Charles Curtis

Ultra White Violet Light/Sleep

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

By the 1990s, LPs had become obsolete -- vinyl had gone the way of silent movies, cylinders, eight track tapes, and beta VCRs. Nonetheless, there are still some musicians who find vinyl useful, including cellist/guitarist Charles Curtis. This album first came out as a two-LP set in 1999, and it wasn't until 2001 that Squealer reissued it as a double CD. Although Curtis is primarily a classical musician, Ultra White Violet Light/Sleep isn't classical; rather, its focus is avant-garde rock -- some of it instrumental, some of it featuring Curtis as a spoken word vocalist. Experimental avant-garde music (be it rock or jazz) can be abrasive and confrontational, but Curtis' extended pieces aren't like that. Ultra White Violet Light/Sleep is actually calm, atmospheric, and ambient -- not harsh or forceful -- and the result is musical hypnosis. Parts of the album remind the listener of traditional Indian raga music, and even though the tamboura (known for its drone sound) and the sitar are nowhere to be found, those Indian instruments would be perfectly at home on Curtis' avant rock. Music as left of center as Ultra White Violet Light/Sleep isn't everyone's cup of tea, but this double CD is easily recommended to adventurous listeners who are seeking avant rock that is calming and hypnotic instead of aggressive.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:12
2
19:26

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
0:12
2
19:26
blue highlight denotes track pick