All of your favorites, in one place.
Fantastic document of higher-minded drone ritual from a trio that features Taketo Shimada. Shimada is a shadowy figure in fringe minimalism. He worked as Henry Flynt’s assistant, put together the Yoshi Wada week at the Emily Harvey Foundation, was involved with Herbert Huncke, Alison Knowles and a bunch of other Fluxus artists. Messages is an extended investigation into the eternal music concepts of Wada, LaMonte Young, Charlemagne Palestine, Pandit Pran Nath et al, with Shimada on bass and tambura, Tres Warren on shruti box, guitar and ukelin and Spencer Herbst on percussion. The first side presents a single piece that rides in on infinite waves of sruthi box supported by minimal pulsing bass and Angus MacLise-style percussion. On the flip there are two pieces, one dominated by tambura and another by ukelin. The drones are never static and they come out of genuine group interaction, with the trio playing to an odd, organic logic that by the third track sounds like some kind of weird Jandek/Can-styled groove. But really, this is a great record and a classic drone album in terms of the pre-loop pedal sound of the Lower East Side. If this hadda come out on India Navigation, Shandar or ESP back in the day (and curiously the sleeve art seems to echo Giuseppi Logan’s More ESP-Disk) it would be pretty legendary. As it is, it’s a timely reconnection to the source from three heads who know a whole bunch about killing time dead. “The baby believes the womb is the Universe. At birth there is a glimmer of light and a shifting of space. I was there, but now I am Here. Then there are still but 2 things: Me and the Universe. And then what happens is Other People. From a note sounded in 1960 and held for a long time, a continuum of Sound has been sluiced along a diagonal of personal ecstasy, and some have come to call it a Drone. Surrounding the Drone is a genre, and within, wheat and chaff often comingle all too comfortably. But with tones as thick and texturally luxuriant with spiritual resonance as their long, glorious hair, Messages are the two worthy gurus currently contributing to the echo. Messages evoke the womb. And when the womb smiles, it whispers Messages, and then there is the first glimmer of Light...” Highly recommended.