(Disaster Amnesiac) The other day Disaster Amnesiac got lost while driving around the the East Bay Hills near Richmond. As this was going on, I was quite happy to have My Benign Swords, Ernesto Diaz-Infante's new release playing on my car stereo. This, on account of how his adventurous guitar playing provided a mental frame of exploration and wonder, perfect for moving through unfamiliar areas.
The songs on Swords, all coaxed from a nylon stringed guitar, go to many fascinating sound worlds: percussive clanged notes on My Forgotten Stars and Where are you? Hope you're okay?, warbled stutters in Fear of Love, harmonic overtone sliding in Yin, and the floating, wide open spaces of Moving Away From My Mind (Disaster Amnesiac's fave track on the disc) and The Inside Answers. Across all of the disc's tracks, laid down "Next Door to the Jefferson Airplane Studios", and presented with really beautiful cover art, Diaz-Infante displays great control and creativity: he's got a vision and chops with which to achieve it. My Benign Swords is a recording that near perfectly realizes the fusion of quiet, intimate ideas with challenging experimental moves, and, as such, is highly recommended to those that would get lost within such zones. Disaster Amnesiac should probably keep my copy in the car, as I do tend to get lost fairly often. - Mark Pino
(Avant Music News) Ernesto Diaz-Infante works with nylon-string guitar and goes for a more elemental sound wherein, as with Picasso’s guitar, the sum is dissolved into the parts. The strings in particular take on a separate personality, scrabbling and popping under Diaz-Infante’s fingers, wobbling as a metal or glass object glides over them, having the ridges of their silver wrap sound at the scrape of a nail. Diaz-Infante gives as intimate a view into the instrument as one could hope to have.- Daniel Barbiero
(Chain D.L.K.) "My Benign Swords" marks a partial depart by this guitarist from his previous release as, instead of his usual strumming, he tries a more complex framework. From this point of view, "My Forgotten Stars" sounds as traumatic start with his unidiomatic lines. The extended technique that opens "Fear of Love" introduces sparse notes as a distorted version of some romantic tune so, when the strumming returns in "Fear of Going Crazy", there's a sense of confort as an expectation fulfilled but it's suddenly ended at the middle of the track when, with a sort of tapping, he returns to unorthodox territories. The quiet lines of "Yin" sound as a sort of rest while "Moving Away From My Mind" returns to his recent style based on the sustain of his guitar and "The Inside Answers" returns to his strumming playing mode able to hypnotize the listener while "Where are you? Hope you're okay?" sounds as a glitch version of his music but without a laptop involved and the brief "See you soon" quietly closes this release with some questions about where he's going to go. Experimental enough with his courage to go into new territories, he escapes those vague sense of repetition which could arise in his last release to puzzle the listener if he's thinking to go into even free jazz territories. It's really a surprise. - Andrea Piran
(Babysue) The second eh? release is My Benign Swords by Ernesto Diaz-Infante. We've reviewed this fellow's music in the past. Once again, Ernesto presents ideas and concepts beyond the scope of music in the traditional sense. This album is a sparse minimalist endeavor featuring one man playing a nylon-string guitar. But if you're expecting folk or soft hippie pop, think again. Ernesto plays the guitar in ways it isn't usually played...and then sometimes manipulates those sounds into something that sounds very much unlike a guitar. Listening to this, we couldn't help but be reminded of some of the more unconventional pieces recorded by John Cage. Very different...and very unpredictable. We're always intrigued by things on the eh? label. And these two releases and yet more reminders that there always are other interesting artists who can be be found in the expansive world of music. - Don Seven