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    MC Maguire – Trash of Civilizations

    MC Maguire is a composer who has been working since the 1970s. His works fuse elements of modern classical and pop culture. Trash of Civilizations presents two long-form pieces for live instruments and recorded sounds. The nearly half-hour opener, “The Spawn of Abe,” features a Klezmer clarinet and an Arabic oboe prominently snaking through layers of rhythmic synth and sampled chaos. A thick soup full of singing and talking heads, cawing birds, machine guns, helicopters and the like are frequently punctured with shards of shattering glass. Although the liner notes don’t list drums as an instrument, I can swear I hear some buried deep in the mix.

    The 40-minute “Narcissus of Bali” replaces the woodwinds with percussion in the form of vibes, marimba and sampled gamelan. This piece pits nature’s sublime harmony against urban industrial noise, and East vs. West as it visits more placid Oriental areas with somewhat homely melodies, and occasionally explodes with sudden complex, cartoon rhythms and big synth riffs that challenge Godzilla to a duel. Near the end, the piece gets really mellow and sparse, then, just when you think it’s going to fizzle away, it builds up to a super-intense, dense frenzy with an abrupt ending, leaving nothing but the world’s longest reverb tail.

    This music, which sounds like a blend of Iannis Xenakis, Biota and The Beatles “Revolution 9” on steroids, should go over big with any and all ADD victims in your household. I wonder what those folks who rioted at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring would make of Trash of Civilizations? Would they be just as shocked at the fact that the cover art bears an uncanny resemblance to AMM’s From a Strange Place after a nuclear meltdown? We may never know the answers to these questions! In any case, new music just got newer.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 742 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 2 Total Time: 68:04 Country: United States Released: 2009 More: Discogs, Last.FM, Official, The Squid’s Ear, Twitter

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

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