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Saturday, September 28, 2013

JOHN CALE AND TERRY RILEY : Church Of Anthrax [1971]

This is the only collaboration between John Cale (from the Velvet Underground) and Terry Riley (minimalist composer). Always felt to be a unsatisfying meeting of the minds between the two artists, the result is in retrospect strangely satisfying. The album consists of two long tracks, two short tracks, and one semi-poppy vocal track, but there is an unusual balance within the music. This is the first (and title) track to the album, beginning with an (almost) funky bassline. When the drums kick in, there is a busy repetitive keyboard riff. The main point of this jam is to put the listener into a trance-like state as every bar gets slightly more complex than the last. One more synth, one more drone, one more notch on the volume knob, and finally Riley's saxophone noodles its way into your brain. Both artists were familar with avant-garde and the subtlety in repetition, and this song presents it in a more accessible 'rock' context. Shades of prog-rock, Eastern, and even jazz can make the piece more rewarding as you peel the layers away. Roll 'em if you got 'em...

Song : "Church Of Anthrax" by John Cale And Terry Riley
From the LP "CHURCH OF ANTHRAX" (Columbia) Feb. 10, 1971

John Cale : keyboards, bass guitar, harpsichord, piano, guitar, viola, organ
Terry Riley : piano, organ, saxophone
Bobby Columby : drums

Link in title.

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