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Best of 2016

Alan Licht's minimal top ten

Alan Licht's revelatory lists of rare and obscure minimalism releases.

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Best of 2016

Faust, Tony Conrad

Outside The Dream Syndicate

Label: Superior Viaduct

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock


CD Edition. Violinist, composer and filmmaker Tony Conrad started his career in New York in the early 1960s. As a member of the Theatre of Eternal Music (a.k.a. the Dream Syndicate) alongside John Cale, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Angus MacLise, he participated in now-legendary and often legendarily loud drone performances with many pieces having no beginning and no end. During a fateful trip to Germany in 1972, Conrad met with avant-rock visionaries Faust and made the very first record to bear his name. Outside The Dream Syndicate, originally released in Europe only in 1973, is a stunning debut. Two side-long tracks "The Side Of Man And Womankind" and "The Side Of The Machine" show just how far Conrad had moved beyond his minimalist peers. Werner Diermaier's repetitive drum beat and Jean-Herve'© Peron's stripped-down bassline conjure a tense, ascetic groove, while Conrad's seamless violin, initially so controlled, reveals a surprising adaptability. The music shifts almost on a subliminal level, pushing and pulling to the drone's internal pulse. It is hard to imagine Conrad's trajectory from downtown Manhattan to a farmhouse in the German countryside that ultimately resulted in Outside The Dream Syndicate, yet no other record captures – so completely and instantly – the intersection of avant-garde and rock forms. Outside The Dream Syndicate remains ahead of and bracingly outside of its time.

Cat. number: SV048
Year: 2016

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