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CALE/CONRAD/MACLISE/YOUNG/ZAZEELA "INSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE VOLUME I: DAY OF NIAGRA (1965)"

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In the early to mid 1960's the New York City based collective of John Cale, Tony Conrad, Angus Maclise, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela invented a "dream music" of precise pitched drones for extreme duration.
  This music was essentially the foundation of American minimalism (and influential upon the subsequently influential Velvet Underground) and has until now gone largely unheard and unreleased due to credit/ownership conflicts. Recorded live at Young and Zazeela's NYC loft on April 25th, 1965, "Day of Niagra" is a single 31 minute piece that is unfortunately presented here in poor sound quality due to it being derived from a multi-generation tape. This is one reason Young was opposed to it's release by Table of the Elements. Cale and Conrad dominate with the continuos dueling drones of their respective viola and violin, so much so that Maclise's hand percussion and Young and Zazeela's vocals are inaudible or inconsequential. The sound is tinny, dissonant and grating with a few recorder drop outs and it all comes to a mysteriously but mercifully abrupt end. The result, at least on this disc, is neither dreamy or mesmerizing or even very interesting. The insert offers only a very brief group bio and a few quotes from Cale and Conrad, which is very disappointing considering all that could and should be said. Despite the intriguing and pioneering concepts being explored and the welcome attempt to document a bit of musical history, one has to wonder if releasing inferior quality packages such as this one does anyone any good. Hopefully Young will present better quality recordings for future release so myself and others may make a more informed judgment on this music ...

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 August 2005 05:44  


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