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Sun Blindness Music [Limited Edition]

John Cale Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Nov 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Table of the Elements
  • ASIN: B00005B4EK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,847 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sun Blindness Music
2. Summer Heat
3. The Second Fortress

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is definitely very different music. 4 Feb 2006
Format:Audio CD
Before he was a part of The Velvet Underground, composer and multi-instrumentalist John Cale was involved in a unique group of New York-based composer/musicians known as the Dream Syndicate. Other members of this group included LaMonte Young and Tony Conrad. "Sun Blindness Music" is the first in a series of three CDs which showcase John Cale's avant-garde experiments from the mid to late '60s. Three lengthy tracks make up this album and although each of them are different from each other, the idea behind them is basically the same. What we have here is simply a series of drones created on different instruments. The opening title track runs close to 43-minutes and was performed entirely on a Vox Continental electric organ. Listening to this piece requires some patience and appreciation. It simply consists of a single chord which is held down for a dangerously long time. Over the course of it's 43-minutes, the chord sometimes shifts by a few tones or even a few microtones. Also, the volume of the piece shifts back and forth between normal hearing range to almost complete inaudibility to full volume that sometimes overloads into distortion. This is a very challenging piece of music in both performance and for the listener.
The second piece "Summer Heat" was performed on an electric guitar and consists of a heavily distorted jagged rhythm similar to Cale's later work with the Velvets. At times, the music refrains from its rhythm and sustains into humming feedback.
The third and last piece "The Second Fortress" again features the Vox organ. Instead of focusing on a single chord as on the opening piece, Cale modifies the organ to create an eerie sweeping electronic soundscape. This predates what was to become known as 'ambient music' by nearly a decade.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mogul Modern Musik 1 Jun 2003
Format:Audio CD
To say this was a home recording done on reel to reel 40 years ago this is fantasticly high quality recordings which is more than can be said for the Dream Syndicate Vol. 1 disc. The dronology and harmonics are all realised to full audio potential thanx to Mr. Conrad. Some people will hate this and call it pretentious. But that is to be expected. I think the results are fantasticly interesting experimentations which are unlike anything else. The vox organ title piece is reminiscent to the kind of thing Lou Reed did with Metal Machine Music (and i think this reveals where he got his ideas about that piece) and the track SUMMER HEAT is a fantastic thunderous droning rift on guitar that repeats and repeats but with subtle variations in tonality which prevents it being boring, then we delve into the icy artic sounds of the final track. A documentary of a fantastic oddysey from a truly great and original artist who made the first 2 velvets records so great and why the ones without him lost there edge is explained when that "edge" is presented in this undiluted format...
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cale's Minimalist Debut 10 April 2008
By aco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Contrary to some reviews I have come across which insinuate that John Cale's Sun Blindness Music was an attempt at emulating Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, SBM was in fact recorded around ten years before the equally jarring yet considerably less interesting MMM. If anything, Reed was emulating Cale. That being said, on with the review.

Simply put, Cale's SBM is a masterpiece of minimalist art. Recorded independently during Cale's tenure as the bassist for The Velvet Underground (in the case of track 2, Summer Heat, slightly earlier), Sun Blindness Music is everything it strives to be and nothing more. This is not dinner table music, folks. Those who buy it expecting something to serenade guests with will, most likely, be sorely mistaken. Yes, the music is cacophonous. Yes, it requires an open mind. But damned if it's not charming. Clearly Cale has learned from the master of minimalism himself, John Cage (He was Cage's student at university, after all). SBM is the first part in a trilogy assembled recently by the independent label Table of the Elements; it precedes the albums Dream Interpretation and Stainless Steel Gamelan.

Track 1 opens simply. The music begins and that's it for nearly three quarters of an hour. No hook, no fade. The 43 minute title track, Sun Blindness Music, is aptly named. It is tantamount to an audio translation of how your brain feels in a hot car with the windows rolled up on an extremely bright day. The track is a simple and highly improvisational piece for unaccompanied Vox organ. Cale patiently tests the boundaries of sound by subjecting a single chord to an ever-increasing array of pressures and timbres, sometimes for minutes at a time. The volume rises and falls, seemingly, along with the player's emotions. The sound can go from a noisy fever pitch to something barely noticeable within seconds. Melody is nonexistent. The singularity of the organ makes Sun Blindness Music a deceptively simple piece, which is possibly the root of most critics' protests. But in this singularity lies a very clean, very deliberate sound which would be lost in the mix if played by multiple instruments (the main problem with Metal Machine Music). Sun Blindness Music is clearly the most challenging track on the album, and it is easy to see why - if not for the inordinately long running time (the longest in the trilogy) then for the sheer attention required to really `get' it. As is sadly the case in most modern art, the initial reaction of the viewer or listener is to dismiss it offhand as something amateur or `too easy.' Well, Cale clearly `gets' it; he knows what he's doing. Whether or not the listener interprets it properly is another matter.

Track 2, recorded in 1965 and the earliest piece here, continues with the theme of uncomfortable brightness with the 11 minute `Summer Heat.' After the relentless array of sharp noises emitted during `Sun Blindness Music,' `Summer Heat' may seem like something of a relief. It is a considerably simpler piece, if such can be the case, but also less interesting. Still, `Summer Heat' is not without its charms; after all, it is difficult to play second string to a brilliant 43 minute opener. Instead of the blinding screech of the Vox organ in track 1, a fuzzy guitar churns out an improvisational riff for 11 minutes. The result is a decidedly under-produced sound which would later resurface in 1968 in The Velvet Underground's infamous `Sister Ray,' arguably the greatest song in their repertoire. The charm lies in this garage-improvesque sound. Compared to the clean and studio-controlled sound of `Sun Blindness Music,' `Summer Heat' is a basement tape.

Track 3 returns Cale to a crisper sound. The linear notes on the album list the instrumentation of `The Second Fortress,' the third and final track on the album, as `electronic sounds.' This is basically Cale returning to his precious Vox organ and playing yet another series of sounds a-la `Sun Blindness Music.' But instead of reproducing the bare-bones, unrelenting sound of SBM, Cale takes his music and incorporates a recording device, which he then uses to carefully layer, reverse, speed up, and slow down sound upon sound until what is left is a seemingly disembodied, dissonant drone which lasts for 10.5 minutes. If Lou Reed got his inspiration for Metal Machine Music from anywhere, it would not be surprising if he'd listened to `The Second Fortress' a couple of times. But while MMM is an experiment of layering wildly different and clashing sounds, TSF is an amalgam of extremely subtle, barely noticeable changes. In some ways this track is more difficult to comprehend than `Sun Blindness Music,' due to this simplicity. Imagine listing to nothing else but the inner workings of your computer, amplified, for ten minutes. 1967's `The Second Fortress' captured this exact sound perfectly 20 years before it could easily be comprehended.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music For Open Ears 12 Jun 2003
By Louie Bourland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Before he was a part of The Velvet Underground, composer and multi-instrumentalist John Cale was involved in a unique group of New York-based composer/musicians known as the Dream Syndicate. Other members of this group included LaMonte Young and Tony Conrad.
"Sun Blindness Music" is the first in a series of three CDs which showcase John Cale's avant-garde experiments from the mid to late '60s. Three lengthy tracks make up this album and although each of them are different from each other, the idea behind them is basically the same. What we have here is simply a series of drones created on different instruments.
The opening title track runs close to 43-minutes and was performed entirely on a Vox Continental electric organ. Listening to this piece requires some patience and appreciation. It simply consists of a single chord which is held down for a dangerously long time. Over the course of it's 43-minutes, the chord sometimes shifts by a few tones or even a few microtones. Also, the volume of the piece shifts back and forth between normal hearing range to almost complete inaudibility to full volume that sometimes overloads into distortion. This is a very challenging piece of music in both performance and for the listener.
The second piece "Summer Heat" was performed on an electric guitar and consists of a heavily distorted jagged rhythm similar to Cale's later work with the Velvets. At times, the music refrains from its rhythm and sustains into humming feedback.
The third and last piece "The Second Fortress" again features the Vox organ. Instead of focusing on a single chord as on the opening piece, Cale modifies the organ to create an eerie sweeping electronic soundscape. This predates what was to become known as 'ambient music' by nearly a decade. Perhaps, Cale's early work was influential to Brian Eno as this piece is not too disimilar to Brian's ambient experiments of the mid '70s.
This is definitely very different music. It's not rock and roll and could only marginally be classified as modern classical music. It's definitely worth checking out if you're looking for music that is out of the ordinary. Before buying this album, I would recommend finding a friend who already has a copy to let you listen to it. Chances are that "Sun Blindness Music" will either be something worth owning or something worth throwing away. It's Open-Minded Music for Open-Minded People.
2 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rare 27 July 2002
By bob hund - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
since I have not heard it, I can only give it the highest remarks
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