Various Artists

Myths Collection, Vol. 2

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It's the rare compilation that includes work by Debussy, Tibetan field recordings, and William S. Burroughs and is dedicated to entropic scientist Ilya Prigogine, but that's exactly what is found here. Presented as a mix of spoken word, sung, and instrumental recordings, this second volume begins in off-kilter, song-related territory with a rather drunken quasi-shanty by Steven Brown before wending its way through a couple of murkier numbers by purveyors of the techno-decadence school, like SPK and Current 93. True to the implications of their name, the Camberwell Now perform a lilting piece that harkens back to the heyday of art rock and the Canterbury school, with the melodica prominent. The next cut, a duet between Jon Hassell and J.A. Deane, is arguably the highlight of the disc, the former's vocalized, augmented trumpet floating agitatedly over Deane's rippling, gamelan-inspired electronic percussion. This is followed, quite unexpectedly and wildly out of context, with a lovely wax cylinder recording of Debussy's "d'Un Cahier d'Esquisses" in a 1911 performance by the composer himself. As if that weren't disorienting enough, listeners are next transported to various points in Belgium, Turkey, India, Nepal, and Tibet in a series of field recordings by Christian Monheim and John Scividya that concentrate, apparently, on religious chanting in these areas. Wrapping this all up is the irrepressible William S. Burroughs, here reading a passage titled "Burroughs Call the Law," recorded in the mid-'60s, thus giving listeners a taste of a slightly less-gravelly voiced curmudgeon than they are perhaps used to. It's an interesting collection that's worth buying for the unique assortment of oddities.

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