Chris Matthey - The Trip Of Kaikai
Instrumental Guitar Hard Rock/Progressive Rock
10 songs (50'12)
Release year: 2003
Chris Matthey
Reviewed by Marty
Chris Matthey is a guitarist from Switzerland who began playing at the age of 6. Very dedicated to his instrument, he eventually attended ETM (School Of Musical Technologies) in Geneva, graduating in 1996. Along with fellow college musician friends, he set out to create his first full-length instrumental guitar album. This album, The Trip Of Kaikai was started 4 years ago in 1999.

Seeing Chris' influences, I'm not too surprised by the sound of this album. The whole album is very uplifting and spirited and lots of Joe Satriani styles can be found in Chris' playing. There's lots of fast shredding lead guitar but it's not too technical, opting more for a more expressive lead sound which is refreshing to hear. Lots of harmonized leads and some great Wah pedal solo work accent many tracks and a couple of songs have a faster almost power metal quality to them with the speedy guitars and drums.

The first track, Dive In! brilliantly creates a musical interpretation of what diving under water is like. It starts fast and very spirited and I assume this is representing the speed of the boat getting you to the dive as well as the nervous anticipation. The song then abruptly changes into a serene and almost ambient passage much like the opening to Rush's Xanadu. This part, I assume, is the diver entering the underwater world and the peacefulness and serenity that the diver feels is put into music. The song again gets fast and energetic and culminates with the sound of someone coming out of the water and taking a deep breath. Great stuff!! and I love the visual imagery that this song has. Some great acoustic work can be heard on songs such as Under My Blue Sun and Kissing The Moon with the latter also featuring some nice piano work. The track gets heavier and features some great haunting melodies and leads. The 5th Element sees experimentation with more of a progressive rock sound. Slower, and with a heavier back beat, it uses cool abstract Wah pedal leads mixed with cleaner sustaining guitar. There's a very spacey Pink Floyd style interlude mid-song with some great David Gilmour style leads accompanied by some eerie mellotron organ. A Touch Of Satch Sound sees Chris having a little fun with the whole Satriani thing. Here, he creates a track that sounds a lot like Satch Boogie from Joe Satriani and has the quality of something from Joe's Flying In A Blue Dream or Extremist albums.

If you like great instrumental guitar hard rock and like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai etc., definitely check this album out. It can be ordered through his website (see link above). He creates a great feel and energy with his songs and there's so much variety that it captures and keeps your interest for the whole album. There's a certain air of unpredictability with the songs that I like as well. Most instrumental guitar albums sound great for the first few songs but tend to get repetitive and start to loose your interest towards the end. This is not one of those albums. A very adventurous and great sounding album........well done!!

Killing Songs :
Dive In!, Kissing The Moon, The 5th Element and A Touch Of Satch Sound
Marty quoted 80 / 100
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