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RILEY: Descending Moonshine Dervishes / Songs for the 10 Voices of the 2 Prophets

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RILEY: Descending Moonshine Dervishes / Songs for the 10 Voices of the 2 Prophets album cover
Disc 1 of 2
Descending Moonshine Dervishes
Disc 2 of 2
Eastern Man
Chorale of the Blessed Day
Album Information

Total Tracks: 4   Total Length: 97:06

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Jaw droppingly good


Terry Riley really needs no introduction, he's one of the most important figures in all of 20th century music. This compilation of two previously (and separately) issued live performances captures Riley at the peak of his powers, creating an almost symphonic tapestry of swirling, hypnotic and totally enchanting modalities inspired by Indian raag (among other things) performed on organ and Prophet synthesizers, respectively. If you want music that can take you out of your mind (even without the use of chemicals) then you should check this out. Utterly original, utterly sublime, utterly Riley.

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Riley Fan


I agree with the two eMusic reviews below here. The drone doesn't drag for me. I have listened to "Descending Moonshine Dervishes" repeatedly this last month. "Dervishes" is one of the best organ recitals that I have heard. Riley inspires as he seems to improvise in a forward motion that turns and rolls with slight shifts along his journey.

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Embroidery is a hypnotic dream and will grow on you and your spirit like lullibies grow in children's imaginations. Terry Riley's singing, featured here on "Songs for the 10 voices of the 2 Prophets", is rare and wonderfully inspiring, graced with the traces of the guru Pandit Pran Nath but with a dreamy narrative quality. "Never got to make this sound before" - a wry meta moment in the stream of music and song...

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Two different worlds

patchwork cat

First I must say that this is a welcome arrival to Emusic. If Mr. Riley reads this- please keep up the welcome additions to Emusic! Although as I say, the digital versions of these works are very welcome and I do not agree with the reviewers view of the first album here, I do feel a chance to improve the sound of the organ has been overlooked and it's presence seems a bit washy. I none the less listen to the wonderful retuned organ and tape delay of this performance with enjoyment. The second cd has also been a companion for a good while. The songs' strange oriental improvisation and the two live Prophet 5 synthesizers (hence the title) with their simple sequencing provided a new alchemic blend in Terry's work that is well worth the listen.

They Say All Music Guide

Terry Riley marches to many different beats of many different drummers. He is a true innovator and certainly one of the most important figures in the development of electronic music as an art form. His looping techniques became the basis for many cutting-edge technological advances in the music industry. Descending Moonshine Dervishes is a long-form (51 minutes) piece from a concert in Berlin in November of 1975. Using just an organ with modifications and a delay, Riley created live stereo and interplay between tracks. The organ drone has a tendency to drag and it wears thin. Even though it is tedious, this disc is important for its historical impact. – Jim Brenholts

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