tom carter by martha colburn

Tom Carter


Tom Carter's electric guitar work weaves strands of melody, drone, fuzz, and charged silence into intricately detailed instant compositions. He lives in New York City.

Best known for his work with iconoclastic acid-folk improvisers Charalambides (which he co-founded with Christina Carter in 1991), Tom Carter has focused on solo performances and recordings since 2012. His 2015 double LP on Three Lobed Records Long Time Underground is the final installment of a trilogy begun in 2009 with The Dance From Which All Dances Come and continued with 2014's Numinal Entry. Long Time Underground was selected as the number-one experimental album of 2015 by The Out Door/ Pitchfork.

Tom Carter frequently collaborates with other musicians. His regular projects include a duo with No Neck Blues Band co-founder Pat Murano, free-rock improvisers Eleven Twenty-Nine (Carter, Marc Orleans, and Michael Evans), Spiderwebs (with Houston guitarist Sandy Ewen), Sarin Smoke (with Peter Swanson), Badgerlore (with Rob Fisk, Ben Chasny, and others), and various ensembles with Bay Area sound artist and composer Robert Horton. Other fellow travelers have included Gate, Loren Connors, Jandek, Bardo Pond, Tom Surgal, Thurston Moore, Steve Gunn, Dredd Foole, Pip Proud, Tim Barnes, Aaron Rosenblum, Dora Bleu, Sam Shalabi, Marcia Bassett, Christian Kiefer, Paul Flaherty, Tetuzi Akiyama, Shawn David McMillen, Inca Ore, Starving Weirdos, Ensemble Economique, Helena Espvall, Robert Millis, and Matt Valentine, among many others.


Web / Print

photo: Martha Colburn



"Tom Carter has demonstrated an uncanny ability to push his guitar playing to unearthly limits, while still retaining a spare simplicity that, while unusual and unorthodox, never ceases to remain completely engaging and steeped in majestic beauty." - Tiny Mix Tapes

reviews of Long Time Underground:

"As American psychedelic music goes, Tom Carter is a modern titan… Carter has long shown the transcendence of exploration, of taking a familiar form farther than one assumed possible." - The Out Door, Pitchfork

"A sprawling double LP masterpiece." - Aquarium Drunkard

"A fantastic slow building refraction of guitar possibilities." - Ben Chasny,

13 Questions interview on Prepared Guitar blog

Art in America interview

Brainwashed video interview

Select Solo Discography

Long Time Underground (LP, Three-Lobed, 2015)
Numinal Entry (LP, Halatern, etc, 2014)
The Dance From Which All Dances Come (LP, Wholly Other, 2009)
Shots at Infinity 1 (CD, Important, 2008)
Shots at Infinity 2 (LP, Important, 2008)
Skyline Grinder (CD, Three Lobed Records, 2007)
Glyph (CD, Digitalis, 2006)
Monument (CD, kranky, 2004)
Root King (LP, Eclipse, 2003)


Tom Carter live sets on NYC Taper

Tom Carter music on Free Music Archives

"Entreaertne" from Long Time Underground:


Upcoming Performances

View the Tom Carter performance calendar

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