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Elliott Sharp: Tectonics
Knitting Factory Works

The guitarist Elliott Sharp, a twenty-year New York City veteran musician who formed the intellectual noise group Carbon amidst the postpunk No Wave scene of the late 1970s, has never been short of ideas and experimental techniques. Tectonics is the name that Sharp currently works under, and “errata” is a publishing term for a list of errors with their corrections. The word perfectly captures the nature of Sharp’s rickety balance of improvisation and composition.

On Errata, Sharp composes and performs ten songs on his self-built, eight-string “guitarbass” and a MIDI-rigged laptop computer. The slide guitar and jittery electronic percussion of “Which Delta” coalesce into a psychedelic, disembodied blues number. What sounds like a confused horn player on “Noospheric” and “In Tongues” is really the sampler and sequencer from an Apple PowerBook. Sharp also pushes the concept of dance music into unheard of realms with “Goomy” and “Kargyraa.”

Originally published in the Orlando Weekly on November 25, 1999.