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New Power-Prog Trio Bang Tower Featuring Former Brand X Bass Legend Percy Jones to be Released

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One of the most highly anticipated CD releases of 2010 is about to see the light much to the elation of the music press and fans across the globe. Bang Tower is a progressive musical alliance featuring legendary bassist Percy Jones, who is best known for his work with Brand X, a band that also featured Genesis legend Phil Collins. Along with Jones, the power-prog trio also includes Grammy winning guitarist/engineer/producer Neil Citron. Walter Garces, who also performs with ’60s psychedelic marvels The Electric Prunes, rounds off the trio with his skillful drumming. Work on their maiden voyage ‘Casting Shadows’, produced by Neil Citron (who also engineered, mixed and mastered) and Jon Pomplin (Declassified Records), was recently completed and the album is slated for release by Declassified Records on September 28, 2010. With Percy’s unmistakable fretless bass sound percolating next to Walter’s harmonic cannons and implements of percussive wonder, an edgy yet incredibly dreamy, otherworldly texture becomes prominent throughout the mix. Neil’s unique guitar work takes full advantage of this partnership by blending gorgeous chordal interludes, amazing melodic passages interlaced with scathingly insane soloing. The key element in this “trio of masters” music can be best described with one word; rapport. Though Jones, Garces and Citron are all virtuosos in their own right, it’s quite evident that these players are enthusiastically enjoying the crafting of this music whether together in a top studio like Entourage in LA, or remotely via their own studios, Casting Shadows promises to be a most auspicious first-outing for a band simply known as… “Bang Tower”. “The basic idea was to play music we wanted to play, and have a good time doing it,” says Walter Garces. “It’s a group effort musically,” adds Percy Jones. “I probably had a bit more input on the initial tracks and Neil had a bit more on the real time recordings, but it averages out to be about the same really. Walter was involved since the beginning.”

Bang Tower is:

PERCY JONES – FRETLESS BASS
Fretless electric bassist Percy Jones has carved out his place in progressive rock and jazz fusion during his longstanding affiliation with the bands Brand X and Tunnels and is considered to be one of the greatest bass players in the world by Bass Player magazine. A native of Wales, Mr. Jones began his career as a notable bass player with the Liverpool Scene, and the Scaffold in the U.K. He is also a founding member of BRAND X, a pioneer jazz-rock fusion outfit, working alongside John Goodsall, Robin Lumley and Phil Collins of Genesis. He has several compact discs out of his own projects, including the band Tunnels, and 2 solo releases. Percy has also collaborated with numerous other musicians in performances and sessions; Brian Eno, Suzanne Vega, Bill Frisell, Roy Harper, Richard Barbieri, Nova, Project Lo, Sarah Pillow and Bobby Previte, just to name a few. He has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Japan as a solo artist as well as a bass player in various bands. Percy proudly endorses Ibanez Bass Guitars, Euphonic Audio Amplifiers, Eventide Effects and DR Strings.

NEIL CITRON – GUITARS
If you’ve seen the films “That Thing You Do” or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” listened to rock-guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, heard recent recordings by the legendary Yardbirds, or appreciated the talents of internationally renowned drummers Greg Bissonette, Virgil Donati or Mike Mangini, then you may already be familiar with the wealth of musical projects Neil Citron has worked on. In 2002, he received a Grammy Award in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for engineering “No Substitutions: Live in Osaka” by Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather. Also in 2002, Citron released a solo album of guitar instrumentals, “Absolute,” (Favored Nations) and is currently finishing a second album for the label. Citron has written more than 50 songs for Chrysalis publishing, and Citron continues his prolific composing career. As a guitar player, Citron has worked on many recordings of artists from all over the world. On these projects, Citron performed on acoustic and electric guitars, as well as providing background vocals when needed. Dedicated to anything he pursues, Citron holds a sixth-degree black belt in several Korean martial arts — tae kwon-do, hapkido and sib pal gi (Korean kung fu) — as well as a third-degree black belt in tang soo do, in which he trained with actor Chuck Norris.

WALTER GARCES – PERCUSSION
Native New York Drummer, Walter moved to Los Angeles in the mid 80’s, where after only a few months he met guitarist Neil Citron. This meeting would lead to a friendship of many years but also a bonding through music, and Martial arts. They would collaborate on many projects over the years including 2 of Neil’s solo records, film projects “That Thing You Do” with Tom Hanks, and also many bands, and sessions for other artists. Walter also appeared as drummer and percussionist on the recent Electric Prunes release “Feedback. Walter continues to perform live and tour with the Prunes. .He has also worked with many other great bands and artists, The Blues Image, Pete Taylor (Quatermass/The Pirates), Ronnie Drayton (Patti Labelle) Neil Turbin (Anthrax) Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot), John Goodsall (Brand X), and Tony Franklin (The Firm/Blue Murder) among others. Walter also maintains a full schedule of drum students. His own comprehensive course of study includes Latin, jazz, rock, 4-way coordination, left-hand development exercises and rigorous hand development, as well as independence on the drum set, mechanics, computers and electronics. In addition to his accomplishments as a musician, Walter has honed his discipline and control by obtaining a black belt in Go-Ju-Ryu and running marathons. Walter proudly endorses Premier Drums, Regal-Tip Drumsticks and Paiste cymbals.

Bang Tower’s ‘Casting Shadows’ will be available on September 28, 2010 through CD Baby, Declassified Records and the band’s official website www.BangTower.com (soon through iTunes and Amazon)

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @zonguitars @shukerbassguitars @bite.guitars @adamovicbasses @mayonesguitars @bassbros.uk @capursoguitars @overwaterbasses @saitiasguitars @ramabass.ok

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

New from Elrick Bass Guitars, Headless Series added to Custom Lineup…

Elrick Bass Guitars is excited to announce the addition of a headless option on hand-carved series bass guitars. Initially previewed on the 2023 Gold Series SLC MkII bass of prolific solo bass practitioner and educator Steve Lawson, a headless bass option is now available to all. According the Elrick, “The excitement surrounding Steve’s MkII SLC bass at 2024 NAMM confirmed that the time is right to add a headless option to our extensive range of custom options.” To date, Elrick instruments have only been offered with traditional headstock construction but, in response to market demand, custom features will now include a headless option in 4-, 5- and 6-string models.

Headless bass guitars share these features with the traditional headstock series:

24 frets + zero fret
exotic wood top
hand-rubbed oil finish
2-way adjustable truss rod
custom Bartolini pickups
custom Bartolini 3-band preamp
fully shielded control cavity
Hipshot bridge
Dunlop Straploks
Elrick Fundamental strings

The headless option can now be selected when submitting custom order requests via the form on elrick.com, contacting the Elrick Sales Office directly, or working with your favorite Elrick dealer.

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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