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Showing posts from February, 2011

Henry Flynt, You Are My Everlovin’/Celestial Power (1986)

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You Are My Everlovin’ / Celestial Power is a force of nature. A fucking force of nature, even. It is hard to even begin describing Henry Flynt’s music; it's utterly unique, influential, mind-blowing. So I will refrain from plagiarizing other people’s work like I usually do.

So where to start? You may already know the guy, as a philosopher and artist in the Fluxus movement, and for his 60s anti-art campaigns with Tony Conrad, Jack Smith, et al. The guy was pretty formidable on the electric violin, too. Most would place Flynt in with drone or minimalist genres, which is apt but incomplete. Besides the nods to LaMonte Young, there is the processed, droning loops a la contemporaries Taj Mahal Travellers, Terry Riley and John Cale, but also the folk ragas of Ravi Shankar and John Fahey, proto-punk, and no wave0-style aggressive rock not to mention emotive phrasings that recall the most traditional classical compositions. Yes, like many artists on this list, Henry Flynt brings togethe…

Natural Snow Buildings - Waves Of The Random Sea *review* (Blackest Rainbow, 2011)

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Natural Snow Buildings are like a holiday, save for the fact they often show up more than once a year. You look forward to it, it often involves some serious wrapping, you have a basic idea of what it’s going to entail, but at times it lets you down. Other times you are surprised by how perfectly it went. So let it ring: the first release of NSB’s annual onslaught is upon us. I am not a completist of this particular band’s discography or a rabid collector, but I will venture to say that they are the best drone band to come out of the aughts, particularly because they transcend drone with minimalist world rhythms and tinges of psychedelic folk throughout their massive improvs.

The sheer output (dozens of records, all pushing upwards of an hour in running time, some several hours) would seem to be their downfall (for many experimental bands it is), but NSB’s sound is so fresh and brilliant it is often the opposite; fans are basically insatiable. In my listening there is more mind-blowi…