Recorded by a loose, Bay Area-based collective called the Big City Orchestra* in the 1980s and released into the wild by the Pogus label in 1993, Greatest Hits and Test Tones is a beguiling collection of sounds that float around way out there by the crossroads of art rock, electronic drone music and wacky sound effects. This CD quietly boasts nine tracks that alternate back and forth between atonal, woozy, screeching avant-rock chock-full of muffled speaking and off key singing, and grating, static-filled drones accented with vibrating speaker-activated humming beads, beans, etc. (Of the latter, industrial music fans should note that “Go” was arranged by John Duncan, and “Strange Experience” was arranged by Monte Cazzaza.) The remainder of the album–tracks 10 through 43—is composed of very short blasts of random dialog and strange found sound snippets. Overall, Greatest Hits and Test Tones rates pretty high on the weird scale, and is sure to please fans of any of the music categories mentioned above. *Since 1985, this outfit has released dozens of wildly diverse albums (mostly on cassette), and are, unbelievably, still active as of 2012!
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