On March 23rd, Tompkins Square is to release ‘Ceremony of Dreams: Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972-1977‘. It features 30 previously unreleased tracks from the mid-seventies experimentalists Entourage, or, by their lesser-known name, the Entourage Music and Theatre Ensemble. Anyone familiar with the Tompkins Square label will know they have a crate digger passion for uncovering new and old music and this is reflected in the effort they put into presenting their releases. Ceremony of Dreams is no exception, featuring liner notes by former Rolling Stone music critic J.D. Considine, and surviving band member, Wall Matthews.
Considine takes the listener through the iterations and history of Entourage from 1970 and sets the scene for a collective that was clearly ahead of its time, drawing connections to the likes of Terry Riley and Steve Reich and Weather Report he also argues how their “sound anticipated the Worldbeat movement in its use of exotic scales and percussion…”
Considering they only released two albums on Folkways and rarely toured it would have been easy for them to drift into relative obscurity but their music garnered some unlikely attention in 2003 thanks to Keiran Hebden aka Four Tet who used a sample of Neptune’s Rising on She Moves She.
Wall Matthews gives an insight into the inner workings explaining how they “developed an approach to a music steeped in the essences of jazz, folk, blues, classical, and world influences, but, at the same time, stripped away from all identifiable elements.” He goes on to explain how live performances attempted to create a deep dreamlike immersive experience, not just through their music but through dance, choreography and lighting.
The album is released as a 30-track 3-CD boxset and a 10-track vinyl album.
Take a listen to the LP version in full below: