Sun City Girls

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Sun City Girls (1984), 6.5/10
Grotto Of Miracles (1986), 6.5/10
Horse Cock Phepner (1987), 5/10
Torch Of The Mystics , 7/10
Dawn Of The Devi , 6/10
Live From Planet Boomerang , 6/10
Eye Mohini , 6/10
Valentines From Matahari , 6/10
Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings , 5/10
Juggernaut , 5/10
Piasa, 5/10
Jacks Creek, 4.5/10
Alan Bishop: Alvarius B (1994) , 5/10
Alan Bishop: Alvarius B II (1997), 5/10
Apna Desh 78 (1995) , 5/10
Dante's Disneyland Inferno (1996) , 5/10
330,003 Cross Dressers From Beyond The Rig Veda (1996) , 7/10
Box Of Chameleons (1997) , 5/10
In The Land Of The Rising Sun City Girls , 5/10
Charles Gocher: Pint Sized Spartacus, 5/10
New Session People: Famous Songs From Days Gone By , 5/10
Dulce , 5/10
Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations , 6/10
The Dreamy Draw , 5.5/10
Superculto , 6/10
A Bullet Through The Last Temple , 6/10
Severed Finger With A Wedding , 6/10
Sumatran Electric Chair , 5/10
Libyan Desert , 5/10
Handsome Stranger , 4/10
High Asia Lo-Pacific , 5/10
Wah (2003), 3.5/10
Flute and Mask (2003), 4/10
Static From The Outside Set (2006), 4/10
Funeral Mariachi (2010), 6/10
Sir Richard Bishop: Salvador Kali , 6.5/10
Sir Richard Bishop: Improvika (2005), 6/10
Sir Richard Bishop: Fingering The Devil (2005), 6.5/10
Sir Richard Bishop: While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (2007), 7/10
Sir Richard Bishop: Polytheistic Fragments (2007), 6/10
Sir Richard Bishop: The Freak of Araby (2009), 5/10
Rangda: False Flag (2010) , 5/10
Alvarius B: Baroque Primitiva (2011), 4/10

The Sun City Girls began as one of the humblest and most underground acts of Arizona, and one decade later had become one of the most pretentious and prolific acts in the world. Their releases of the early 1980s were limited-edition cassettes. The first records, such as Grotto Of Miracles (1986) and Torch Of The Mystics (1990), were still amateurish, but began to develop the concept of a cosmic psychedelic hard-jazz-rock fusion. Later releases featured more professional performances but were mostly improvised and not edited, thus making an art out of self-indulgence and filler, as proven by the sprawling jams Ghost Ghat Trespass (1996) and Cameo Demons (2000).
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I Sun City Girls vennero formati a Phoenix (Arizona) intorno al 1980 dai fratelli Rick Bishop (chitarra) e Alan Bishop (basso), cresciuti a Saginaw, nel Michigan, e dal batterista Charles Gocher. Le prime registrazioni (datate al 1982 e 1983 ma pubblicate nel 1987 su cassetta) furono God Is My Solar System e Superpower (doppia), poi riassunte con varie modifiche e omissioni sul doppio LP God Is My Solar System - Superpower (Eclipse, 2003).

Come nel caso di gran parte dei complessi dell'Arizona, anche il sound dei Sun City Girls e` caratterizzato dalle atmosfere allucinate, tipiche del "rock del deserto" di Phoenix; in piu`, pero`, il trio dimostra una predilezione per brani strumentali orrendamente deturpati da feedback, scordature e cacofonie assortite. La loro musica e i loro testi sono inizialmente ispirati a una sorta di religione cosmica sulla falsariga di quella di Sun Ra.

La cassetta God, una sequenza di composizioni eclettiche (la fanfara da circo di Invocation, il tema jazzrock di Suck Suntown) cucite insieme alla rinfusa, contiene gia` l'essenza del loro demenziale acidrock. Il forte della loro arte sono le improvvisazioni strumentali, che coprono un territorio armonico sterminato e fanno man bassa del free-jazz, riciclando eruzioni cacofoniche nello stile dei Borbetomagus in Improv Murder, marcette per sassofono fra Albert Ayler e Lol Coxhill come 3 Blind Mice, esperimenti al confine fra minimalismo e raga come Mosquito, e sarabande swinganti senza capo ne` coda come Sun City Girls From Ipanema in cui si avverte ancora una patina di "Zappa-ismo".

Per otto anni sarebbero continuate a uscire cassette a valanga: in particolare Hatchet Rain nel 1983 e Sun City Girls e Def-In-Italy nel 1984. Accanto alle solite fanfare sgangherathe e alle solite jam di free-jazz, Hatchet Rain presenta una maggiore propensione per le musiche orientali, come evidenziato dal girotondo vertiginoso di Black Tent, dall'incedere per scoppi di feedback di Caravan Of Scars, dalla litania da muezzin di Circus Haddam. L'esecuzione e la registrazione sono sempre approssimative, come per spregio nei confronti dell'industria discografica.

Valentines From Matahari (Majora, 1983) raccoglie composizioni dello stesso periodo, fra cui l'indecifrabile fusion di Metaphors In A Mixmaster e la colonna sonora per "spaghetti western" di Sev Archer.

Sun City Girls (Placebo, 1984) recycles part of their old material and works as a sort of summary of their many influences. The recurring idea is to pulverize whatever recognizable genre they start with: the jazzy cinematic soundtrack Hitman Boy, the sleepy acid blues Jokers On A Waltz, the breezy jazz jam Rubber Stamp Icons, etc. The variety is overwhelming, from the chaotic cacophony Caravan Of Scars to the spoken-word satire Uncle Jim. The contrasts test the mind's ability to switch context: the atonal guitar and guttural vocals of Rappin' Head segue into the acoustic Chinese ballet My Painted Tomb, the free-form saxophone fanfare of Metaphors In A Mixmaster yields the whirling dervish dance of Helwa Shak that is reneged by the dissonant chamber music of A Moment of A Million Lands, and everything collapses in the hallucinated drone of Woman In Mourning. The operation is confused, naive and tentative, but the ambition is grand. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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Nel 1985 escono ben sette cassette, a partire da To Cover Up Your Right To Live, una raccolta di cover (registrate fra il 1983 e il 1985), Folk Songs Of The Rich And Evil (1985 - Eclipse, 2005), e Bleach Has Feelings Too (registrata fra il 1982 e il 1984). Fruit Of The Womb e` invece un primo capolavoro in cui trovano sistemazione le loro intuizioni su come sposare l'improvvisazione jazz/orientale al rock: dal Blue Mambo alla vertiginosa Damcar, dall'operetta psichedelica di Night In Tetuan alla rocambolesca cacofonia di Jokers On A Waltz, e in particolare nell'incalzante Trippin' On Krupa, viene coniata una forma di suite ultra-dadaista che nasce all'incrocio fra i Savage Republic, i Grateful Dead di Aoxomoxoa e il Zappa di Weasels. Degna continuazione di questo progetto sara` Polite Deception.

Exotica On Five Dollars A Day (Eclipse, 2005), contenente un pow-wow e alcune jam, e Fresh Kill Of A Cape Hunting Dog (1987), contenente materiale del 1983-85, non sono invece all'altezza. Fresh Kill Of A Cape Hunting Dog / Def In Italy (Eclipse, 2004) raccoglie le due cassette in un doppio LP.

Le due parti dal vivo di Cloaven Theatre (1986) compongono un'"audio drama improvisation". Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema (Breakfast Without Meat, 1986 - Amarillo, 1994) e` un'altra raccolta di cover.

Grotto Of Miracles (Placebo, 1986) instead marked a peak of professional concentration. Just like in their first album, the plethora of influences makes for a challenging, ever-shifting experience. However, unlike in the first album, this time around the ideas are fully developed instead of being scientifically sabotaged. Bishop's guitar art, in particular, stages the most visible improvement. Radio Morocco even harks back to the atmospheric guitar instrumentals of the 1960s. In A Lesbian Meadow is a swinging jazz-blues dance. Damcar is a Middle-eastern vignette at breakneck speed. Even the grating galactic effects of the abstract The Spice Nest signal a newfound adulthood. The rest of the band does its best to keep up with the guitarist. The best they can do, though, is to pollute his art with their idiosyncratic passion for destruction, not construction. Hence the loose Indian-psychedelic jam Different Kind Of Whore, the dilated crooning and sparse tones of Frankincense And Fish, and the noisy messy collective improvisation of Kal El Lazi Kad Ham. The eccentric overtones of the previous recordings are confined to the tribal musichall of Swing Of Kings and some crazy detours at the end of the album. When they play instrumental pan-ethnic music and weave it into their psychedelic web, the Sun City Girls have no rivals.

Horse Cock Phepner (Placebo, 1987) was a vastly inferior work that indulged in political satire (of dubious taste). At best they concoct the street rigmarole Horse Cock Phepner, the breathless drum-less rap of I Protect You From Me, the horror chant It's Underneath The House and especially the David Peel-esque singalong CIA Man. The eight-minute Without Compare sounds like a radio drama: mostly recited, with the instruments improvising random sounds. The album is too fragmented and ideological to stand on its own. The music is mainly the vehicle for the (vulgar) lyrics in the tradition of the Fugs, except that they don't have half the genius of the Fugs.

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La cassetta Multiple Hallucinations Of An Assassin (1988) raccoglie scarti delle session da cui avra` origine Torch. Tibetan Jazz 666 e` un'altra cassetta surreale. Audio Letter To Mitch Meyers e` la terza parte di Cloaven, e That Old Western Sieve la quarta.

Le cassette del 1989 s'intitolano Grave Robbing In The Future e Extra Sensory Defection. Quest'ultima contiene due lunghe improvvisazioni dal vivo.

Dopo il singolo And So The Dead Tongue Sang (Pulp) e l'ennesima cassetta dal vivo, Great North American Tricksters, esce finalmente il nuovo album, Torch Of The Mystics (Majora, 1990 - Tupelo, 1994). Pur senza la spontanea esuberanza degli esordi ma con un'invidiabile senso della dissacrazione armonica, l'album trionfa ancora nei brani strumentali improvvisati, partiture rocambolesche che sembrano suonate dal subconscio di un serpente a sonagli. La fusion piu` totale (world-music, jazz, hardrock, psichedelia) viene forse realizzata da Radar 1941. La quadriglia zoppicante di Esoterica Of Abyssynia e il vertiginoso assolo di chitarra di Vinegar Stroke sono romanze senza parole non meno esaltate.
Il canto e` un fatto puramente acustico: raramente i cantanti "dicono" qualcosa. Il piu` delle volte si limitano ad emettere suoni infantili, spesso in registri buffi che sono gia` loro delle parodie delle tradizioni musicali del Terzo Mondo. Esemplare del connubio fra "quelle" parti strumentali e "quelle" armonie vocali e` il pow-wow di Tarmac, degno di un gruppo di stregoni pellerossa completamente ubriachi. Ma certo il quartetto ha un debole soprattutto per il salmodiare mediorientale, che viene preso in giro tanto nella lunga Space Prophet Dogon quanto in Cafe Batik (con organo da chiesa e falsetto acutissimo). Il loro virtuosismo nel mettere in scena le parti vocali risalta su Burial In The Sky: un nasale tibetano viene incrociato ad altre voci dello stesso genere e contrappuntato da percussioni sparute con un sottofondo di crepitio di cicale. L'effetto dovrebbe essere ipnotico, invece e` esilarante.

La discografia del gruppo, nel frattempo trasferitosi a Seattle, cresce a dismisura, ma adesso e` quasi tutta su vinile e CD: Dawn Of The Devi (Majora, 1991), molto improvvisato e confuso, e il Live From Planet Boomerang (Majora, 1991), un tour de force di improvvisazione collettiva (Just Say No To Why, You COuld Be Making History, Music Of The Great Southwest); e i singoli Three Fake Female Orgasms (Majora, 1992), You're Never Alone With A Cigarette (Majora, 1992), Let's Just Lounge/ Immortal Gods.

L'EP Eye Mohini (Majora, 1992) mette a fuoco la maturita` del gruppo: il flamenco della title-track, l'orientaleggiante Gum Arabic, la melodica Lemurs Urine e la jam improvvisata Kal El Lazi Kad Ham rappresentano il punto di arrivo di una delle parabole piu` originali e coraggiose del rock alternativo.

Napoleon & Josephine (Scratch, 1992), Caroline Tribute (Nuf Sed) e Borungku Si Derita (Majora) sono gli ultimi singoli ad uscire allo scoperto. L'EP Live Instruments Of Torture (Poon Village, 1993), contenente quattro jam improvvisate (fra cui Nephthys e Nites Of Malta), e l'album Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings (Majora, 1993), composto di tre sole jam (Venerable Song, Multiple Hallucinations, Omani Red Light). rinverdiranno la loro gloria.

Kaliflower (Abduction, 1994) contiene sei brani strumentali che ripetono all'infinito le loro tecniche post-psichedeliche. Juggernaut (1997) e Piasa (1994) sono due colonne sonore di film ancora da completare, Jacks Creek (Abduction, 1994) e` una raccolta di brani ispirati alle antiquate musiche "hillbilly". Questi dischi denotano sempre meno genio e sempre piu` dispersione.

Apna Desh 78 (Deep Eddy Grammaphone, 1995) conferma che il piu` grande segreto della musica underground e` diventato semplicemente un bidone della spazzatura.

The double album 330,003 Cross Dressers From Beyond The Rig Veda (Abduction, 1996 - Locust, 2002) is a tribute of sorts to India, with little or no rock (nor jazz) to be heard. The silly musichall skit of Civet's Tango is luckily the exception and not the rule. The pseudo-Buddhist prayer CCC (for piano, guitar, choir and rain), the frenzied guitar dance Apna Desh, the shamanic invocation of Rookoobay, the spirited syncopated dance Kickin' The Dragon, the brief percussion concertos of Sardhama Royale and Candi Sukuh, the gamelan noisefest Delong Song, compose a multifaceted portrait of Indian civilization viewed through the eyes of a Western eccentric; and sometimes the outcome is an accomplished song like the poignant lament Cruel And Thin. Alas, they are less successful when they venture into longer instrumental jams like Kumari Sweet, in which the Indian elements end up sounding like cheap parodies. The organ drones of Shin Paku, coupled with gloomy drumming, do create a suspenseful and fearful mood. The electroacoustic collage of Vimana Of The Twilight further shifts the ethnic experiment towards a metaphysical dimension. Bishop leads the eight-minute Cineraria Blue, an acid fusion of blues and raga that fares much better. Bishop's guitar unleashes shrill dissonant tones creating a dense atmosphere in the absence of any rhythm. The 34-minute Ghost Ghat Trespass, featuring an extended violin improvisation by Eyvind Kang, is a slow-rising raga that peaks halfway with a collective space-rock progression. It then implodes into a flow of disjointed dissonant noises and only towards the end it finds the focus to coalesce again. The album is packed with dozens of intuitions that may not always interact and cross-pollinate, but, as a whole, compose an imposing and visionary work of synthesis; or maybe just the opposite of synthesis. I due doppi Dante's Disneyland Inferno (Abduction, 1996 - Locust, 2002) e soprattutto 330,003 Cross Dressers From Beyond The Rig Veda (Abduction, 1996 - Locust, 2002), ritornano finalmente alla musica, ma il gruppo ha perso lo smalto, e tende persino a cantare e recitare piu` di quanto suoni. Il secondo, soprattutto, un caotico accumulo di sorgenti sonore (specialmente etniche), annovera la jam di raga-rock Ghost Ghat Trespass (35 minuti), straniante come sempre e con Eyvind Kang al violino, canzoni sconclusionate come CCC (piano, chitarra, coro e pioggia) e piece improvvisate di jazz esotico.
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Il doppio album Dante's Disneyland Inferno (Abduction, 1996 - Locust, 2002) e` interamente cantato/parlato. La scelta del materiale e` ancor piu` sciatta, ma l'arrangiamento (che si affida a una marea di strumenti) e` il piu` lambiccato e professionale della loro carriera.

Il triplo Box Of Chameleons (Abduction, 1997) raccoglie anche i pochi brani che erano sfuggiti alla discografia ufficiale (per lo piu` brani di un'inutilita` quasi offensivi). Esce un ennesimo live, In The Land Of The Rising Sun City Girls . Il batterista Charles Gocher pubblica un concept album, Pint Sized Spartacus. Charles Gocher e Rick Bishop danno vita anche ai New Session People, con Patrick Barber (Blowhole) e Steve Hanson (Totem Pole of Losers), il cui Famous Songs From Days Gone By e` un tributo all'organista Ken Griffin.

Erano stati uno dei gruppi piu` sottovalutati degli anni '80, e adesso si avviano a diventare uno dei gruppi underground piu` sopravvalutati degli anni '90.

Sun City Girls then released yet another soundtrack, Dulce (1998).

Very few bands have been so redundant as Sun City Girls, who have recorded just about anything in their career. Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations (Abduction, 2000) is the first installment in a series titled "Carnival Folklore Resurrection". The title-track is a free-form jam that stands as their least organized work ever, which can be a gift or a curse, depending on how much one wants to listen "musicians" making noise in a studio. The closing Lunar Gun-Point Recollections displays a wildly chaotic and festive mood, like circus music played by the marching band of a mental institution.

The following chapters are: The Dreamy Draw (Abduction, 2000), dreamy and atmospheric, Superculto (Abduction, 2000), gothic and percussive, and A Bullet Through The Last Temple (Abduction, 2000). While not always impeccable, and often improvised in the sense of "amateurish", these are radical works, that have little or no respect for form and order.

I Sun City Girls poi pubblicarono un'altra soundtrack, Dulce (1998).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Alessandra DeAngelis)

Pochissimi gruppi sanno essere cosi' ridondanti come i Sun City Girls, che nella loro carriera hanno registrato quasi di tutto. Cameo Demons And Their Manifestations (Abduction, 2000) e' la prima puntata di una serie intitolata "Carnival Folklore Resurrection". Il pezzo del titolo e' una free-form jam che risulta il meno organizzato dei loro lavori, cosa che puo' essere un dono o una maledizione, a seconda che ad uno piaccia o meno ascoltare musicisti che rumoreggiano in studio. Il pezzo di chiusura Lunar Gun-Point Recollections sfoggia uno stato d'animo allegro e selvaggiamente caotico, come una musica da circo suonata dalla banda marciante di una istituzione mentale. I capitoli a seguire sono intitolati The Dreamy Draw (Abduction, 2000), Superculto (Abduction, 2000), A Bullet Through The Last Temple (Abduction, 2000). Questi sono lavori estremi, che hanno poco o nulla a che fare col rispetto per la forma e per l'ordine.

Alan Bishop, meanwhile, had already launched his side project Alvarius B with two self-titled LPs (1994 and 1997).

The Dreamy Draw (Abduction, 2000), performed live in may 1998 at a club in Seattle, contains four brief compositions that share a hypnotic structure (as opposed to their traditional "chaotic" approach) and two lengthy jams. The shorter tracks rely on very simply musical elements: a repetitive piano pattern in Extinct Special, sparse tom-toms in Cavernous Procession, etc. Even when they try to act seriously, the ensemble can't help sounding clownish. The 21-minute monster The Dreamy Draw is nothing more than free-form percussions played at random and at will. The 12-minute sonata Rotation Flotation is the most interesting piece here, mainly a duet between a nocturnal piano figure and clarinet drones.

A Bullet Through The Last Temple (Abduction, 2000) is the most rooted in free-jazz. Unfortunately, the majority of the tracks are mere fragments. The combo's intentions are better presented by the two 8-minute jams: Samba Venez Norte pivots around a romantic trumpet and piano duet, while A Bullet Through The Last Temple resorts to the Art Ensemble's gentle chaos. Narcolodic and Hiccup Tribe Scan Tumor Flower toy with the most conventional jazz structure. The rest of the album draws inspiration from sources as various as Lol Coxhill's Welfare State (as in the demented fanfare of Junky Fado) and Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh (Old Nancy Wardrobe), but adds little to the canon. No matter what style they tackle, the Sun City Girls are first and foremost self-indulgent. No doubt they also grow an impressive garden of ideas, but they rarely let them bloom.

Severed Finger With A Wedding (Abduction, 2000) is a live performance of their cosmic, psychedelic jazz-rock. Sandwiched between the 10-minute Chameleon 2000 and the 12-minute Get To Nonya, the raga-psych-jazz ruminations of Drippin' On Stupa, Helen Waite and Severed Finger With A Wedding are no less disturbing.

Less interesting are the following chapters of the "Carnival": Sumatran Electric Chair (Abduction, 2001) and Libyan Desert (Abduction, 2001), although the latter's title-track is a good raga-jazz-acid excursion.

By the eight volume, Handsome Stranger (Abduction, 2001), recorded between 1997 and 1998, it is clear that this series simply collects leftovers and outtakes of little or no importance. High Asia Lo-Pacific (Abduction, 2002) comprises part nine and ten. The former offers world-music for exotic stringed instruments and middle-eastern chanting, besides the usual free-form acid-rock jams. The latter is a 40-minute collage of musique concrete and found sounds somewhere between Negativland and Stockhausen's Hymnen.

Wah (Abduction, 2003) and Flute and Mask (Abduction, 2003) continue to rip off the band's fans with low-quality, uninspired music.

The double-disc album Radio One & Two (Abduction, 2004), i.e. volumes 11 and 12 of the "Carnival Folklore Resurrection" series, and 98.6 Is Death (Abduction, 2004), i.e. volume 13 of the series, are live performances of the usual kind.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Bishop had launched a solo career. Salvador Kali (Revenant, 1998) was a set of seriously virtuoso instrumentals that spanned ethnic, jazz and classical music. The Mediterranean dance Burning Caravan is a mere (lightweight) appetizer. If the nine-minute raga Rasheed, with its stuttering quality, sounds indulgent and amateurish, the 14-minute piano sonata Al-Darazi is both austere and intricate in the way it weaves together Middle-eastern and Western classical music. The ten-minute Kamakhya, in the folkish acoustic manner of John Fahey, betrays a degree of neurosis that is partly due to his reading of Indian music in a rock context, and the harmonium counterpoint seems to highlight precisely the psychological instability. The closer, Morella, instead is a shameful compromise with new-age music that harks back to the atmospheric guitar instrumentals of the 1960s.
His second solo album, Improvika (Locust, 2005), was instead an album of solo guitar improvisation workouts in the manner of John Fahey-inspired solo raga guitarists such as Jack Rose and Steffen Basho-Junghans. However, Gnostic Gem relishes a much less fluid style, a slow and brainy form of introspection that relies more on an almost dissonant sequence of notes than on a smooth flow. The tender and pastoral Rudra's Feast, instead, is a simple celebration of life. The postcard of Jaisalmer evokes the desert and the labirynth, the caravans and the pilgrims, the temples and the markets. These three pieces represent three different forms: the philosophical, the narrative and the cinematic. The devotional hymn to the female deity Tripurasundari adds a fourth dimension. This is the most homogeneous of his albums. There is relatively little intrusion from peripheral influences such as jazz or ethnic music (other than ragas).
With the nine pieces of Fingering The Devil (Latitudes, 2005) Bishop refined the blend of raga, flamenco, jazz and folk guitar styles that he had coined on Improvika. Hence the flamenco-tinged Abydos, the Balkan-tinged Romany Trail, the whirling dervish psalm Anatolia, each of them fueled by romantic melodic patterns. Dream Of The Lotus Eater does a much better job than usual at the introspective, transcendental John Fahey-esque format. Fingering The Devil hints at a higher spiritual dimension, while the gritty and jittery Black Eyed Blue sounds like an earthly conversation on the human condition. The 14-minute Howrah Station demonstrates a visionary case of impressionism, as Bishop's convulsed fingerpicking mirrors the chaotic and colorful flow of people, its frenzied crescendo driven by a chain reaction of geometric patterns.
Bishop's artistic progression culminated with While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (Locust Music, 2007), that contains three of his most daring pieces. The sprightly Zurvan weaves together Greek, gypsy and Middle-eastern motifs. The eleven-minute Smashana released tidal waves of ghostly metallic dissonances, decaying into total anarchic cacophony, sounding like one of the early electronic poems of Morton Subotnick performed on electric guitar instead of synthesizer. The 25-minute Mahavidya tries to follow the letter of the Indian raga, beginning with a quiet meditation, picking up steam as it goes with a display of strumming bravura, excelling at the brisk self-referential call-and-response technique of the middle part, and finally soaring with a frantic hypnotic sufi-like dance. However, as far as classical Indian music goes, the piece merely borrows the Indian scale, but lacks the "ornaments" (the microtonal subtlety) of a professional raga and sounds a bit amateurish. Polytheistic Fragments (Drag City, 2007) collected shorter vignettes in a broad assortment of styles, but rarely as interesting as the solo-piano Saraswati.

Meanwhile, Alvarius B's Blood Operatives Of The Barium Sunset (Abduction, 2005) had featured Eyvind Kang, Randall Dunn, Tim Young and Andrew McGinnis and delivered an array of acid musichall skits.

The 14th volume of the "Carnival Folklore Resurrection" series, Static From The Outside Set (Abduction, 2006) is a confused hodgepodge of 29 tracks to test the patience of the last few people interested in the project.

Djinn Funnel (2006) collects live performances from 1999-2001.

Piano Bar (2006) released some unreleased material of wildly different stylistic nature.

Drummer Charles Goucher died in 2007 and Bishop dissolved the Sun City Girls.

Sir Richard Bishop released his first avantgarde documentary, God Damn Religion (Locust, 2008), accompanied with his industrial suite Elektronika Demonika (2006), originally a limited-edition LP.

The soundtrack to Korine's film Mister Lonely (Drag City, 2008) is a collaboration between the Sun City Girls and Jason Pierce of Spiritualized.

You're Never Alone With A Cigarette (Abduction, 2008) collects Sun City Girls singles, including You're Never Alone With A Cigarette, Three Fake Female Orgasms and a twelve-minute version of The Fine-Tuned Machines Of Lemuria.

Mixing Middle-eastern traditionals, covers and originals, Sir Richard Bishop's The Freak of Araby (Drag City, 2009) was a tribute of sorts to Arab music, and his first album with a backing band (a quartet of Arab musicians). Highlights are the seven-minute suspense-ful guitar solo Taqasim for Omar (even reminiscent of Jimmy Page's mystical solos with Led Zeppelin) the more conventional dance-rock of The Pillars of Baalbek (sort of Carlos Santana for the pan-ethnic generation) and the seven-minute trumpets and drums maelstrom of Blood-Soaked Sands.

Sun City Girls changed name to Master Musicians of Bukkake for Totem One (Conspiracy, 2009) and added members of Earth and Burning Witch.

Meanwhile, the trio of Sir Richard Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance's Ben Chasny and Chris Corsano formed Rangda (two guitars and drums) to record False Flag (Drag City, 2010), a varied and unpredictable collection. The brief, chaotic and noisy Waldorf Hysteria sounds like punk-rock for children. The eight-minute Fist Family is even more extreme, just an eruption of noise and beats. On the other hand Sarcophagi is nocturnal lounge music, and Bull Lore is basically a power-ballad without lyrics and with Morricone-ian overtones. The 15-minute Plain Of Jars is the only piece of some substance, although it borrows from early Pink Floyd Jimi Hendrix's 1983 without quite the same degree of imagination, ending up with one of Bishop's delirious faux-raga solos.

Sun City Girls' Funeral Mariachi (Abduction, 2010), a collection of short pieces recorded before Gocher's death, sounds like a hodgepodge of disparate ideas that each member developed separately and were organized only in the studio. The mood is much more relaxed and adult than it was 20 years earlier, and maybe inevitably so. A confused atmospheric collage Ben's Radio leads the parade of guitar vignettes (The Imam, Blue West) and pan-ethnic tunes (Black Orchid). The production is almost baroque (at least by their standards). However, the general effect is to sedate these litanies to the point that they often sound like new-age music (the piano adagio Vine Street Piano) or vintage muzak (Holy Ground, Come Maddalena).

Alvarius B's Baroque Primitiva (Poon Village, 2011) looks like a pretext to deliver Ennio Morricone covers (six out of the twelve pieces).

Rangda was a two-guitar supergroup formed by Richard Bishop of the Sun City Girls, Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Chris Corsano that debuted on the instrumental False Flag (Drag City, 2010).

Richard Bishop rarities surfaced on Intermezzo (Ideologic Organ, 2012) and The Unrock Tapes (Unrock, 2012). Bishop's Road To Siam (Unrock, 2014) was a more serious release, as was Alvarius B's If You Don't Like It...Don't! (Three Lobed, 2014), a collection of 12 brief pieces plus the seven-minute Midwestern Serenade.

Road Stories (2014), a split album with Bill Orcutt, contains a 17 minute variation of Zurvan.

Live Room (2006) documents a live Sun City Girls performance.

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