Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Robert Quine - Sessions & Contributions

In contrast with the other episodes in our Sessions & Contributions series, this installment doesn't focus on superstars but rather on an unsung hero of rock music.

Although not a household name, Robert Quine was a pioneer guitarist in the punk, post-punk and no-wave genres although calling him that is greatly limiting the breadth of his talents. Free jazz, folk music, avant-garde...

Probably more famous for being in Richard Hell & the Voidoids and then in Lou Reed's band for several years, Richard Quine's style is singularly devoid of any cliché. You won't hear no run-of-the-mill pentatonic blues motifs in his playing. What you will hear is a strikingly angular, frantic approach to the instrument, a harmonically and rhythmically adventurous exploration of space and sound, tonally and totally unique, closer to Sun Ra or Thelonious Monk than any rock guitarist.

Quine managed to imbue even pop tunes like Matthew Sweet's or Lloyd Cole's with his experimental approach. Robert Quine died in 2004 at the age of 61 of a heroin overdose that was attributed to suicide, Quine having been depressed since the death of his wife months earlier.

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