Way Out Yonder

The Rileys

ORG Music, 2019

http://terryriley.net

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/22/2019

Terry Riley is a veteran musician who specializes in minimalism and has had much influence on jazz as well as Indian classical sounds. Though he never had any mainstream success, records in 1964 and 1969 left an indelible mark on experimental and electronic ideas in rock music.

Gyan Riley, the son of Terry, has quite a career going for himself, too. Here, he holds down electric guitar across a lengthy listen of very unconventional songwriting, all of which was captured live on three different performances, all in different countries. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Out Yonder” starts the album and is indeed out there with seemingly random keys, manipulation that sounds like two kitchen pans clanging together, and a general sense of spontaneity that's oddly disjointed, yet at the same time quite interesting. After nearly 20 minutes of the intro tune(!), “Melismantra” follows with a quieter, more structured approach, as spirited guitars and an overall haunting atmosphere populate the instrumental.

The middle tracks are much shorter and somewhat easier to categorize, as “The Lake” recruits minimalistic qualities with nods to blues with guitar, piano and a harmonica, while “Folk Songs” stays true to its title with a calm setting of introspective, dreamy musicianship. “Garden Of Earthly Delights” then remains soft and moody with strings and some electronic exploration near the end.

The last two tracks are long ones, with keys and a quicker tempo invading the hypnotic “Dark Queen,” and “Deep Night” exits the listen with the only track to feature vocals, though no actual words are spoken, only blurred mouth sounds – almost like chanting- as the music remains minimal for the first ten minutes, although piano acrobatics enter as the tune progresses to its 19 minute mark.

The father and son chemistry here is easily what keeps this 2xLP from falling off the rails; the Riley's keen sense of familial dynamics allow the pair to feed off each other fluidly with an often eccentric call and response technique.

Certainly an odd one, if you can stick around for the long haul, it's a journey you'll likely want to take again and again.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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