There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Though inspired by the massed-guitar work of Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham, Tone sounds more like a rock band than an orchestra on its six-composition, cassette-only release Tone: The Guitar Ensemble. Led by 9:30 Club manager Norm Veenstra, the five-guitar (plus bass and drums) group does have a modal wallop onstage, but this recording captures the structure of the music more than the wailing overtones of live performance; tracks like “Mr. Authority” and “The Power of Introspection” suggest King Crimson and Dick Dale as much as Branca and Chatham. “Galvanized Mass” builds nicely, though, and “A Camel’s Dream” breaks free of its tight opening schema for a bracing bit of seemingly improvised cacophony—and, uh, a bass solo. There’s no address on the tape, but it’s available at Go! and (presumably) other such stores.