Recent Work

Title: A Field Guide to Table of The Elements
Southeastern Edition
Label: Table of The Elements
Street Date: September 2006

PREVIOUSNEXT

Jeff Hunt assembled this "Field Guide" to commemorate the incredible convergence of avant garde all-stars for the Table of The Elements Showcase at the SxSW Festival in 2006.

"While other artsy independent labels have emerged in the wake of ToTE's initiative, none can match the verve with which its CDs, LPs and limited-edition sets are designed. Hailed by the leading bibles of American graphic and product design, Jeff Hunt, the label's prime mover and art director, and his graphics cohort Susan Archie, at World of anArchie, stand at the epicenter of a groundswell in innovative music packaging. Archie's increasingly encyclopedic creations for TotE, as well as the Revenant and Dust-to-Digital labels, recall Renaissance-era cabinets of curiosities, or the sublime shadow-box constructions of artist Joseph Cornell -- reliquaries of exotic minutiae, crafted with wood, metal, vellum, cloth and even pressed flowers. It's the commodity as both miniature museum and theater, in which one can endlessly indulge in wonder, love and, yes, obsession. It's rare that a record label casts an influence on a broader design aesthetic -- think Blue Note in the 1960s, with its hip Reid Miles album covers -- but as a string of Grammy awards and nominations for Archie attest, that's exactly what's happened with Table of the Elements."

--from the liner notes


SOUNDGAZING

An addendum here about Table of the Elements. Below is a catalog produced for a retrospective / celebration of the label at Brooklyn's Issue Project Room, with some stunning photographs by Bradly Brown of the work. Jeff Hunt is the guy who got me into the music "business" and it is because of him that I won that f-ing Grammy. Because of him I have participated in some of the most meaningful ART of my life. It's because of him that my name shows up in unsolicited blog entrees devoted to creative design. It's because of him that I get called "AWESOME' by dumbstruck 20-somethings who grew up on truly alternative (WREK) radio. Jeff introduced me to Dean Blackwood and John Fahey of Revenant, and Dust-to-Digital's Lance Ledbetter was an intern for the label way back in the mid-90s. Which in turn has led me to Christopher King at Long Gone Sounds, which led me to Tompkins Square, the label where I am now doing my own most beautiful work. Below the link for SOUNDGAZING is the text from the Field Guide, and below that a review by Grayson Currin of the Bohrium Festival, held here in Atlanta in 2006.

Where the Truth Is Spoken

Everybody loves a mystery. Generations of record collectors have spent valuable chunks of their lives poking through vinyl bins in search of unknown pleasures, or rambling though the piney woods with their ears cocked for a high, lonesome sound. Think of Harry Smith, magical curator of forgotten 78 rpm discs, whose "Anthology of American Folk Music" created a rich mythology out of grooves dusty with neglect. Even revolutionary sounds can come and go with the scarcest trace. That's part of the power they hold over the ardent, would-be listener. The truth is out there.

Since 1993, Table of the Elements has spoken that truth. The label has staked its claim on a massive enterprise: It intends nothing less than to rewrite the history of American music in the second half of the 20th century. And beyond. That's a tall order for even the largest multi-national corporations, whose vaults harbor so much of our cultural data. Imagine, then, the flinty ambition necessary for Table of the Elements to pursue its goal. This modestly funded, cellular organization has thrived on smarts, and pluck, in realizing its projects, which have focused on musicians whose light shimmers outside the frames of convention. The label's 100-plus releases are a vital contemporary archive, a survey of meaningful eruptions across a broad horizon of improvised, experimental, minimal and outsider musics.

During the past 13 years, the pop world saw grunge give way to crunk and CDs yield to MP3's. Technology has mediated an ever-more globalized marketplace in which music has been made at once ephemeral and privatized, freely traded yet increasingly consumed in isolation. Table of the Elements looked at the longer haul, registering the ripples of music that were too essential to die or dissolve into the common currency. The label went prospecting for the rarest sort of sonic lode, the uncut goods blessed with a hearty half-life. The New York Times praised these actions for single-handedly "rescuing the underworld of 1970s and '80s music from cassette-recorded oblivion."

Count Tony Conrad in that company. The label's signature artist, a violinist whose primal enveloping drones create an oscillating ritual theater, has been prodigiously documented in a series of releases. These range from sumptuous packagings of lost classics (Conrad's 1973 collaboration with Faust, "Outside the Dream Syndicate") to new projects alongside young artists that the composer has inspired ("Slapping Pythagoras") to recoveries of lost concepts given new breath (the epic 4-CD box set "Early Minimalism"). Conrad is joined by other profoundly influential composers whose radical styles defy textbook definitions and challenge accepted notions of the minimalist canon: Rhys Chatham, Arnold Dreyblatt, Pauline Oliveros, Eliane Radigue, Laurie Spiegel and Velvet Underground co-founder (and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee) John Cale - whose remarkable early recordings made prior to his rock career were compiled in the 3-CD set "New York in the 1960s." These efforts achieved a critical mass in 2000, with the controversial release of legendary "lost" collaborations from 1964 between Cale, Conrad, and La Monte Young. "Day of Niagara: Inside the Dream Syndicate Vol. I" topped numerous year-end "Best Of" lists and was lauded as "the most historically significant music release of the last 20 years."

The label, however, has not been limited to that singular agenda. As minimalism's creation myth has been challenged and outlined anew, there were other demigods lurking in forgotten corners of the pantheon. These irascible, tough-nut characters make their own legends, but their iconoclastic nature often marks them as merely that. The 1990s was a good time to poke around the crumbling brick corners of American music. John Fahey, SRO hotel occupant and record-collecting aesthete, was in the cusp of a latter-day renaissance in the mid-1990s when he collided head-on with Table of the Elements. Fahey finger-picked his way back into the limelight as TOTE presented the guitar wizard and one-man archive of primitive American musics in notable concert settings, performances that also were recorded - and now stand as invaluable moments, a series of last hurrahs, in a life that was too soon winding down.

Europe, too, offered adventure. When a band called Faust decided to reunite, the act prompted Table of the Elements to engage the group for an outrageous series of concerts. Synonymous with "Kraut Rock," the May '68 anarchists were a historical footnote when its members convened again after two decades and hopped over the Atlantic. The band lurched across America on a chaotic 10,000-mile roadtrip that careened from New York to Death Valley. On a more consonant chord, the now ubiquitous studio whiz and composer Jim O'Rourke received from TotE some of his earliest support as both an artist and producer; he was also introduced to indie-rock legends Sonic Youth at the label's 1994 Manganese festival (O'Rourke is now their fifth member and producer), and lent his invaluable gifts to many projects.

The label also has ventured beyond music proper into the art world. Jack Smith, the original "flaming creature" himself, is the subject of two home-recorded artifacts released on Conrad's Audio Artkive imprint. The 1960s legend, a protean filmmaker and Lower East Side bohemian original, is only one of several artistic outsiders to find a comfy spot in the label's catalog. Globally renowned provocateur Mike Kelley has been documented. Avant-rock voodoo daddy Captain Beefheart has been treated to a series of limited-edition releases, as have Sonic Youth guitar monsters Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo.

While other artsy independent labels have emerged in the wake of ToTE's initiative, none can match the verve with which its CDs, LPs and limited-edition sets are designed. Hailed by the leading bibles of American graphic and product design, Jeff Hunt, the label's founder and art director, and his graphics cohort Susan Archie, of the World of anArchie design firm, are prime movers in a new wave of innovative music packaging. Their early, expressionistic use of metallic inks has been co-opted by the majors, while the label's distinctive, elemental iconography has been assimilated into the mass culture through advertising for products ranging from Kool cigarettes to MTV. But there's much more beyond such reverberations. Increasingly encyclopedic creations -- for TotE, as well as for the Revenant and Dust-to-Digital labels -- recall Renaissance-era cabinets of curiosities, or the sublime shadow-box constructions of artist Joseph Cornell -- reliquaries of exotic minutiae, crafted with wood, metal, vellum, cloth, foil, embossed stamping and even pressed flowers. It's the commodity as both miniature museum and theater, in which one can endlessly indulge in wonder, love and, yes, obsession. It's not often that a record label casts an influence on a broader design aesthetic -- think Blue Note in the 1960s, with its hip Reid Miles album covers -- but as a string of Grammy awards and nominations for Archie attest, that's exactly what's happened with Table of the Elements.

Even the label's location was offbeat. Most of its current work was accomplished from the deep Southern outpost of Atlanta, Georgia. Home to hip-hop's biggest, blinging'est names, the city is a capital of American pop, yet as remote from most avant-garde tangents as it is central to the early history of blues and country music. With Spanish moss overhead and kudzu underfoot, it's a place where the fleeting fašade of contemporary life is constantly eroded by nature's deliberate encroachments, where the ghosts of other times float in the limpid air, and expend their wrath in the afternoon thunderstorms that create thrilling percussive spectacles in the summer sky.

Table of the Elements is likewise spectacular: A conduit for history exploding in the present moment. As the next millennium unfolds, the label continues to spin forward, embracing the radical delights that fall before its springheeled path. Current projects include such imaginative leaps as sound artist Leif Inge's "9 Beet Stretch," excerpts from a massively slowed-down version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. "What you hear in normal time as a happy Viennese melody lasting 5 or 10 seconds becomes minutesof slowly cascading overtones; a drumroll becomes a nightmarish avalanche," wrote the New York Times. The label also has a livewire in drummer Jonathan Kane, whose CD "February" represents thrilling possibilities for its future. The music's tintinnabulatory rush is hypnotic and bracing, an evocation of the blues that harks backwards and forwards at once. It's the kind of music men might gather to play on a moonlit night deep in some rural hill country, with trouble in the distance and whiskey close at hand. It's the kind of music you might hear above a bodega, on an afternoon in the Lower East Side, with trouble everywhere and no end in sight. It's the kind of music Table of the Elements is all about. It thrives outside the barricades, where no one else is looking. Where the truth is spoken.

Steve Dollar
New York City
November 2005




Pitchfork Feature Review
Published Tuesday, 09-19-06

Live: Table of the Elements Festival
Eyedrum, Atlanta, GA: 31 August - 4 September 2006

Live Review by Grayson Currin


Hats in North Carolina truck stops say the dardnest things, but the expression "Truckin' ain't for sissies" trumps them all. Three weeks ago, at an exit just off of southbound I-85, I pulled the thin cardboard support from one such black hat, which boasted its masculinity with thick white thread and big, block letters. I gave the bill a quick crease with my palms and slid it down tight, just onto my forehead.

For 10 minutes, I doffed it up and down, conforming to the stereotypical local headgear customs. But, just before leaving, I took the hat off, restored its flat brim, and slid the cardboard back inside. I didn't need this, at least not on this trip. After all, I was only driving six hours to Atlanta-- in a Prius, no less. This wasn't a 12-hour day over 18 wheels, and such ironic posturing just isn't my thing.

But, really, I didn't need to prove I was tough. I was heading to Atlanta for five days of music from Table of the Elements, the archival and experimental label formed in 1993 with the intent of releasing Zeena Parkins' Nightmare Alley. In the decade since, TOTE has released works by Tony Conrad, John Cale, their controversial collaboration with LaMonte Young called The Dream Syndicate, Rhys Chatham, Keiji Haino, Thurston Moore, Jim O'Rourke, Gate, Pauline Oliveros, John Fahey, Gastr del Sol, Faust, and several dozen more avant heavyweights. This fourth massive convocation of TOTE artists-- The Bohrium Festival, named for its placement in the 107th block in the label's periodic scheme borrowed from every chemistry textbook-- wasn't intended, if you will, for sissies. Perhaps the hat would be euphemistic. At the very least, it would be redundant.

This trip would serve as a discipleship study of bravery: The supremacy of Table of the Elements for the past decade as an unwavering outpost of ultra-experimental strains can be attributed to its concomitant adherence to valiance. Most of the Table of the Elements catalogue has no broad commercial appeal, and many of its projects-- scores for films directed by early-60s Conrad associate Jack Smith or a 3xCD box set by an unknown two-guitars-and-drums trio from Atlanta-- are risky ventures, even with respect to the experimental marketplace. Yet, this philosophy of risk works because everyone associated with the label feels like they're doing important work releasing important records, and they're willing to go for broke to make it happen.

The Bohrium Festival was no exception. Everything about the festival spoke, rightfully, of label self-importance. For the first three days, a Table of the Elements mixtape compiled for the label's Dubnium event in Texas in March played between every set. Videos of Charlemagne Palestine somehow segued into a Jonathan Kane piece. For five days, the label's vanguard artists and friends hunkered down in the Eyedrum, a massive art gallery and performance space minutes away from downtown Atlanta and 500 yards from the gravestone of Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell. People weren't sold tickets; they were sold passes, thick, ten-inch-long paper slabs illustrated by a green picture of two goats holding the festival's banner in their mouths. Each pass, numbered in the sequence sold, came labeled with the name of its holder. Like a Bonnaroo laminate, it was something intended to be kept long after Conrad had put down his bow, a token of remembrance for a festival that could be very important.

In fact, the use of the word Bonnaroo isn't as anathema as it may seem. Make no mistake: Bohrium was a major festival on a microscopic scale. From Thursday until Labor Day, dozens showed up every night, passes in hand, on time. Over five days, strangers became friends by talking about their obscure record collections. Two men over 50, both Atlanta suburbanites, swapped Jim O'Rourke stories (O'Rourke met Sonic Youth and Tony Conrad at the first TOTE festival in 1994) and asked each other if they were into Boris. People camped outside of the gallery to hear Leif Inge's 24-hour granular distension of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony played on an iPod during the fourth night. On Labor Day, people came early for smoking slabs of grilled goat and steaming vegetables from label owner Jeff Hunt's traditional low-country boil. Some of the international visitors-- Ruins' Yoshida Tatsuya and Acid Mothers Temple's Tsuyama Atsushi and Kawabata Makoto, playing together as the three-piece, seven-band bill The Japanese New Music Festival-- weren't even label associates. They were just stopping by to play. More Bonnaroo than Manchester 2006, right?

And, as with all multi-day music festivals, it was challenging, though making real-time considerations on Conrad's solo violin abrasion is admittedly more trying than ogling some rock band's pentatonic purity at some big outdoor shindig. Festivals like Bohrium aren't built to satisfy every one all the time, either: They build and vacillate, some nights holding more at stake for some attendees than others.

Technical difficulties prevented the premiere of rare Elizabeth Cotten and John Fahey videos on the first night; instead, Loren Connors offered his real-time score to Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 masterpiece, La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc. During the 110-minute film, a sequence of loops registered through the house, while Connors-- seated just in front of the stage, staring at the film being projected overhead-- played along, laying a Fender across his lap and pulling, slapping, hitting and bending the strings as the onscreen action dictated. Moments were uncannily peaceful and gentle, but-- by the end of the film, as Joan of Arc burns on a stake and a riot ensues for the validation of her martyrdom-- the grimace on Connors' face matched the agony of his playing, with thunderous, disorienting sheets of sound professing empathetic pain from a frail American icon.

Keenan Lawler, a Kentucky-born guitarist and composer who had an excellent debut on Table of the Elements earlier this year, had the tough task of following Connors' obvious influence, but he proved highly capable: Using a resonator guitar, a series of pedals, and a set of finger picks, long bows and four hand-held bows curled inside of his palm, Lawler rolled seamlessly between a distorted low-country blues and a free-strung improvisation and balanced challenging technique with higher considerations in the way that has made Table of the Elements such a powerful stable for innovation.

Another tenet of TOTE's strength, though, has been its willingness to trust its artists: The second night was entirely a manifestation of that faith, as Tony Conrad curated a night of films gathered from his roots in New York in the 1960s. Conrad-- who was in an early version of the Velvet Underground known as the Primitives and who even named the Velvets after a piece of pulp fiction he saw in the streets of the city-- told stories about those acquaintances, his friends with names like Lou Reed, John Cale, and Terry Riley. Standing in front of the crowd, telling jokes about his past and the proclivities of that creative class, Conrad seemed avuncular as he directed an evening of Serious Art in red jogging pants while asserting three times it was 2007.

Andy Ditzler, an Atlanta film scholar and musician, played Conrad's academic counterpart to a T, putting the films in historical context and explaining why Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures-- which, in 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren said was "not within the protections of the First Amendment"-- was so important. It was a dazzling look at the emergence of queer cinema, 40 years later still confounding a supposedly jaded generation in an art gallery in the Deep South.

Equally important, though, was the outside-of-New York premiere of Piero Heliczer's Joan of Arc, a ten-minute short shot in two parts, featuring appearances by original Velvet Underground drummer Angus MacLise (who also scored Ira Cohen's The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, which made its expanded-form world premiere at the festival) and members of the Fugs. The score for Heliczer's Joan of Arc was an excerpt of a broken pump-organ drone recorded by Conrad in 1968. The release of the full drone has been a pet project of Conrad's for nearly a decade, and-- as the film was unveiled-- so, too, was the album. Conrad's Joan of Arc is one of the most fascinating "ambient" records to be released in years, a harrowing glimpse down an ice-cold, dark hallway full of persistent, pregnant silence stilted by specters that actualize from air.

Just as he did with the label itself, Conrad emerged as an obvious early star. But he wasn't alone. The third night represented a tidal shift in the festival, and David Daniell, who has only one official release with Table of the Elements, was at the center of the swing. Daniell-- a member of two Rhys Chatham bands, Jonathan Kane's February, his own San Agustin, and a nascent duo with Tortoise's Doug McCombs-- is on track to become one of the label's leading lights, a rarified new torch for an old flame. Like most TOTE artists, he's wildly gifted with his instrument, a player capable in multiple styles. But, like the best of his labelmates, he's not content with evincing his chops or demonstrating that his tone with an E-bowed Gibson SG is one of the cleanest sounds you'll ever hear. He's blessed and cursed with an inherent self-challenge.

On the first night, with guitarist Andrew Burnes and drummer Bryan Fielden as San Agustin, Daniell's trio was a gathering tide, water chasing itself in seeming circles that suddenly gave way to a finally discernible motion, there all along. By the end of their 30-minute set, the trio-- who had started so mild, so mellow, so fluid-- was storming and swelling, cresting guitars meeting the breaking line of Fielden's heavy attack.

For the third night, Daniell and Burnes joined a six-guitar take on Chatham's 1977 landmark "Guitar Trio". Daniell played first guitar behind Chatham's lead and helped to guide four other players through two consecutive, ultimately disparate versions of the piece. The first was minimal and staid: guitars crawled in and elevated slowly; sharp cymbal doublets pulsed beneath a rising E, taunted with, celebrated by, and bathed in a series of its overtones.

But the second version-- played beneath a series of projected prints by Robert Longo for the first time in over two decades-- delineated the sort of artistic unrest that makes Table of the Elements-- and its prime players, from Daniell to Conrad to new recruits like Lawler-- so special: Making his debut with the piece, drummer Joe Stickney threatened to collapse the screeching, saturated wall built by the six guitars. Ex-Swan Jonathan Kane has been Chatham's primary drummer for years, but Chatham challenged his own notions by incorporating new ones. Stickney helped reinvent both Chatham and his most famous piece with massive tom fills and heavy, clanging hits ricocheting off of the concrete floor. Tony Conrad literally jumped up and down, danced on his tip toes, lifted his arms, and clapped his hands every time Stickney put the band further at risk.

His smile was but a reflection of the room's atmosphere, which had morphed as early as the night's first performance: One Umbrella-- the Austin duo of Sarah Lipstate and Carlos Villarreal who plan to release future work on TOTE-- crept into its set and then leaped into it, barely coming back for air in 30 minutes. The moment instantly raised the bar for the label's old guard, most of which stood in the wings and watched as Villarreal stood stage left, bent over a table full of knobs and diodes and strings. He and Lipstate had coordinated the set and its changes perfectly, but it seemed guided by a spontaneity that the festival had lacked hitherto.

That mood carried the festival through the rest of the weekend: Even Deerhunter, an Atlanta five-piece that recently signed to Kranky Records, was more tolerable than usual. They seem like a band that spends its time practicing how to sound sloppy, but, at Bohrium, their slow crawls and sudden spirals worked.

Chatham capitalized on the mood shift, too, smiling and bouncing off the stage, and turned his back to stare at this excellent band of players he had assembled for the first time as the Guitar Army. He wanted to hear and see his music become their music and bounce through the room.

Chatham headlined Sunday night, too, and premiered his new project, Essentialist, a heavy metal band that arose out of his fascination with stoner and doom bands like Sleep, Sunn 0))), and Boris, which he spent hours listening to in a van with Daniell on their way to South by Southwest in March. Over five days, Chatham, Daniell, and the rest of Essentialist composed a full repertoire, and brought Chatham's classically-fired ideas through a filter of Maiden party metal and alternating languid drones. Onstage, Chatham, now 54, looked like an ecstatic child with a new toy, and helped breathe new life into a label that did the same for him not long ago.

But he hit the stage only after Conrad shocked and mesmerized the crowd. Conrad has been employing just intonation for solo violin for more than four decades, but-- on Labor Day weekend in 2006, 42 years after his seminal Four Violins was recorded-- the sound seemed more urgent and relevant than ever, a razor-sharp wrecking ball slicing through the space. Conrad began the set by bowing a fifth string hanging free from the neck of his violin and looped the violently craggy creak under a building sweep of slow-motion bows. He switched violins once and employed the second instrument's alternate resonating filter to push the sound into overdrive. Everyone that could take it-- no sissies, of course-- stood dumbfounded as Uncle Tony cleared cavities and took names.

Conrad climbed off stage to a crowd that refused to stop cheering: Keenan Lawler, who had been watching from the front row, wouldn't stop smiling, and the 100 people in the hall wouldn't stop thanking Conrad for being, simply put, so fearless. He seemed genuinely touched, overwhelmed by an audience that had been affected to the core by music they thought they knew. After finally walking offstage amid eventually waning applause, Conrad just smiled and deferred it all: "Oh, I had a good time, but just wait until you see this next thing."

He was talking about Chatham's Essentialist, of course, but it seemed like he was restating and recharging the dogma of a 13-year-old national treasure. And, four days into the weekend, it barely needed restating at all.

Grayson Currin
Pitchfork
September, 2006




more on TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS

Since 1993, independent record label Table of the Elements has been the premier chronicler of a globe-spanning array of improvised, experimental, minimal and outsider musics. The label's ongoing efforts have resulted in a Renaissance in the careers of numerous artists: groundbreaking recordings by the late, legendary guitarist John Fahey, minimalist pioneers Tony Conrad, Rhys Chatham, and Eliane Radigue, 60s radical Krautrock progenitors Faust, the late filmmaker, performance artist and photographer Jack Smith, and many more have all been discovered by a new general of listeners, while other artists  the now ubiquitous producer and composer Jim O'Rourke, to name just one  have received from the label their earliest support. A rigorous aesthetic permeates not only the audio content, but the packaging itself; Atlantic Monthly describes a typical design as "so informative and artfully designed that it is comparable to a catalogue for a major exhibition of paintings." In addition to its 70-plus releases to date, Table of the Elements has also curated and produced live events and festivals in dozens of cities, including London, Berlin, New York, Chicago, and its hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

Of the label's acclaimed 12-disc Guitar Series (1993), Wall Street Journal and Newsday critic Steve Dollar writes:
"Table of the Elements was the first of its kind on the block, the first American label of its era -- to my knowledge -- to really root itself in a deliberate (yet playfully vague) aesthetic that embraced avant/outsider/iconoclast/overlooked genius musical stirrings while also conjuring a slyly self-conscious philosophical identity that was clearly and cleverly expressed in the way its discs were designed and packaged. There was a whiff of conspiracy about them, a mystique of sorts, that implied a Dispatch from Someplace Else. It's the type of record label that Thomas Pynchon or Don DeLillo might dream up, as a way to give face to the fact that the world we think we know -- the histories they tell us we should accept -- is only parallel to many other worlds, each containing other histories. That which appears to be a recondite hymn in one could easily be the populist anthem in another, and Table of the Elements arose on the premise of flipping that script. But with a fine degree of subtlety, elegance even. These releases were curatorial. Like individual pieces of a larger-scale art project, one whose fuller, lasting image would reflect variations on the notion of what music should do (after Cage or after Hendrix or after Ayler), particularly in the hands of performers so peculiarly individualistic that it s hard to imagine all of them fitting comfortably under any umbrella, let alone sharing one.

"Taken individually, [the label's] recordings offer fascinating asides and insights into the creative process of some of the most original musical thinkers of the 20th century, post-Elvis division. Each performance is like a phrase of audible graffiti... a moment in which radical style is given imperious free rein. That, in and of itself, is remarkable. But heard as a cumulative shockwave of amplified ingenuity, these pieces suggest something more, well, elemental. Beneath the surface noise of contemporary culture, the lockstep groove of technology and advertising, the jittery pulse of global anxiety and the new world disorder, there is something unabashedly liberating about cranking the volume behind some deviant noise. Electric guitar, as someone once said, is the enemy of the state. Long live the revolution."





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