Outside the Dream Syndicate Alive

The origins of the Dream Syndicate date back to the early ’60s and the heady drone works by a group of minimalist composers and transcendental outsiders that included John Cale (pre-Velvet Underground), Tony Conrad, Angus Maclise, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. Evidence of these experiments, as well as Conrad’s excursions "Outside the Dream Syndicate” in 1972 with members of Faust, are also archived by Table of the Elements. Fast forward to 1995 and Conrad reconvenes with Faust’s bassist Jean Hervé Peron and drummer Werner Diermaier for two performances of the seminal work. Also present on second violin is Jim O’Rourke who, after Conrad shreds the air with a lengthy one-note drone, shrieks across its path to generate teeth-gritting dissonance and eventual overtone harmonics. While the 1972 sessions were more restrained and metronomic, the 1995 performance is aggressive, with Diermaier’s spare tom-snare-cymbal set-up being given the beating of its life, and Peron pounding his bass strings so vigorously he manages to break one, bloodying his fingers in the process. The hour the performance lasts divides the crowd at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, but the shouts of praise and outrage are drowned out by an even more aggressive ten-minute encore. It’s always an adventure whenever art crosses paths with endurance. (Music House)