Seabuckthorn

Music of Andy Cartwright                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           




Of Disappearance, Near Translucent, I Could See The Smoke... It is often a question of erasure, transparency, vapors and smoke in the titles of the instrumental pieces of Andy Cartwright, aka Seabuckthorn. It must be said that for this English guitarist, as discreet as he is essential, these images have almost the value of manifestos: here is a man who does not use music to put his ego forward... With the patience of the poet, he seems on the contrary applying himself to dissolve it, to erase it, to bring it back into the state of trace or ghost into sensitive forms, imaginary landscapes, literally unheard-of sound spaces: a whole theater of shadows where only dream and invention would be in power. To achieve this, Cartwright exploits all the resources of the 12 strings acoustic and resonator guitars, of which he extends or sharpens echoes with effects, a bow, percussions... So many suitable tools for this virtuoso of the chiaroscuro, this master of the in between, always halfway between telluric and aerial, melody and drone, figurative and abstract. This way of sneaking between the lines allows him also to blur many spatiotemporal tracks: like other visionary guitarists (Robbie Basho, Jack Rose, Ben Chasny...), Seabuckthorn likes nothing so much as illuminating secret paths, secret passages connecting eras and genres. As minimalist as it is, his system allows him to see far and wide: in his hands the school of the baroque lute, Delta blues, American primitive guitar, and ambient music seem to meet and intertwine”
- Richard Robert - Festival Les Tombées de la Nuit 2017.



"You might think that there are enough solo guitarists already, but Cartwright is able to construct a pretty particular sound which makes him stand head and shoulders above the competition. (...) A better comparison is the work of Grails at the time of their classic Burning Off Impurities, though without the post-rock climaxes. Or the film music of the composer Gustavo Santaolalla. The way the high pulsing triplets in opener "Eve Of The Rains" are pulled open by a compelling melody would be perfect for a Iñárritu movie." 
- Enola Magazine


"Painted with rich, brooding inferences to drone-folk, modern classical, and haunting Americana with the articulation of a grand master."
- Tiny Mix Tapes


"This record doesn't sound like anything else in our collection and on which no label could be placed (we read “panoramic folk” somewhere, there is some of that) – seems to be gaining in thickness and majesty with each listen, where one is wondering if this is the only record we will listen to this summer." 
- The Drone


"Tagging it is a difficult task – Americana, British Folk, modern classical, drone: it’s all there and it’s none of that, too. (And usually this is a sign of something special.)"
- Ambient Blog


"Beautiful folk/ambient experiments "
- Uncut Magazine


"With 'I Could See The Smoke', Seabuckthorn continued to write atmospheric music that sounds like the score to a non-existent movie."
- Dying For Bad Music


"Cinematical textures full of epic visions crossed by a warm, dusty wind."
- So What Musica 


"Cartwright plays with genre in such a way that he's almost thrown away the concept. Elements of experimental drone and outsider folk are sprinkled throughout this LP, but the music itself is Cartwright's own. It's not a blend, it's not pastiche, it's something startlingly new altogether."
- Exclaim!


"Turns" is American primitivism that longed for freedom and escaped from a western corral tied with decayed boards. May more such conscious, courageous creators choose to escape into the unknown. And those who are still hesitating, let them take the example of Seabuckthorn!"
- Nowamuzyka


"It is what is left out that gives these tracks their power and impact; there are no unnecessary passages of showboating or superfluous grandstanding. Everything has its place and it is carefully, and sensitively, constructed and yet seems so spontaneously organic"
- Dayz Of Purple And Orange


“ While much of the album aligns itself with the solo guitar and American primitive genres, there's a pronounced classical dimension in play, too, which emerges in the hypnotic fingerpicking patterns that animate “Lanterns” and “Near Translucent,” as well as a number of other pieces. Whatever the differences from one track to the next, a somewhat Southern gothic-styled undercurrent runs throughout, the album at times feeling like a particularly dark and cryptic narrative by William Faulkner or Flannery O'Connor rendered into musical form” 
- Textura


"An album that is different from the linear expression of fingerpicking, raising its language to a constituent element of a substantially ambient music, created and finished in an original way, exclusively from acoustic strings."
- Music won't Save You


“ A strikingly unique style using 12-string and resonator guitars finger-picked with masterful agility and surprisingly genuine Americana flavor or bow-drawn to create droning, multi-layered atmospheres of timeless and exotic character and near cinematic scope."
- Stationary Travels


“ Seabuckthorn instills a cinematic span and a depth of field into his acoustic vision, one that we would like to experience more in the guitar world"
- Indie Rock Mag


“Much less dark than its cover in black and anthracite shades suggests, this collection lets break the day and plays with the shadows and lights”
- Magic


“Seabuckthorn will delight those who expect a transcendental dimension from music, a melting pot that comes as much from the trance as from a certain idea of madness”
- Benzine Mag


"Andy Cartwright abandons himself to cinematic excursions, in harmonies in open chords, where one quickly notices his attraction for the music of Jack Rose among others."
- Revue & Corrigée


"The EP release defies simple description, with folk and drone meeting a modest grandeur that would be at home in the neoclassical canon."
- Various Small Flames


“The album ‘Turns’ sees the guitar take centre stage, with intricate acoustic notes trickling as cinematic swathes of strings and orchestral noise shimmer. On occasion, the strings are more prominent to create a variation and help weave a story.”
irregular crates


“The notes smolder and glow, illuminated by an inner flame.  When the guitarist leaves, there’s no telling if the fire has gone out for good; one suspects that it remains, waiting to be rekindled by just the right breeze.”
- A Closer Listen


“It's an incredible album, very inspiring to hear an original guitarist who gives a great importance to sound and atmosphere. A kind of an interesting cross between Greg Malcolm and Basho. It made me go and pick up my guitar. That's a good sign.”
- Yair Yona


"The easiest way to review something is to say that it’s similar to something else or maybe to say that it’s like the best bits of one thing mixed together with the best bits of something else. Therein lies the problem for 'They Haunted Most Thickly'. It’s actually unlike anything I’ve listened to before. It is acoustic and it is folk music but the folk stories it refers to are not specific tales or themes, they are folk experiences, they are recollections of occurrences buried so deep that you can’t find specific events to hang the feelings on to, you just know that you have been there before."
- Record Collector, Norman Records.


"Immersive, intense, vast, strange, in a word: beautiful, ‘They Haunted Most Thickly’ has no equivalent among my collection."
- Records Are Better Than People


“The guitar is controlled and inventive even when underscoring rather than leading, the layered whole demanding the listener’s concentration. This is work on the edge of what might be defined as acoustic guitar and anyone pushing the boundaries of the genre this well has to be applauded. “
- Folk Radio UK 


“The Seabuckthorn guitar game is amazing ... and even quite innovative, I find. He starts from a style known (roughly: "ragga bluegrass", that of Basho, John Fahey, etc.) and takes it to his own territory. Bravo.“
- David F Presents 


“ Looking back at the progressive rock and songwriting that traditionally dominate my Album of the Year 2017 selections, the oscillating ambiance of ‘Turns’ makes it an unlikely choice at first glance. It has, however, almost served as my companion this year, providing many moments of contemplative stillness in an otherwise manic existence without ever losing a bit of its intrigue or mystique”
- Dr Spin’s Musicial Musings


"To refer to Seabuckthorn as a solo guitarist seems like a gross oversimplification. I think had I gone into the album in all ignorance I might not have even made that distinction."
- Was Ist Das


"Spanning worlds between traditional folk music and weighty neo-classical music, Seabuckthorn's passages are heavy with emotional resonance that jump and spark from a highly expressive style of playing that is traditionally rooted and highly experimental and free-thinking."
- Tome To The Weather Machine


"If your musical tastes match the Venn diagram drawn by Seabuckthorn’s ambient/folk hybrid, this is one album you definitely need to check out."
- Fluid Radio


"impressively captivating stuff that acts as both an inviting in-road for the uninitiated and a culminating reward for longer-term followers."
- Delusions of Adequacy


"A fascinating and cinematic symphony of states of mind, of ephemeral sensations and inner landscapes that appear to emerge from the shadows of a chiaroscuro."
- Buscadero magazine


“It is clear that ‘A House With Too Much Fire’ flies to new territories, one of this year's most fascinating and astonishing records. “
- Indie music


"New & Notable: Brutal and brilliant experimental guitar music with a bit of psychedelic flair"
- Bandcamp