Sithu Maung Maung Aye (Sithu Aye) is a solo project guitarist based in Glasgow, Scotland. He started his musical career with the release of his first album Cassini in 2011 and since has released 5 EPs and a further 2 full length albums. With a wide range of influences from TesseracT and Periphery to Steve Vai and Biffy Clyro his style can be described as a mix of Progressive Metal / Djent with elements of Jazz Fusion.

In the studio Sithu works as a solo artist, and his most recent album “Set Course For Andromeda” featured guest guitar solos by Plini, David Maxim Micić, Jake Howsam Lowe (The Helix Nebula), Stephen Taranto (The Helix Nebula), Aaron Marshall (Intervals) and Mark Holcomb (Periphery). It also featured Yvette Young on the Violin and Piano composition by Luke Martin.

I personally didn’t expect Sithu Aye to feature a live band, after seeing them set up with computers and logic files, but I am very happy he did. I think this added immensely to the atmosphere and enjoyability of his performance overall, rather than relying too much on backing tracks and limiting the stage presence.

The overall performance was exceptional, and the technicality of the guitar playing was flawless to witness live, however crowd interaction was not particularly great. There was very little involvement from the part of the artist, and in return interaction from the crowd was not particularly great either. That said, despite this lack of stage presence the music held the potential to draw you in and put you into a ‘trance-like’ state in which you could appreciate the music for its groove and sonic value.

The setlist featured tracks from many Albums and EPs across his discography, beginning with ‘Mandalay’ (From 26), ‘Skye’ (Isles), ‘Particles Collide’ (Invent the Universe), ‘Messenger’ (Pulse), ‘Transient Transistors’ (Set Course for Andromeda) and ‘And Heres to Many More’ (Cassini 5th Anniversary Remaster)

The drummer Jamie Black was very groovy, his timing was very precise and locked in and overall was an exceptional drummer. The backing track featured was merged perfectly with the live set and this complemented the sound and performance overall amazingly well.

The live bassist Jack Oscillation really held the show together for me personally in terms of stage presence and groove. His overall attitude and the emotion in his performance showed through more than most of the performances in my opinion.

The guitar solo by Liam McLaughlin during Transient Transistors was ’most impressive’, and it was refreshing to see the lead part swapped toward the end of the set for a track. Despite being a solo artist, Sithu managed to involve his band and make them seem as much a part of the show as he was.

Setting the stage for Galactic Empire, ‘Sith’u Aye gave progressive music ‘A New Hope’, and the Force was most certainly with him. If you get the chance be sure to see him live, and ‘Witness the True Power, of the Dark Side’.

By Joe Weinling & Michael Sargent

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