“At any given time, there are always a handful of visionary guitarists who carve out their own compelling and distinctive niche, as well as many more who exhibit virtuosic technique or write consistently great songs. McPhee’s work checks off all three of those boxes, but his greatest moments reach another plane altogether where it feels like he is channelling something much deeper, more timeless, and almost supernatural“. (Brainwashed.com)
Solo electric guitarist Dean McPhee plays a Fender Telecaster through a valve amp and effects pedals, combining clean, chiming melodic lines with loops, drones and deep layers of delay and echo. A self-taught musician with a fluid, natural style, Dean’s deeply meditative and atmospheric solo guitar music is inspired by the landscapes and folklore of the UK, drawing together influences from British Folk, Dub, Kosmische, Post Rock, Minimalism, Mali Blues and Modal Jazz. Dean records live with no overdubs and since starting to play solo guitar in 2007 he has released a steady stream of releases including 3 full length albums, an EP and 7″ singles on the Blast First Petite, World in Winter Recordings, Sonido Polifonico and Hood Faire labels. He has also appeared on several releases on the “unique and essential” (Dusted Magazine) Folklore Tapes label including a double split 10″, three cassette compilations and two compilation LPs. His music has been played on national and international radio stations including a live session for BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Ravenscroft. His recordings have received glowing reviews from The Wire Magazine, The Quietus, MOJO, Record Collector Magazine, Brainwashed and Uncut Magazine to name a few.
Dean is a confident and experienced live performer and as well as touring the UK and Europe in his own right he has opened for artists such as the Thurston Moore Band, Acid Mothers Temple, The Magic Band, Sharon Van Etten, James Blackshaw, Bilge Pump, Michael Hurley, Emeralds, Michael Chapman, Eric Chenaux, Josh T Pearson, Daniel Bachman, Lichens, Josephine Foster, Meg Baird, Paper Dollhouse, Bohren and der Club of Gore and Charalambides. In 2012 Dean was chosen by Michael Chapman to join him in a guitar trio with the guitarist Daniel Land to perform a live recreation of Michael’s experimental “noise” album “The Resurrection and Revenge of the Clayton Peacock” at The Lexington in London. In 2013 he was invited to support Thurston Moore/Michael Chapman for their 2013 joint UK tour, including a performance at The Purcell Rooms in London’s South Bank Centre.
In 2014 Dean performed as part of a live collaboration with The Family Elan, Sageer Ali Khan and Hameed Brothers Qawall playing Qawalli and Indian Classical Music. Dean was special guest on all 8 dates of Wolf People’s (Jagjaguwar) 2016 UK tour and on these dates he was also invited to join them to play with them for their encore “Kingfisher”, a song which guitarist Joe Hollick has described as being influenced by Dean’s music. The same year, he was also invited to compose a one off piece of music to soundtrack the British Artist Graham Dolphin’s retrospective at the National Gallery of Contemporary Art in Sunderland, along with other artists such as Richard Skelton, David Grubbs and Jad Fair.
In 2018 Dean joined the European booking agency “La Cordillere” alongside artists such as Michael Chapman, Marisa Anderson and Daniel Bachman, which led to him playing a 15 date tour in The Netherlands, Belgium and France on a double bill with fellow solo guitarist Andy Cartwright aka Seabuckthorn. He has also toured the UK twice and performed in Europe with Folklore Tapes/Hood Faire labelmates Sam McLoughlin and David Chatton Barker.
Dean’s music has been used in several short films, including a Tate short film about the artist Damian Hirst’s piece “For the Love of God” and Irish artist Lisa Byrne’s award winning short film about the Troubles “Taxi III Stand up and Cry Like a Man” which was screened at the Guggenheim in New York. In 2019 he composed a soundtrack for the short film “What is your identity if you are not your name?” by filmmaker Harry Wheeler which was shown live at Tusk Festival. In 2019 Dean led a workshop for young people with the community radio station BCB106.6 in his home city of Bradford where he performed and talked about his life as a musician. He was also invited by author Alistair Fruish to take part in two sessions in HMP Leicester where he performed for the men in the prison and also played music with them.
Dean has just finished recording his fourth full length album which is planned to be released in 2020