The first and only full-length release by the Olivia Tremor Control's musique concrète alter egos the Black Swan Network (following an EP credited to both bands earlier in 1997), Late Music, Vol. 1 sounds almost nothing like the quirky but accessible psychedelic pop of the Olivias. The seven lengthy (up to nearly 18 minutes long) untitled tracks are based on tapes sent in by listeners of the Olivia Tremor Control's debut album, Dusk at Cubist Castle, describing their dreams. However, the tapes have been manipulated to the point where, for the most part, the spoken word parts are unidentifiable, and only occasionally recognizable as speech. Similarly, only on rare occasions are instruments identifiable as themselves, most notably on the fourth track, a cello improvisation by Eric Ledford that's overlaid with any number of peculiar noises. The results, particularly on the longer pieces, can slip into formlessness at times, but any rock fan with a taste for experimental noise will find much of Late Music, Vol. 1 intriguing.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason