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pix New Artists For August-September, 2004 pix
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pix pix Uncovering Guitar Potential  

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Kins Xu

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Rough 'N' Ready Instrumental Demo

Influenced by the artists on the Shrapnel Records and Favored Nations labels, London based guitarist Kins Xu submitted his five song instrumental rock demo CD-R. The words 'rough and ready' are sometimes used to describe demos such as these, with a bare bones production, moments of brilliant playing, and other moments that just didn't quite make it. Xu has picked up a lot of contemporary techniques in the short time he has been playing guitar, and you can hear a lot of them on the demo. But there are a lot of times where the playing either doesn't fit rhythmically, or there are simply mistakes left in the song. Once these are recognized, they could be edited, or Xu could just do more takes until the performance is stronger. Because focusing on the good portions, a hard rock or metal fan could be quite impressed with the playing. This is just a matter of getting more experience playing, engineering and producing - something that time tends to fix for all conscientious players and students of the instrument.

alb Kins has been playing for five years, starting at age 19 while he was a student at Cambridge University. Initially he was attracted to the beauty and expressiveness of the instrument. In April 2002, he enrolled at the Guitar Institute in West London to take a Diploma Course in Guitar. In the summer of the same year, he was enrolled in a Guitar Degree Course in the widely acclaimed ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music), which boasts world class players like: Eric Roche, Gotherine Goven, Dave Kilminster, Phil Hobourn, Peter Frieson and others. During this time I have worked with a fellow guitarist by the name of Johnny B on many songs and the pair managed to produce a small demo tape called "Kins and John B". The demo was made in the summer of 2002 just within a weeks' time. At the moment, Kins divides his time between studying at ACM and producing a solo electric guitar album, as well as trying to promote his music worldwide via the Internet.

Xu has a two-pronged future plan: one is to keep developing his instrumental guitar works, and the other is to help songwriters and bands with his guitar work.

Contact Information
Kins Xu
1, Osbourne House, Wesley Ave.
London E16 1SS
United Kingdom

E-mail: Kins Xu
Web site: www.kinsxu.com

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Lachlan Barclay

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Intense Musical Guitaration

Lachlan, who mixed this? Seriously, the first thing that strikes you on Australian guitarist Barclay's demo CD-R, First Of Many, is that on a couple of tracks, the tiny hi-hat is louder and more dominant than the big ol' snare of doom. That and the fact that the guitar sounds like it was recorded direct (without any kind of cabinet emulator) means you have to get past those points of unpleasantness before you can enjoy the metal and progressive metal based instrumental tracks that follow. Barclay has a very interesting approach to the guitar, and has a ton of ability on the instrument. He frames a lot of his compositions rhythmically (so they rock), and then they are enhanced with impressively fluid solos, propulsive guitar hooks, faser/phlanger noodlings, and two-handed fights of fancy. Regardless of how the demo sounds, Barclay's got a future with this stuff if he follows his instincts and continues down this progressive metal path.

pic After listening to Metallica for about four years, Lachlan picked up a copy of Joe Satriani's "Surfing With The Alien", so he immediately bought a transcription of the music and a Jackson guitar and proceeded to learn the album. He's still working on it, but has found time to listen to other noted guitar players, including Jason Becker, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Tony MacAlpine, Yngwie Malmsteen and many others. Lachlan studied a bit of music his last year of high school, before getting into progressive rock while attending university. He currently plays with a progressive rock band called Twin Paradox. Lachlan has a computer science degree, he's traveled halfway around the world to buy his guitar (only to put a massive ding in it 3 days later), and he owns the world's largest collection of German assorted cheeses and meats. Just kidding about the cheeses. Just kidding about the meats too. He's never even met a German.

In addition to someday actually assembling a world-class collection of German assorted meats and cheeses, Barclay will continue to play mind-shatteringly great gigs with his band Twin Paradox.

Contact Information
Lachlan Barclay
Australia

E-mail: Lachlan Barclay
Web site: www.clockwise.shorturl.com

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