Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra


BY Bryon HayesPublished Oct 15, 2015

American composer Charlemagne Palestine has been active for decades, and is often considered a contemporary of minimalists Terry Riley and Steve Reich.
In June of 2013, he was invited by Grumbling Fur's Daniel O'Sullivan to perform a two-night residency at London's highly regarded Cafe OTO. The second night of Palestine's stay, O'Sullivan and his Grumbling Fur colleague Alexander Tucker joined the composer on stage as Time Machine Orchestra. O'Sullivan and Tucker saved their more arcane, extended drone/improvisation work specifically for this cleverly named alter ego. The obtusely titled LP at hand is the document of the trio's Cafe OTO performance, a searing maelstrom of resonant glassware, manipulated recordings, haunting voices, bovine bleating, a Japanese orgy and the chanting of singing toys (Mattel Sing-a-ma-jigs, to be precise). 
That it's a hallucinatory experience in its recorded form is quite an understatement; to have witnessed the act live must have been mind-bending. The juxtaposition of animal noises, erotic yelping, shimmering drones and chuckle-inducing toy sounds is both harrowing and mesmerizing. Fans of Palestine will no doubt be into the madness found here; neophytes may be baffled, but will find bliss if enough effort is expended.

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