Hot on the heels of the success of 2007’s “Suspension of Disbelief”, comes the latest instrumental tour-de-force by Greek guitar virtuoso Ioannis Anastassakis –
74 minutes of amazing guitar playing, with guest solos by Kiko Loureiro (Angra) and Brett Garsed and the epic keyboard work of Bob Katsionis (Firewind).
A variety of styles and textures of Contemporary Guitar music – Fusion, Progressive, Metal & Solo Flamenco!
CD also includes: 2 BONUS tracks and BACKING track packaged in a see-through CD case, complete with the 8-page full-color insert including detailed track info and detailed performance notes!
CD Duration Time: 74 Minutes
Produced by Ioannis Anastassakis & Bob Katsionis Mixed & mastered by Jim Voutsas, Ioannis Anastassakis & Bob Katsionis
A few Technical words about this CD…
This CD was recorded between May 2007 and January 2008 at Bob Katsionis’ Sound Symmetry studio and George Emmanuel’s The Inn studio. All guitar tracks were recorded using the following guitars:
Parker Fly Classic, Steinberger Scepter, Ibanez Prestige RGT 2020, ESP Eclipse II, Vigier Excalibur, Schecter Hellraiser (7-string), Caparison Dellinger 7-string, Ibanez Prestige 1527 (7-string)
Original Compositions by Ioannis Anastassakis Produced by Ioannis Anastassakis and Bob Katsionis Guitars by Ioannis Anastassakis Bass by Ioannis Anastassakis and Bob Katsionis Bass on “The Promised Land” by Vaggelis Yalamas Keyboards by Bob Katsionis Drum programming by Bob Katsionis Engineered by Bob Katsionis CD Cover Design by Gustavo Sazes & Stathis Ridis All Photography by Stavros Tsoupas
A few words about this CD recording &various (ir)relevant ramblings
I have to admit I NEVER expected the incredible fan reception I received for my 2007 instrumental electric recording, “Suspension of Disbelief”. The CD appeared to almost “fly” off the (mostly virtual) shelves overnight and seemed to even become something of a cult hit, spending quite a few weeks in the Top 5 of Guitar9 Overall sales charts, even reaching #1 for some time! An unexpected twist of fate, for sure, it really helped in strengthening my resolve for a prompt follow-up CD recording – “Orbital Attempt” which you are now holding in your hands! So, what differentiates this recording from “Suspension of Disbelief”?
For a start “Orbital Attempt” is a much heavier sounding album! This was not really pre-planned, it was not an “executive” decision based on projected sales and musical trends – as is usually the case, the tracks just took on a life of their on, dictating the final form and function of the completed recording!
Another major difference is that, I assumed the role of the producer to a much greater degree than “Suspension of Disbelief”. Bob was always there to “gently” let me know when I was “seriously messing up” the tracks (his exact, wise words :-)) but, for better or worse, I had decided to follow my personal artistic instincts and inject my own “style” as much as possible in this recording…
In this CD recording, I am deeply honored to have as guests soloists two AMAZING artists! Brett Garsed and Kiko Loureiro – they were both VERY kind and graciously accepted my invitation to trade solos with me in a couple of tracks! Needless to say, I enjoyed this extremely much, I was totally humbled by their brilliant playing and I will do my very best to attempt to reiterate this collaboration in upcoming recording projects!
Finally, for those among you that enjoy my “style” of guitar playing, I am currently preparing a VERY extensive series of instructional books/DVDs in collaboration with Mel Bay Publications – these will be a series of several publications and will include pretty much all the techniques, concepts and even a very large assortment of the specific licks used in this CD! Therefore, I strongly urge you to buy multiple copies of each one of them for yourselves and all your friends, so that I can safely retire a multi-millionaire in the Caribbean within the next couple of years! Thanks!
Meanwhile, If you want to find out more about my Flamenco playing, check out my last 2 recordings: “Flamenco Live at Ioannina” and “Flamenco Journal”, both by Wild Rose Angel Productions, available worldwide through CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes .
I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed recording it! And make sure you check out my WWW site at www.ioannis.org and my ever-growing and almost-daily updated Myspace profile at www.myspace.com/ioannisanastassakis
Track Listing and Explanations
1. Weird Thing (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is one of my favorite tunes on this CD! The intro is a series of flowing sweep-picked arpeggios that set the mood for the melody that follows – The Latin-influenced rhythm at 2.00 was definitely inspired by all those Al di Meola 70s fusion tracks.
Highlights: Trading solos with the AMAZING Kiko Loureiro from Angra !!! Enough said!!
2. Astrochicken’s Victorious Attack (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A melodic, driving rocker, that builds up relentlessly! Based on a very simple melodic idea, this track soon became one of my favorites. Probably 80-85% of the lead guitar was done on a single take, (while Bob was shamelessly devouring a warm pizza), using an Ibanez 7-string with the notable exception of the final guitar/keyboard duel!
Highlights: The final guitar/keyboard duel was one of the MOST fun parts to record in the whole CD!
SHRED ALERT: The last couple of seconds of the track (just before the tremolo “crash landing”) were alternate-picked 16th note triplets played at 170 bpm – that is 1020 notes per minute or 17 notes per second! Finally, I can pick (kinda) fast!!! 🙂
MANY thanks to my talented good friend and former electric guitar student Tasos Varkas for the original idea of the tune and for coming up with the amazing title!
3. The Promised Land (Ioannis Anastassakis)
I always has a soft spot for well-crafted AOR songs by “hair metal” bands, like Tyketto, Dokken, Fifth Angel and Danger Danger. As a result, I always wanted to write an AOR instrumental! “The Promised Land” started as a dead-simple-but-pretty-catchy improvised main riff, but developed very quickly! The guitar solo/Interlude at “4.50” was done in one take and then harmonies were added. The idea of having a “break-up” solo just before the harmony interlude was “lifted” from all the famous 60s & 70s British classic rock bands!
Highlights: The “fake-George-Lynch” solo at “3.42’’-3.58’’”. I really would have loved to have the real George play in the track with me, but I knew I would have no luck getting him to commit something to (virtual) tape – so, instead, as an homage to his amazing talent, I decided to play a solo in his early (mid 80s) style!
SHRED ALERT: The solo immediately after the “fake-George-Lynch” solo features an extreme sampling of the techniques I use in my playing, in just a few seconds! Probably the most characteristic mini-snippet of my “guitar-style” in this CD.
4.A mi Madre (Soleares) (Ioannis Anastassakis)
The Soleares is considered the “mother of Flamenco”, a very “deep” form of song & dance that deals with loneliness… This is one of my original compositions, based on the traditional format of this tragic flamenco form of Cante Hondo. This track is fully transcribed in my book/DVD “Flamenco Journal”, available from Mel Bay publications.
5. Progressive Minds Suite (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is the “obligatory” really-lengthy instrumental suite – the title refers to the different music styles and personal influences that are outlined throughout the track!
Highlights: The main melody was improvised in one take – after we decided to keep it I had to learn it and play variations of it throughout the track. I must admit I was VERY happy to have the opportunity to “flex” my country chops a little – had not done that since my GIT days, so it was certainly a challenge! In this track, I had the honour to trade solos with Brett Garsed, one of the MOST amazingly scary guitar players in the world! Brett was my teacher for almost 2 years when I was in the US and he is the main influence and inspiration behind my Pick & Fingers technique.
OFFICIAL WARNING: Small “snippets” of this suite WILL DEFINITELY remind you of specific influential guitarists – this was done on purpose and is an “homage”, a tribute, if you will, definitely NOT an attempt at plagiarism! See if you can spot elements and phrases influenced by Eric Johnson, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore and quite a few more!
6. Orbital Attempt (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A very melodic, neoclassical-influenced track. The intro and the open string riff were written more than 12 years ago, originally composed on keys, back in my keyboard-playing days! The rest of the track was composed for this CD. The main idea was to present a neoclassical influenced tune where there was an intentional interplay between contemporary fast & elaborate shredding and very tuneful, almost romantic, passionately played melodic ideas. Having spent a considerable part of my youth listening to early Vinnie Moore and Tony Macalpine, I wanted to record a neoclassical shredding tune that I would be proud of. I think their influence is obvious in this track!
Highlights: The slow, romantic melodies are reminiscent of those used by Gary Moore. Also, the various pedal-point fills
SHRED ALERT: WAY too many too mention! I REALLY let loose on this one! I am SO happy Bob is not getting paid by the note…
7. Veridiana (Rumba Flamenca) (Ioannis Anastassakis)
This is one of my favourite original Flamenco compositions, which I composed in late 1997! The pulsating rhythm of the rumba, as well as the countless variations of the Rasgueados and the percussive Golpes, make this a joy to play live. It is based on the key of Em, and this track is taken from a live concert recording, with absolutely no overdubs!
8. Power Core (Ioannis Anastassakis)
A strong metal track, fast and exciting – the main riff is played using open strings and the whole thing is doubled on the keyboards! The Symphony-X influenced second half of the tune includes some of my favourite Harmonic minor soloing!
9. The Greek Guitar Power Jam… (Ioannis Anastassakis)
After receiving literally HUNDREDS of (mostly) positive comments about “The Final Jam” from my previous CD, I definitely wanted to record another Jam Track –this time, however, with an IMPORTANT difference! All the amazing guitarists participating are very young (at MOST in their very early 20s) and they are ALL my own guitar students and either full-time or part time members of the Greek Guitar Power team! The composition is split into 3 parts harmonically – G minor, D phrygian dominant and E phrygian dominant! Here’s a list of the solos played by each player –the rest
10. BONUS : The Greek Guitar Power Jam… BACKING TRACK (Ioannis Anastassakis)
What’s the point of having a Jam track if you cannot JAM over it? Wouldn’t it be REALLY cool to have the backing track from one or more of the tunes included in an instrumental guitar CD? Now you do!!
11. BONUS TRACK : Guest Solos form Various Recording (Ioannis Anastassakis)
Almost as an afterthought, after the constant nagging of many of my students, I decided to include some of the most fun guitar solos I recorded for various friends’ CDs during 2008. The solos, in order of appearance are
0.00’’-0.17’’ – Alex Flouros
0.18’’-0.28’’ – George Emmanouel
0.28’’-0.57’’ – Marianna
0.57’’-1.25’’ – Descending
1.25’’-1.57’’ – Greek Guitar Power Jam
1.57’’-2.43’’ – Greek Guitar Power Jam
Here are the links on where to buy and download the album: