the police

The Andy Summers Walking on the Moon analog flanger is designed to produce liquid flanging tones that hint towards chorusing effects with the extra depth and nuance Andy is known for.

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Fitting for a rock star, Andy Summers has a large palette of guitars, including this Collings 360 ST, flanked by a selection of Gibsons, Fenders, and other models on the rack behind him. Photo by Mo Summers

The Police’s slightly cranky guitar shaman dodges gear questions before expounding on the looping strategies and anything-goes approach on his new solo album, Triboluminescence.

In a career spanning half a century, Andy Summers, who rose to mainstream prominence in the late 1970s with the Police, has clearly been a sound seeker. The range of tonal colors and atmospheres he’s achieved on Police songs like “Every Breath You Take,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” and “Roxanne”—not to mention on a long series of solo albums, beginning with 1987’s XYZ—is stunning.

Summers’ deep mastery of effects is especially apparent on his latest solo effort, Triboluminescence, the follow-up to 2015’s Metal Dog. On the album, Summers uses what sounds like a whole shop’s worth of effects to create instrumentals that by turns reflect guitar-hero antics and non-Western influences, and which seem to exist entirely in their own place.

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