In Rotation: Prog-rock guru Charles Snider on Conrad Schnitzler and District 97 | In Rotation | Chicago Reader

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In Rotation: Prog-rock guru Charles Snider on Conrad Schnitzler and District 97

Plus: Reader music editor Philip Montoro on Abana Ba Nasery, and Ga’an drummer Seth Sher on Absu, Razor, and Alphonse Mouzon



Philip Montoro, Reader music editor

Yob, Atma Right from its lead track, "Prepare the Ground," the new Atma is first-class cosmic doom. The smoke of funeral ghats chokes the battlefields of heaven, its darkness cut by the flashes of scimitars. A fallen soldier cries out to an indifferent god until his howls become a soaring mantra. Prepare to be enlightened to within an inch of your life.

Abana Ba Nasery, Classic Acoustic Recordings From Western Kenya This trio was famous in Kenya in the 60s and early 70s for playing a Luhya style called omutibo, whose instrumentation usually consists of two acoustic guitars and a ribbed glass Fanta bottle scraped with a nail. The sweet, jaunty, intricately entangled guitars, the crickety rhythm of the bottle, and the sad-happy three-part harmony singing are just the thing for a summer night you know will end too soon.

Celtic Frost, "Ground," from Monotheist A bitter, furious, dismal, pounding trudge. "Oh God," roars Tom G. Warrior. "Why have you forsaken me?" This song has replaced Shellac's "Prayer to God" as my favorite thing to have stuck in my head when I'm biking to work against the wind.

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