Henry Flynt: Graduation

Superior Viaduct

Henry Flynt serves as the third leg of New York's drone music tripod, alongside Velvet Underground's reductionist rock and La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music. Having uprooted from Greensboro, S.C., Flynt cultivated a new sound that mixed hillbilly sonics with high-minded, forward-thinking drone music, a genre he deemed "new American ethnic music." Graduation collects a handful of Flynt's recordings from 1975-1979, showcasing a stunning array of ideas. "Lonesome Train Dreams" chugs along with careening, rustic flare and off-center guitar lines. "Conga" veers into a fusion of stringed bluegrass and thumping no wave, featuring a Talking Heads-esque rhythm section. "Celestial Power" is a-20-minute sketch of solo guitar and reverb improvisation, a template that informed future generations of aural experimentalists. (4 out of 5 stars)