Kerem Atalay is a self-taught guitarist who discovered American Primitive guitar while studying at University of Maryland and living in Takoma Park - where the style, and its creator, were both born. His work varies in structure and character, ranging from long-form compositions to brief impressionistic explorations. The pieces on Summer Winter tend to fall somewhere close to the middle of that spectrum and all draw inspiration from the seasons they are named after.
"Summer Winter stems from the southern blues of Fahey’s earlier work. Split into two seasonal sides—“Summer” and “Winter,” four parts each—Atalay asks listeners to lean in closely to spot the subtle differences in how his guitar, all acoustic with no effects, translates hot and cool. The familiar ways to differentiate the seasons are present. “Summer” is often faster, louder, and has a warmer tone, while “Winter” is cooler in tone, quiet, and slower. The trap with these traditional fingerpicked methods is that one could make “Winter” less complex and less compelling. Atalay avoids this with a clever choice: He tweaks the weight of the notes."- Justin Weber, Washington City Paper