Glenn Branca The Ascension

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The '80s revival shouldn't be seen as entirely shallow and insipid. With the renewed interest in all things No Wave, releases such as this offer the more potent Jekyll to electroclash's innocuous Hyde. Best known for linking up Sonic Youth anti-guitarists Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore (only Ranaldo is present in this five-guitar lineup), Glenn Branca's own small guitar arsenals have become the stuff of legend. If these recordings pale in comparison to the live experience, the ecstatic drone of Light Field ("In Consonance)" and "Ascension," the Delta 5-like funk drone of "Lesson No.2" and the theatrical histrionics of "The Spectacular Commodity" are no less rapturous for it. Essential.