Benjamin Hecht is a musician from California who recently released a four-song EP entitled Petrichor EP. This is an EP that doesn't need a whole lot of explanation. The four songs are solo guitar performances.
Hecht’s technical skills on this are very good, arguably exceptional, but not jaw dropping on a level like Paco de Lucía. He certainly did enough to impress me from both a technical and a creative standpoint. It was an enjoyable listen.
My biggest issue was the recording quality and production. Lo-fi just doesn't work with this style. I want to hear every nuance, I want the reverb to resonate in the right way. I want the guitar to feel full and almost overwhelm me. The songs sounded to me like they could have been recorded in an untreated room on a laptop with one or two mics. It also felt like there was very little post production to help bring out the aesthetically pleasing benefits. So if there is one thing Hecht takes away from this is that I hope he looks into ways to boost the recording quality next time around.
Despite my feeling about the recording quality there is no denying the songs are delightful to listen to. As someone who has been playing guitar for over twenty years I need a lot to be impressed by. I went to school for music, have taught guitar and am quite critical when it comes to accuracy, transitions and timing.
Hecht is an advanced player with very good timing. There were maybe one or two instances where I thought a transition could have been a little tighter and smooth. That being said I like to listen to advanced guitar players with multiple hats - the technical side and the creative side. I liked something about each song but perhaps the most creative was “Illuminated as mirrors to the self.” The main cascading riff has a hypnotic/prog rock quality to it.
Hecht is a guitarist who doesn't need a band or even vocals to make a captivating song. There is certainly room for growth as well and let's hope he can befriend a knowledgeable engineer to capture the true potential of his playing. Recommended.
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