Rhys Chatham & His Guitar Trio All-Stars: "GUITAR TRIO IS MY LIFE"
Utilizing multiple electric guitars and a single chord, 1977's "Guitar Trio" is composer Rhys Chatham's signature work, and a euphoric, minimal-punk classic. Now, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Guitar Trio" on an epic scale, Chatham musters an all-star guitar army for the 3xCD set, "GUITAR TRIO IS MY LIFE!" The sprawling collection features members of Sonic Youth, Swans, Tortoise, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hüsker Dü, Modern Lovers, Silver Mt. Zion, Town and Country, Die Kreutzen, 90-Day Men, Collections of Colonies of Bees, and many more; even Tony Conrad gets in on the act. Together these artists celebrate Chatham's wordless anthem, with its minimalist origins, rock & roll rhythm, ecstatic whorl of harmonics, and ever-evolving, ever-expanding nature. So, take a listen, and hear what one man can do with hundreds of guitars, 30 years, one chord, and a skyscraper of amps set to Liquefy. "Guitar Trio" endures.
Rhys Chatham: Two Gongs (1971)
NEW YORK CITY has always thrived on its ability to merge glitz with grime, creating products that incorporate both high-brow idealism and raw, gritty experimentation. From art to architecture, New York has built itself upon this odd alchemy. The proliferation of trends that spew from the five boroughs each offer forth different takes on the City's life. From punk to no-wave, art-rock to folk and all other jumbles of creativity, New York births more inspired art than any other modern city. Composer Rhys Chatham's powerful, uncompromising body of work, his exploration of noise, chaos, composition and calm is in many ways the most direct, passionate musical manifestation of this postmodern way. Chatham exhibits an exceptional ability to bridge together the intricacies of classical composition with the kick-in-the-gut whallop of rock 'n' roll.The hour-long Two Gongs fills the entirety of [this] disc with its ethereal, droning psychedelia. While written in 1971, the '89 recording documented here features Chatham, along with fellow composer Yoshimasa Wada coaxing heavy, overlapping tones out of a pair of Chinese gongs. The instruments buzz and hum, moving in waves from deafening rattles to soft, muted drones. The monstrous noise that Chatham concocts is far more akin to the seismic crashes of monstrously distorted guitar feedback than that of two unprocessed slabs of metal, and it proves the composer's interest in creating a similar world of sound out of whatever instrument currently proved his muse. On disc, the performance is jaw-droppingly powerful, a monumental chunk of glorious noise.
Rhys Chatham: An Angel Moves Too Fast to See
RHYS CHATHAM altered the DNA of rock. The New York-born composer began as a classically-trained prodigy, but by 1975, Chatham was fusing the overtone-drenched minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with the relentless, elemental fury of the Ramones. It was an inspired amalgamation ? the textural intricacies of the avant-garde colliding with the visceral punch of electric guitar-slinging punk rock ? and with it Chatham created a new type of urban music. Raucous and ecstatic, this sound energized the downtown New York scene throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, prefigured the No Wave movement and cast a huge influence over the subsequent work of Chatham's many protégés, including Glenn Branca and future members of Sonic Youth.However, by the late 1980s, Chatham was chafing against the logistical and financial constraints imposed upon him in the States; in his mind was a vast, unprecedented sound. Moving permanently from New York to Paris, Chatham began composing his masterpiece, a piece for one hundred electric guitars, electric bass and drums. The result, _An Angel Moves Too Fast to See_, is one of the most extraordinary works in the minimalist canon, one that demonstrates the majesty inherent in Chatham's amplified imagination. Now widely available for the first time, this lavish CD presents this sonic revolution in all its glory, and cements Chatham's reputation as a monolithic figure astride both rock and classical musics.