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Album Review

Curran, Alvin – “Under The Fig Tree” – [Die Schachtel]

Thurston Hunger   8/11/2010   12-inch, A Library

Two side-long pieces from last century. The title track starts with
birds and the bees, or maybe it is a damn fly in the ointment of your
inner ear, and then waves of synth come pouring. Very much a “dervish”
feel a la Terry Riley. Interesting that this was originally written
for t-bone. Speeds of the waves vary, as may your level of sartori.
Or it could be a function of the tapes used for overdubbing? The
insects, as in life suspect, are there before and after man.

On the flip side, “The Magic Carpet” may need to be set up for the
listener. It is a living room of sorts, spider-strung with not-necessarily
tuned strings. Add in chimes and contact mics for effect. It was
a 1970 sound installation, and would be a wonder at Chapel of the
Chimes in Oakland. On disk, the more the listener puts in, the more
s/he will pull out I suspect. Too bad there’s no video to see the
setting off of the sound, was it a subtle walk through or a
tasmanian devil spin. At one point the sound to me blurred and felt
like the white (grey?) noise of a traffic jam. One would hope the
Magic Carpet would be able to elevate above that.

-Thurston Hunger

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