A Scarlet Fail
Awash in color and texture, Arian Shafiee blooms on his solo guitar debut for VDSQ. Best known for his work in the iconic East Coast dance/punk group Guerilla Toss, Shafiee has spent years warping the idea of what a guitar can sound like. In a group setting, Shafiee does what’s best for the composition, often blending seamlessly into the electronics and rhythmic grooves of his peers. A Scarlet Fail gives him his rightful solo spotlight in a series of new electric and acoustic compositions. Inspired by visual elements of Western mysticism, Arian’s playing glows like light through stained glass.
With a deluxe die cut sleeve designed by Robert Beatty, Arian Shafiee’s solo debut is a gem of a 21st Century guitar record, one based not on the precepts of American Primitive but rather on a more fully realized world view of contemporary guitar. By using unconventional tunings and techniques atypical to the acoustic guitar, the music on this album finds itself in constant flux. While Arian’s style is hard to pin down, each piece exists in its own expansive harmonic world, unfurling and ever moving. Equally dynamic in terms of technical skill and emotive resonance, tracks such as “Oxy Blonde” and “Muted Heather” glisten, with an every-note-in-the-right-place perfection. The melodies linger, sometimes hauntingly in the spaces between notes, resulting in a solo guitar album you remember long after the needle stops.