Roger Doyle

Rapid Eye Movements

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Roger Doyle's Rapid Eye Movements culls four works written between 1968 and 1980. All have been previously available: "Fin-estra" (25 minutes) and "Rapid Eye Movements" (30 minutes) were originally released in 1981 on a United Dairies LP by the latter's title and under the moniker of Operating Theater. "Why Is Kilkenny So Good?" came out on the LP Oizzo No in 1975 and the "Piano Suite" was included on the same album's CD reissue in 1992. All pieces have been remastered for the CD release, but why they've been lumped together is a bit obscure. The "Piano Suite," especially, bears no connection whatsoever with the other material. Composed when Doyle was 19, it simply consists of three piano themes, pretty but nothing more. "Why Is Kilkenny So Good?" is a tape composition based on an interview with a 13-year-old drug addict broadcasted on the Irish radio. With the help of one Johnny Robinson, Doyle re-enacted the interview and spliced it with tons of psychedelic effects to create a very strange bad trip. But the magnum opuses are the two longer pieces, each a dizzying, perplexing, and ultimately convincing tape piece that hesitates between musique concrete and crude tape collage. "Rapid Eye Movements" is particularly impressive: its surrealist, almost absurd succession of sound events recalls the famous Dalí/Buñuel film Un Chien Andalou. No matter how many times you listen to it, you'll never move beyond hypotheses as to what the plot of this dream sequence is. But the stacks of electronic bits, treated voices, and scored everyday situations make for a fascinating listen that verges on sensory overload.

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