Various Artists

The Roots of Drone

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Gathering together an incredible cross section of recordings both obscure and not, the Roots of Drone compilation aims to highlight the early history of experiments with repetition and single-note musicality that have gone on to influence generations of sound from techno to metal. The collection omits obvious examples of drone in the rock arena (Velvet Underground, Can, Spacemen 3, etc.) and leans more toward an extremely wide variety of sounds from raw blues primitivism to field recorded bagpipe soliloquies. Minimalist composers like John Cage show up, as does Miles Davis' Kind of Blue classic "So What," taking on a different view when couched in the context of drone fundamentalism. Apart from being an engaging and colorful playlist, Roots of Drone's strongest attribute is its curation and arrangement of these 37 tracks. Finding a commonality at all between the fiery gospel of Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers and Ravi Shankar's sun-drenched ragas is no small feat, but being able to coherently gather such eclectic recordings together under the shared umbrella of early drone prototypes really takes considered research and dedication.

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