The music of La Monte Young: minimalist, transcendental, timeless. Well, now a trio of talented people have channelled LMY to make Infinite Music - A Tribute To La Monte Young. Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3), Etienne Jaumet and Celine Wadier got together to perform an evocative live rendition of this music at Teatro Maria Matos on Lisbon. It's now available for all to experience, on the format of a magenta tinted vinyl LP. On Fire records.
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So you give a 9/10 review to one! (1!) Charlemagne Palestine album and all of a sudden you’re the 20th Century New York minimalism guy. I’d feel like I’d been unfairly type cast except for that fact that… I also like this album.
Infinite Music are Sonic Boom off of Spacemen 3, Etienne Jaumet from that there Zombie Zombie, and Celine Wadier who the press releases describes as a “master of Indian Dhrupad singing and tanpura”. Together they have written three lengthy tracks in tribute to one of the cornerstones of 20th Century New York Minimalism, the group's renegade bastard, La Monte Young. Please, if you haven’t, do yourself and have a look at one the man looks like now. That this biker-looking motherfucker makes minimalist music is somehow weirder than Basinski’s rockstar excess (if I come across as bitter it’s because Young has kept some early recordings he made with top lad Tony Conrad coming out).
Anyway, the music. The three tracks here are pretty much what you’d expect having learned their constituent parts. Patient waves of bass-y synthesizer drones occasionally accompanied by plucked bass guitar, or a melody over the top. The more exciting moments are when Wadier’s mastery is brought to the fore, her singing giving a sense of gravity and importance on closer ‘Surge Machine’. Droning on a machine is easy (though doing it well is not). Droning with one's body is a greater challenge, and takes a great amount of physical and mental effort to make sure the phrasing is consistent and coherent. Her contributions elevate ‘Infinite Music’, making the whole a more satisfying and powerful listen.
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