Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Andy Summers, best known for his guitar riffs with The Police, is out with his 14th solo album. It’s called “Triboluminescence” and it’s as interesting as its title. This instrumental masterpiece is the audio version of the optical phenomenon that it is named after. Triboluminescence is an optical phenomenon where light is generated through breaking chemical bonds of a material being ripped, scratched or somehow manipulated. The mechanism of action throughout this offering happens to be a guitar and the friction that Summers’ fingers create between its strings and frets is a listening event from beginning to end. “If Anything” is the opening song and it sets a virtuosic scene. The title track then puts forth the light to sound analogy in hypnotic fashion.
While, in my opinion, the guitar is the star of this album, the rhythm section is riveting with tribal drum beats that explode during my favorite track “Gigantopithecus.” Each song is filled with layers of complexity, exquisitely produced to bring out a variety of textures and tones. Orchestral cello excerpts bring this album to a close with the delightful “Garden of the Sea.” If you enjoy an active listening experience and analyzing an array of guitar effects, “Triboluminescence” is a must have. This is an album that you can listen to over and over again and you’re bound to hear something different each and every time.