AcidGuitarKing - "Liquid Sky" (Mp3.com/Black Butterfly 2002)
AcidGuitarKing - "Savage Saint" (Black Butterfly 2002)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
I first heard Pennsylvania based trip guitarist Mike Wingate's music when I reviewed his three CosmicEcho CD's in AI #20. Immersing myself in that trio of discs I was impressed with Wingate's brand of peaceful, melodic and mind expanding spaced out psychedelia. So I was more than happy when I found two new releases from Wingate in my mailbox under his AcidGuitarKing moniker.
The aptly titled Liquid Sky comes in two versions, one is an Mp3.com DAM CD and the other a CDR released on Wingate's own Black Butteryfly label. The main difference between the two is that the Butterfly version has two additional tracks well worth having. Anyway, I have to say at the outset that this AcidGuitarKing has got to be one of the more passionate and purely cosmic psychedelic musicians on the current scene. Listening to the music on Liquid Sky is like strapping yourself into a paisley colored magic carpet and taking off toward the heavens. But it's the journey that Wingate is concerned with... his slow but mindbending style making powerful musical statements rather than mere brain shattering or fretboard shredding. Space is the place, and Wingate excels at conscious altering melodies that will provide you with the aural equivalent of a full bowl of nature's best. The whole album flows seamlessly from one track to the next such that I never concerned myself with individual titles. Nice... very nice.
On his Savage Saint CD, the AcidGuitarKing travels down a much harder rocking road. The pace of the music is trademark Wingate but the approach is meaner and ballsier than the more floating nature of the music on Liquid Sky. It's great to hear him rocking out, his solos as passionate as ever but in a more kick-yer-ass style. The atmosphere is dark and the guitar licks are an acidic blend of doom, goth, psychedelia and metal. Just dig the layered dueling guitars on the 9 minute "Death March". Fucking mean shit... yeah!! My favorite track on the CD. "Living Free" is another heavy rocking highlight that will get yer toes tappin and yer head boppin. And "Kiss My Axe" is Hendrix gone thundering doom metal. Another fine set from the AcidGuitarKing.
In summary, Mike Wingate is a guitarist that all AI readers should know. Put on the headphones and he'll give you a an earful that will penetrate and massage your brain. And here's a pair of discs that showcase two different sides of this passionate axe master. Get ‘em both.
For more information you can visit the AcidGuitarKing Mp3.com web sit at: http://www.mp3.com.au/AcidGuitarKing.
Also visit the Black Butterfly Recording web site for information on Wingate's CDR releases: http://www.acidguitarking.s5.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz