(Table of Elements 53; USA)
Dreamy yet somewhat disturbing drone music from Deep Listening Band leader Pauline on modified accordion, Tony Conrad on cat-scratch electric violin, David Grubbs on harmonium, Anne Bourne on cello and Scott Olson on low-end oscillator. The elegant, florescent jellyfish cover art is not nearly as foreboding as the music found within.
“Pauline Oliveros has been around since the beginning. She was in the same composition class at the University of California with Terry Riley and La Monte Young and she was present in the audience at the authentic REAL big bang of minimalism – Youngs Trio For Strings (1958). She went on to start – with Morton Subotnick and Warren Sender – the San Francisco Tape Center at the San Francisco Conservatory. (later moved to Mills College). More recently she has performed and prolifically recorded with the Deep Listening Band and given Deep Listening seminars.
On Primordial Lift, Oliveros (accordion, electronics, vocals) is joined by The Evil Tony Conrad (electric violin), Alexandra Gelencser (electric cello), Anne Bourne (cello), David Grubbs (harmonium) and Scott Olsen (Low Frequency Oscillator). Damn tasty drones, Oliveros whipping up her amazing accordion glissandos, The Evil Tony Conrad blends well into the mix, not dominating the mix like he does on “Ahem!” all of his previous recordings. It’s a good thing this recording could be released before The Evil Tony Conrad could try to take Pauline to court over his “who’s the composer?” tricks. A welcome addition to the ever-expanding Pauline Oliveros catalog, in fact I think she should do more work with strings. One more thought: crank the bass!”
Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter. (at the time, possibly a reprint of the original review?)