Virtuosic, instrumental guitar albums can go either one of two ways. They are creative, adventurous and exploratory at their best, leaping generic boundaries at a whim, adding to the not-insignificant back catalogue. At their worst, they can be obvious, showy and indulgent, more of the same and following in the tracks made by earlier, better creatives.

Thankfully, Chimera falls very much in the former category. It is an album which adds to the musical canon rather than merely takes up space. It pushes things forward instead of just riding the coattails of those who have gone before. It is forward-thinking and progressive rather than backwards glancing and nostalgic.

Take the opening salvo, Asian Sky, a cinematic and understated piece that takes its time to set the scene, a serene canvas of musical hues that conjure the splendour and spectacle of perhaps the sun setting over lush green expanses or arid beauty or even urban exotica.

It is only in the second track, A Working Day, when Carlo really stamps his six-string virtuosity on the album with the spiralling cascades of notes over a busy and relentless background throb, together creating a soundtrack to the hustle and hassle of the modern city.

And from there, having marked the two ends of the spectrum, the ambient and the action-orientated, he can wander off in all directions. Nostalgia plays with the acoustic traditions of his homeland. The Big Boh is busy, all ornate streams of notes, dexterous beat patterns and sibilant percussion, and Jump Up mixes that Asian vibe with western progressions, eastern understatement with western funkiness, occident meets orient in the heart of the song.

There are plenty of times when the likes of Steely Dan feel like a suitable reference. The same cross-genre blends with heavy jazz-rock leanings, the same poise and purpose, that same restraint – the art of musicianship is, after all, as much about knowing when not to play, to create space, intrigue, anticipation and atmosphere as it is playing up to the listener’s expectation.

Chimera is that process played to perfection.

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