How many have ever heard of ErrorHead or even better yet, Marcus Deml? Think of a Hendrix/Beck type of guitarist meeting Pink Floyd. Think of a musician with the virtuosic properties of a rare combination of many of the world’s finest guitarists and then you can begin to understand the evolution of a Marcus Deml. Perhaps a new find for some, Marcus is one of the world’s leading session musicians. “In 2005, Guitar Player magazine recognized Marcus as one of the Top 3 Guitar Heroes and invited him to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland where Steve Lukather and Joe Satriani presented him the award.”
Born in the Czech Republic in 1967, Marcus ended up in Germany two years later. In 1986 he moved to Hollywood to attend the famous Musicians Institute where he studied among some great players. Practicing up to 12 hours a day for the next two years and impressing just about everyone he came in contact with, he was asked to join the faculty in 1988. However, being unable to secure a permanent work permit/visa in the USA he decided to return to Europe in 1993, even though he had several work offers as a session and touring guitarist.
While in the States, Marcus played the L.A. club scene for five years. Returning to Europe he began working on a new project. After its release in 1994, he made his live debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The rest is history as they say. Being a high-demand studio player, he did around 300 sessions as a guitarist over a 10-12 year span. From '94 - '06 he has worked on or recorded 33 albums. In 1995 he started to work on a solo project that later became ErrorHead. ErrorHead came to fruition due to the fact that Marcus wanted more artistic control over his work. ErrorHead’s discography is as follows: Errorhead (’98), Errorrhythm (’04), Electric Outlet: On (’06), and now Modern Hippie (’08).
Don’t let the title of this new release fool or confuse you. It takes a late 60’s early 70’s sound and transforms it in time to fit in with today’s complicated mix of genres. One never knows what to expect from a Deml release except that it will contain some of the best guitar work you will ever hear. His latest band consists of bass legend Frank Itt, drummer Zacky Tsoukas, and vocalist Robbie Smith. Additional musicians on the new CD are keyboardist Tom Aeschbacher and backup vocalist Melanie Stahlkopf. It was recorded at Marcus’s own recording studio, the “Electric Lion” in Hamburg, Germany.
There are 13 tracks on and runs for 41:34. Three short tracks, “That’s Good,” “Dave,” and “Yeah Man” have Deml goofing off or otherwise laying down a few quick riffs. Some of the tracks have vocals or spoken ramblings; some don’t. For the most part the CD is vocal free or kept to a minimum.
The beginning of “Connected” has you thinking a Hendrix CD got into your player by mistake. When the band kicks it, you are inclined to think a Johnny Lang/Kenny Wayne Shepherd CD sounding like King’s X transformed itself onto the Hendrix CD. Then Marcus takes over and right away things seem to make sense once again.
The previously mentioned ramblings are clearly evident on “For My Brothers.” Suffice to just say this one has a very interesting beginning to it. It also has a Funk/Blues/Motown/Rock sound to it. The bottom line is this track rocks and Deml’s flair turns the song into its own entity. “Temporary Impression” starts off with a beautiful Deml melody with equally impressive bass, keys, and drums. This turns into a very nice song that showcases Deml’s originality and unique sound that he is more than aptly capable of producing at a moment's notice. This is another highlight on the CD and maybe one of the strongest of the bunch.
“Watch My Cloud” is quite a change. It’s almost as if “shrooms” or “acid” are somehow intended to be part of the equation. “Northern Lights” is another impressive instrumental with great changes throughout - wonderful orchestration. “Heaven” is a slower tempo Funk/Rock/Blues/Techno-sounding tune. Deml’s great guitar work makes this a better track than it would have been otherwise. “Bhangra Baby” has a Middle Eastern/Indian sound right from the start. Don’t be tempted to fast forward to the next track -- it will be a great injustice. Marcus lays down some of his heaviest guitar work on this one. This line-up can take and make a song into something its not or would be expected otherwise. This will turn into a quick favorite.
“We Came In Peace” tries to make a statement for the betterment of the human race. The title says it all -- a good listen. Another real nice listen is “Follow Your Dreams.” This track has Marcus overdubbing his acoustic play with his electric work. “Tata” is one that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the CD. It could have easily been left out and nobody would have noticed.