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Posted inMusic

Minimalist Mythmaking

Pandit Pran Nath Midnight/Raga Malkauns (Just Dreams) Early on in The Concert for Bangladesh, the sound of Ravi Shankar’s group tuning up is received with applause from the Western audience, which has mistaken it for the actual music. Three decades later, it’s still not such a small world after all. The sitar craze of the […]

Posted inMusic

Time Bandits

Early Modulations: Vintage Volts (Caipirinha Music) By Jim Dorling Early Modulations: Vintage Volts is the second in a series of three CDs assembled by Caipirinha Productions in connection with Modulations, Iara Lee’s 1998 documentary about electronic dance music. The first disc, the official sound track to the film, loosely traces the evolution of electronica from […]

Posted inMusic

Back to the Background

Stereolab Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (Elektra) By Jim Dorling Days passed without the appearance of Physical Graffiti. Then the first shipment arrived late one Thursday. The fans descended on Marty’s Records downstairs from CREEM like dragonflies, clustered around the cash register, furtively clutching the album to their heaving bosoms, […]

Posted inMusic

Stardom’s Outer Limits

The Who Lifehouse & Quadrophenia Demos (Primadonna) By Jim Dorling Since the 60s rock musicians have fought to distance themselves from the banality of the larger entertainment industry–pop music is entertainment, but rock is a way of life. The total absorption of hippies, punks, headbangers, and Deadheads in their respective subcultures suggests that rock has […]

Posted inMusic

Single Minded

Enoch Light Persuasive Percussion (Varese Vintage) By Jim Dorling As lounge music, favored by “mature” listeners of the 1950s, finds a new audience in the post-baby-boom set, a flood of imitations, compilations, and reissues has rushed in to meet the revived demand. Central to the trend is a renewed fascination with the idea of the […]

Posted inMusic

The Shape of Noise to Come

Iannis Xenakis La legende d’Eer (The Legend of Er) (Montaigne) By Jim Dorling They say the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but that only goes so far in explaining the surges of interest over the last two decades in a rock subgenre variously known as noise, hard noise, industrial noise, power electronics, and no wave. […]