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Ascension

Glenn BrancaAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $21.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, 2003 $21.29  
Vinyl, Original recording, 1981 --  

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Ascension + Ascension: The Sequel
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Acute
  • ASIN: B00009EIPG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lesson No.2
2. The Spectacular Commidity
3. Structure
4. Light Field (In Consonance)
5. The Ascension

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked gem: Side two THE rehearsal June 20, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This album dates from 1981 but time has been and will continue to be very kind to it I believe. A bass player, a drummer and four electric guitarists have loosely/tightly constructed 5 instrumental tone poems. The first three seem provincial, statements that adhere to living in harsh New York City at the time. They are telling of things like the stock market, urban angst, spiritual bankruptcy, etc. But it is the last two of the five, which comprised the original 99 Records LP second side, that grant a big reward and go beyond the branding of "culture", a feat accomplished only by masterpieces. Track four "Light Field [In Consonance]" and five "The Ascension" describe an important destination and the arc of its journey there. They are unmistakable to any person who has ever suffered while in the throes of growing. Light Field is a glimpse of that promised land to come, which smiles with the light of six suns, so turn it up real loud. "The Ascension" describes a path of time that can be imagined and re-imagined over and over again. This travelogue can be given one of a variety of new names every time. A few suggestions: the birth canal saga, the crucifixion, the ego death, the transmigration of soul. These final tracks are exceptionally ecstatic musical objects, suitable for aesthetic contemplation but better for deep personal catharsis. By combining multiple guitars in chiefly major keys, Branca creates a sonority that had never been heard before, and rarely since. In the fever of spiritual climax, this sound feels like a thousand church bells dissolving matter into clear light; the entire idea of studio vanishes. It may sound merely like six guys trying to get symphonic in the early auditions. Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Structured Noise January 26, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The Ascension could fall in the same category as another Ascension, John Coltrane's in particular in that it puts together a large group of musicians for a free improvisation but somehow seems to have rules or structures that keep in within a certain framework. It has elements of minimalism, certainly Philip Glass is a name check except that it is really LOUD so that you forget the pretensions. And yes, Lee Ranaldo is on it. Sonic Youth took the wall of noise of this album and fit it into song length and made history. The Ascension is a good antidote for ambient albums and I'm glad to see it in regular cd format remembering the good laugh I had when I went to a pretentious record store that had original lp's of "The Ascension" and "Lesson #1" marked for one hundred bucks with a sticker saying, "If you don't know what this is and why it costs this much, don't bother to ask". Avante-garde fanatics will drool over this cd, the rest of us can blast it at speaker damaging volume and ask questions later.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive 80's Branca September 30, 2007
Format:MP3 Music
... with the Longo cover and tray art to prove it. Army of guitars, track 4, Light Field (in consonance) is by itself worth the price of admission. Brilliant. What Phillip Glass might have done if he played electric guitar on acid. In the best possible sense, great stuff. Much of Branca can be daunting, so the recommendation is to check out this album and track 4, Light Field first - very, very cool.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked gem� Side two THE rehearsal November 26, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This album dates from 1981 but time has been and will continue to be very kind to it I believe. A bass player, a drummer and four electric guitarists have loosely/tightly constructed 5 instrumental tone poems. The first three seem provincial, like quaint by-products of living in harsh New York City at the time. They are telling of things like the evolution of rock music, the stock market, period angst and spiritual bankruptcy of NYC, etc. But it is the last two of the five, which comprised the original 99 Records LP second side, that grant the real reward and go beyond the branding of "culture", a feat accomplished only by masterpieces. Track four "Light Field [In Consonance]" and five "The Ascension" describe an important destination and the arc of its journey there. They are unmistakable to any person who has ever suffered in trying to grow. Light Field is a glimpse of that promised land to come, which smiles with the light of six suns, so turn it up real loud! "The Ascension" describes a path of time that can be imagined and re-imagined over and over again. This travelogue can be given one of a variety of new names every time. A few suggestions: the birth canal saga, the crucifixion, the midlife death, the transmigration of soul, an overview of the 14th century, or, the walk to the store to get bread. These final tracks are exceptionally ecstatic musical objects, suitable for aesthetic contemplation but better for deep personal catharsis. By combining multiple guitars in chiefly major keys, Branca creates a sonority that had never been heard before, and rarely heard since. In the fever of spiritual climax, this sound feels like a thousand church bells dissolving all matter into clear light; the entire idea of studio vanishes. Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remastered, at last. December 21, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The two-word review that sums up this awesome recording is: "THE Drone". There were other artists that based their sound on drone like John Cale however Glenn Branca got set to take La Monte Young's theory to the max. Lee Ranaldo also participates here (pre-Sonic Youth), truly avant-garde. You get a group of guitars rumbling in unison then teutonic drums invade crumbling walls of Jericho style. A problem with the original 99 Records LP is that it sounded somewhat compressed. Same impression with the 1994 previous CD reissue on New Tone/Robi Droli Records. This 2003 re-release on Acute is at last remastered, sounding better than ever before. I'd recommend getting Ascension in conjunction with Lesson No.1 (also originally released on 99 Records), the two form the best works of early Branca and the videoclip included is great. In conclusion I'd say Branca has done a job difficult for others to surpass but then there's always Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music...
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