Gary Peters: No Pedals No Way Vol. 2 – 2020, Grooves

A series of improvisations based around electronica and pedal steel guitar


Musician and philosopher Gary Peters releases a series of improvisations, based around electronica and pedal steel guitar. In total, there are four volumes of No Pedals No Way, each drawing on a different musical source.

As the title states, the second volume is based around “grooves”, which are a mixture of loops and samples. Peters then manipulates these electronically and introduces his own guitar and pedal steel playing.

Atmospherically, the majority of the electronic elements are more in the ambient style than anything else, and Peters’ pedal steel fits into the tracks well, with delicate melody and improvisation. However, Peters draws from a variety of genres. Rock On JD, for example, uses a jazz sample over which pedal steel and guitar are heavily layered, which would be completely at home on a Nu-jazz album from the 1990s. In contrast, the following track, Thief Of Time, opens with an orchestral sample and Peters gradually increases the presence of the guitars and drums, slowly morphing the track into something completely different, before finally returning to the sample to end the piece.

The juxtaposition of styles occurs throughout the album. The 11th track, the bluesy Sole Survivor, uses a sparse bass and drum sample beneath layered electric guitars, and then on the 12th, Shame, Peters uses arpeggiated guitar and a simple drum beat to create a modern pop/rock track over which he improvises slowly and melodically.

Original and varied, Peter’s album should suit those interested in a range of music, particularly improvisation and electronics and jazz interface. Available online only, No Pedals No Way Vol. 2 – 2020, Grooves can be heard and purchased on Peter’s Bandcamp page.

Norfolk; Round Up Again; Atonement; Rock On JD; Thief Of Time; The DTs; Alphabet Soup; Dark Star Cast (Version 1); Jolene; Infinity No. 12; Sole Survivor (Instrumental Version); Shame; I Was The First To Cast A Stone; Thief Of Time (YouTube Version); The Shallows; Somewhere (… But Where?) (78.30)
Peters (Pedal steel guitar, g, b, pc, md, bj, syn, v); Francis Peters, Calum MacLean, Jimmy Swales (elec). England, no date.