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The Wooden Cupboard 

Animals Speak the Spirit Tongue

Wednesday, Aug 31 2005
I keep thinking this disc is some old, warped cassette of ritualistic worship music created by an esoteric California fertility cult that spent the mid-'70s organically fusing classical Indian ragas, the solemn chants of a Tibetan tantric choir, Velvet Underground-inspired experimentation with lo-fi tape hiss, and ghostly, falsetto-rich doo-wop balladry from the mid-'50s. However! I do know who made this sublime batch of cosmic soul-noise -- the Wooden Cupboard (a pseudonym employed by James Ferraro, Mission denizen and one-half of the psych-noise duo the Skaters). From what I've learned, Ferraro enters his bedroom with a tattered array of gear (guitar, minisynth, microphone, tapes, hand-held percussion, four-track recorder, etc.) and, after several hours, exits feeling rather stunned -- coming down from what can be described as an "ecstatic spiritual state." Now, I have no idea if you and I possess spirits, but I can tell you that the droning ululations of Ferraro do, indeed, speak to that side of me I would label "religious." This is religious music -- strange, gloriously shimmering religious music -- proof that pop, underground noise, and Eastern mysticism can be fused into a profoundly meditative listening experience.

About The Author

Justin F. Farrar


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