Matt Baldwin - Paths Of Ignition

I tell you, there aren’t many people in the world daft enough to open up their debut album with a ten and a half minute cover of Neu’s Weissensee and send it off to Incendiary for review, but then not everybody is Matt Baldwin (hopefully not related to Adam et al). Having said that, the version on here contains only two guitars, one acoustic, one electric and, if it isn’t obvious from that already, let me tell you that Neu have never sounded like this before. This is Krautrock on Valium instead of LSD, energy sapped but still quite spiritual. It’s a complete reinvention and it works completely, as does his cover of Judas Priest’s Winter and yes, you read that correctly. Never mind daft, this Baldwin bloke is clever.


 


There may only be five tracks on this album, but two of them take up more than half the 40 minute running time and neither of them feel saggy or bloated, which is testament to how good this guy is. Paths of Ignition is instrumental for the most part and, well, let’s just say that Baldwin’s guitar is well plucked. His playing is delicate, intricate and charming. Easy to admire and impossible to ignore, Paths of Ignition is a work of real beauty, although there’s something rather strange and bewildering about it too, which makes it all the more enjoyable and well worth your hard earned cash. At once a venture into the familiar and the unknown, Matt Baldwin’s Paths of Ignition may well make you reassess your opinions on a number of things, including whether or not Judas Priest have any musical merit or not – and all that armed only with an acoustic guitar.


 


Well plucked indeed.


 


Words: Damian Leslie