always Here’ acts as a bridge between this style and the flowing fingerpicking mentioned earlier and is the central track of the release. Elsewhere the opening and closing pieces are more sedate – almost bluesy. Adding in piano and ambient glows make them feel warm and comforting.

Whilst it may not immediately catch your ear with its strong melodies, I was captivated by how metronomic the guitar melodies were in relation to each other. It made each track alluring in a zen ‘blurring everything out’ kind of way. Deniz Cuylan has absolutely mastered this technique and the album is one that will grow on you over time. If you are a fan of classical guitar or melodic acoustic drones – pick this up. You’ll be in heaven. The album is out digitally now – with the Vinyl coming on the 7th of May.

Recommended track: Flanuers in Hakone

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Deniz Cuylan - No Such Thing As Free Will



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