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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Ammmusic (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This album is definitely not for everyone. It certainly has historical value because of the way it seem to predict a whole subgenre of progressive music. This is freeform and largely chaotic stuff that is highly artistic. The album features mostly symphonic instrumentation. It was recorded in 1966 and released the next year. It features two album side instrumental explorations. While this is not easy music to describe, and sometimes not easy music to experience, it has some unique and unexpected charms.

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Track by Track Review
Side A          
Later During A Flaming Riviera Sunset

Taking up all of the first side of this release, this track runs over 21-minutes. It comes in noisy and cacophonous. This shifts and changes, but remains noisy, freeform and strange. It does seem to ebb and flow, like waves in the ocean. There even seems to be a incoming and outgoing motion to it. There is an almost hypnotic effect to this at times. Later it sets up almost as an industrial droning over which small bits of music are heard here and there. It turns toward almost spooky zones that might actually have informed some of Pink Floyd's early spacey explorations. There are pieces of symphonic beauty that can be heard almost as passing pieces on the radio further down this road. More noise driven stuff takes over from there. Somewhere in the distant a voice talks, as if on a television. The track continues to evolve, while remaining challenging and strange. The television disappears for a time, but then seems to come back. Jazz-oriented chaos ensues by that point, though. It eventually fades down to end the side.

Side B            
After Rapidly Circling The Plaza

This side of the record runs nearly 25-minutes. It comes in suitably noisy and freeform with a lot of chaos working through. It feels at times like mountains are being pushed through the landscape to stand above the horizon. It gets quite percussive, but not in a traditional way, as it approaches the five-minute mark. From there it evolves into some seriously noisy territory. At times there are jarring bits of high-pitched sound. At other points it drifts downward toward ambience. Parts of this feels like giant insects at war. We get an old rock and roll classic in the background later, much as the television voice was in the previous number. It continues with its disorganized, but oddly compelling chaos beyond that all the way to the end of the album.

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