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Terry Riley - Descending Moonshine Dervishes CD (album) cover

DESCENDING MOONSHINE DERVISHES

Terry Riley

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js (Easy Money)
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3 stars Of the three electronic Terry Riley records I own (Rainbow in Curved Air, Shri Camel and this one; Descending Moonshine Dervishes) this one is probably my least favorite. Its not a bad record, just not as good as the other two. Recorded six years after the groundbreaking Rainbow, and five years prior to the more complicated and ornate Shri Camel, Dervishes can't compete with the other two because it is a live album with no overdubs which limit's the complexity of Riley's interweaving modal lines. To his credit, Riley uses tape loop echoes to sound like approximately three Terry Rileys, but its still no match for the rich tapestry of his studio albums.

The usual Riley ingredients are here; a crystal clear Yamaha organ tuned to Terry's ancient Asiatic just intonation playing layers of raga like improvisations in the right hand while the left hand provides repeating ostinatos in somber half notes for accompaniment. Its hard to tell which parts are Terry live and which parts are tape loops, his technique in this area is flawless. The overall effect is somewhat similar to a live version of Riley's previous Rainbow release. This is a beautiful and meditative record that only pales when compared to Riley's more developed works, but still, if you enjoy Rainbow in Curved Air, you will probably find much to like here.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#303289)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010 | Review Permalink

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