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Dimitar Nalbantov is a new face in the virtuosic world, so I guess that most of you encounter his name for the first time. Initial tones of the debut were prepared just in 2004, but they got the final shape in 2006. Dimi, as Mr. Nalbantov is diminutively called, won the Internet "Guitar Player 2000" contest in alternative music category. But his "Universe" is far from the mentioned music category. The album was recorded in two-person line-up: Dimi himself (guitars, basses, keys, percussion, drums on two tracks) and John Wooten (lead drummer).

Firstly, I must write that Bulgarian's music is played with rock and heavy verve. Secondly, what elements are typical of his manner? Clear vibrato, perfect technique, picturesque tones, audible folk music inspirations, skillful electronics' use, masses of musical concepts and their excellent execution and the guitar style having the eighties' spirit. Dimitar is a multiinstrumentalist who can produce a great incidental music for his solo achievements. I, as a listener, hadn't the impression of tiring while Dimitar's playing. The Bulgarian is an intelligent musician who uses his proficiency for brilliant compositions' arranging. I also think that Dimi's tones have enormous, emotional load and peaceful message. His music is as natural as the nature painted on the cover. I should additionaly write that the production of John Mayes' and Dimi's authorship is first-class, but the credit for the mastering goes to Fc Bester who had an occasion to cooperate with Neil Zaza for instance. Yes, their contribution to "Universe" is really significant.

When I listen to this CD, I feel like the king of the universe. It's a pity that I'm not. I'd have to be an absolute ignoramus to underestimate his music. I guarantee that a boredom is impossible by Dimi's guitar playing. As a matter of fact, Dimitar is an art teacher, but his "Universe" proves that you don't need to be musically educated to be a respected virtuoso. I can honestly recommend Dimi's debut to those people who have a nice time listening to the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai (similarity as regards guitar sound only), Bane Jelic (a Serbian guitarist also recorded his own "Universe"), Davide Marrari, Patrik Carlsson, Wojciech Hoffmann, Anand, Igor Belsky and Michael Orlando. I think that Dimitar should be as well-known as his compatriot - Nikolo Kotzev, because he deserves a popularity with no doubt. And now, let's drive along a highway playing "Universe"!

More from Nicolandia | HMP Magazine | Department of Virtuosity

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