Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 10


Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 10


Naw, this ain’t ZZAJ International headquarters, & there are no plans fer’ takin’ over th’ muzik world!  On th’ other digit, FAX service is now available… dial 82-53-473-5259 (IF I’m still here after October) after 10:30 a.m. but before 5:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time… folks who use this means of contact kin’ take $1.00 off of EACH tape they order… that applies to single tape orders only!  If yer’ orderin’ at the discount rate ($5 per tape for any single order of 2 or more tapes, you can take $1 for each 2 tapes you order)… as always, this ain’t no hardsell hype… ZZAJ Productions is ALWAYS in th’ red fer’ tape orders, so it’s still not (& won’t ever be) about big sales… JUST to let you know that the service is available!


Got a TONN of tapes left over from # 9, so I figure I’d better cut out all the b.s. again & get right to wot IS th’ bizness in ‘I.N.’… RED-HOT reviews of some of th’ TALENT out there in the world… here goes…


John Herron:  COURAGE – Here’s a new tape from John… actually, it’s an older tape.  For those who got # 9, he had a SUPER effort reviewed in there!  So, it was really INTERESTING to hear what the earlier pieces were!  HIGH quality mix is a keynote on ALL Herron efforts I’ve heard to date… (watch for a ZZAJ release with John soon)… his forte is drums, with keyboardz as a sideline; & this is one TIME-KEEPING dude!  No stodgy/straight patterned claptrap here, volkz, & not klunker ONE!  Don’t read me wrong… I just mean that the music is ever-changing, & not stuck in any RUT!  All the way from a Mahavishnu-like opener thru slide guitar lickz, & then on to latino-sounding flootz & out to th’ farthest reaches of th’ jazz sprectrum; Dale Carlson’s sax on ‘Gun:  Shoe Razz’ literally SHINES!  Behind it (& sometimes in front) all is the absolutely exciting & charged percussive talent that makes this a FAVORITE in th’ Zzajlabs!  Studio-quality sound & natural musicianship (John pointed out that, except for samples on ‘Eardance’ & a few effects, everything is REAL) make this tape a first-rate listening experience all around!  Contact John at 4022 South State, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!   Rotcod Zzaj

The Militant Musician’s Pond:  DEARTH/ABUNDANCE – Our friend Chip Handy is joined by Rusi Gustafson on ain improv excursion that will make ya’ layback & take notice!  Well recorded percussives, subtle bass & other delights (such as the bells & triangle) are woven into an intergalactic collage affair that will catch you in it’s ewave & spin you in to new horizons… for some reason I can’t help thinking of a spiderweb.  Light & fragile, tread lightly here, unless yer’ totally familiar with the space.  This IS improvisation… it’s not pablum for the weak-minded… you must be dedicated to the living of music.  The beauty of this experience, however, is that it’s not screech&whistle territory.  Makes a perfect outing for those only joining in the fray… gentle, with balls, know wot’ I mean?  GET IT from Chip, at Apt 1, 230 J St., Davis, CA 95616  I really LIKED this tape!   Rotcod Zzaj

Cage:  CAGE & The Electric Ferrets:  INTO MY BRAIN – CAGE is from Dayton, Ohio; the ‘Ferrets’ are from LA.  This came in from Andy Valeri, who you may remember mention of in ‘I.N.’ # 9, as the prime mover behind ‘BIG BEEF PRODUCTIONS’ & ‘The Eat More Carp Show’.  The 7 song demo for CAGE was initially produced on a home 4-trak… nice rock pieces, well-recorded & quite listenable.  Nothing earth-shattering, but it’s ‘roadable’ fer shure!  In fact, there are a coupla’ pretty cute toonz on here, ‘specially ‘Household Finance’.  The bass lines are crisp & clean, gitarz likewise, with good supporting drums.  Not in an improv vein, this is mucis like you’d hear on yer’ local FM, but with the redeeming quality of having been done without corporate ethics.  RECOMMENDED as tasty fare when yer’ burnt out on improv & wanna’ listen fer’ th’ beat.  ‘The Electric Ferrets’ parts were also from a 7″… pretty sure Andy said this was out of print right now, but if you write to Big Beef, I’m sure you could work something out!  The ‘Ferrets’ are just slightly heavier in tone, with leanings towards (wotz’ th’ word?) hard… there are some overdub sections that reach for the edge, tho’ ‘Into My Brain’ is pretty straight-edge burnin’ ROCK!  I like CAGE better, tho’ those inclined for hard drivin’ stuph will probably prefer the ‘Ferrets’.  Fun & kickazz, many will enjoy these folks… for more info, contact Andy at 231 Medford St., Dayton, OH 45410-2116 or via land line at (513)258-1124  Not bad atall!   Rotcod Zzaj

Ligon/Andrews:  AGE OF EXPANSION – No less than 35 toonz from our pals (& yers, if yer’ IN to aurally enjoyable improvisational experience) at Unsensored Musics!  Those of you read this ‘zine on a regular basis have probably long ago contacted these gents… they are MASTERS at the art of painting new horizons for your imagination.  This is music the likes of which you’ve NOT heard before, unless you’ve already heard THEIR tapes!  Jacky Ligon’s guitar is notably missing on this go-round, but that’s not a detractor in the least… well, maybe a little – I ENJOY his guitar work… SYNTHS, HORN SOUNDS, massive PERCUSSIVES (AT TIMES) UNIQUE MUSICS IN THE MOST FAVORABLE LIGHT OF IMPROVISATION yOU OWE IT TO YERSELF TO check these guys OUT!!!  Not ‘rock’, not ‘jazz’, sort of ‘in the ether’… THEIR word for the ‘genre’ they’re in (on much earlier tapes) was SNAZZ!  Not only fitting, but GREAT!  Contact at 209 Williford Court, High Point, NC  27260   Rotcod Zzaj

ND #17 – Music/arts ‘zine that’s been ‘roudn fer’ a long time… there are plenty of tape/cd/record & ‘zine reviews, tho’ they seem to be getting ever more cryptic; that’s ok, tho’, because Daniel Plunkett & crew DO make every attempt to get them all reviewed!  The real forte in this highly-charged ‘Contact Exchange Document’ (that’s Daniel’s term, btw) is a penchant for VERY insightful interviews!  This issue had way too many folks to enumerate (you’ll jus’ HAVE to get th’ ‘zine), but notables are ‘Crawling With Tarts’, Jim O’Rourke & ‘Left Hand Right Hand’.  A wide spectrum of the arts is covered, in fact it’s more an ‘arts’ ‘zine than a ‘review’ ‘zine, I’d say!  Some comparisons have been made of late to FF5, but I’d beg to differ… this ‘zine has it’s OWN flavor, is extremely informative & has a fresh slant on most everything it covers.  GET it!  Contact ND at POB 4144, Autstin, TX 78765   Rotcod Zzaj

Dan Susnara:  “AL”  (45’S) – Here’s a really PRETTY tape from Dan, who was in issue #9 with his ‘Blacklite Forest’ tape.  This gent has a real talent & it literally SHINES on “AL”… his mission in (musical) life seems to be to transport the listener back to an era (that seemed to many of us to be) of hope.  The 60’s return from the dead as you ride the beautiful guitar & vocal waves Dan spins for you.  More oriented to full-blown toonz this time ’round, I enjoyed this even more than ‘Blacklite’.  While not for the hardcore improv freakz ‘mong us, if you want a sample of what happens when someone has a retrospective musical vision of a whole era, CONTACT Dan at 7806 S. Kilpatrick, Chicago, IL 60652 or call him at 1-312-735-5792   Rotcod Zzaj

JAWS of the Flying Carpet:  SMOTHERING Fish Drowning Birdy – Here’s an earlier releas from the same volkz who now bring you ‘Rotton Kids’ tapes (ZZAJ is a ‘Rotton Kid’, btw)… no standard lickz here, as Zal Ni Kor Zundorum Bohatyretz, Oool Fjolkunnior & the reast of th’ crew during’ ’88/89 time-frame take you on a sort of rock/improv excursion… imagine for a moment that th’ great Captain Beefheart has wandered (way) away from home & wakes up in the deepest/darkest Thailand/Burma have to offer; & finds Zal Ni Kor & Oool there playin’… zo, natch, he joins IN!  Don’t automatically lump this in with so many of those tapes that PROMISE & then don’t DELIVER, tho’, o.k?  Lead & bass guitarz are joined by STRONG percussion with SOME kind of method betwixt the madness… it’s a bit like chaos theory rock orchestral, if ya’ kin fancy THAT!  A VERY interesting tape!  Contact at 6397 Glen Knolls Dr., Orleans, ONT K1C 2W9, or call at 613-824-1811  RECOMMENDED   Rotcod Zzaj

Tony Passarell/Chip Handy:  DUET – For those who can’t pass up well-done & root-oriented improv sessions, this cassette is THE experience yer’ always lookin’ for!  Only two toonz, side one’s “Popside’ & two’s ‘Swimsuit Comp Edition’… Tony’s horns intersperse somewhat ‘mystically’ with Chip’s percussive antics, especially on ‘Popside’… it’s true that those who explore the territory of real improvisation approach it from an unstructured viewpoint; & that makes it music that’s not always easy to listen to… no predictable patterns on either tune… in fact, I’d just love to get my keyboardz mixin’ it up with these two!  Many ‘improvisors’ of today can’t feel comfortable unless there’s some pattern to grab hold of… not these gents… & yet, surprisingly, it IS comfortable music… for some!  If you orientation is towards something recognizable, something not new, then you will NOT enjoy this… but if you WANT a journey of gentle chaos, GET hold of Chip at the address in the earlier review.  HIGHLY recommened for an introductory journey into improvisation!   Rotcod Zzaj

Len Fulton:  SMALL MAGAZINE REVIEW – I’d been in contact with Len for QUITE some time… actually don’t remember when I heard from him first, but it was somewhere mid-to-late ’92 re: this little ‘zine!  Published by ‘Dustbooks’, this is both interesting and informative.  In fact, this is the FIRST issue… 32 pages of very readable information about small ‘zines.  Their reviews are MUCH more comprehensive (& dare I say it – analytical?) than many of today’s ‘review’ 2/3 liners… and for that reason, this is a ‘zine to get HIP to, right NOW, folks!  Len says he’s planning to have a section in each issue devoted to an interview/commentz from small ‘zine editors, tho’ I didn’t see one THIS time!  It’s STRONGLY recommended that if you’re part of the ever-expanding group of folks who use ‘zines to give and receive information, get HOLD of this ‘zine!  Contact Len at Small Magazine Review, POB 100, Paradise, CA 95967   Rotcod Zzaj

Mustard Bernard:  SALAMANDER – & here these guys are again!  The sounds comin’ outta’ Spilling Audio were never BETTER… Bernard’s tape, ‘The Living Arts’ was reviewed in #9, & Eric sent this in, probably ‘coz I dold him I REALLY liked wot was on the last one!  I’m tellin’ ya’ right NOW, people, I am NOT a metalhead… hell, the closest I came was Hendrix in my earlier days, – talk about DATED, right – but these guys are SUPER hot!  There’s shades, somehow, of ‘Deep Purple’, mebbe’ even a lil’ pull toward ‘James Gang’ stuph; but these guys are out there on their OWN!  This is one rock-oriented C60 that’ll be worn OUT by August at the rate it’s spinnin’ on my deckz right now!  You owe it to yourself to get in TOUCH with Eric Hausmann at Spilling Audio, 4602 SW Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98136  Even for the most hardcore of us into disconnect-improv & formlessness, this tape will provide a welcome diversion of blood-pumpin’ ENERGY!  HIGHLY recommended by ZZAJ!   Rotcod Zzaj

Chenrezi:  AT THE BOOKCELLAR CAFE – Here’s an interesting improv-oriented excursion from a two-man show that includes a gent I first met on the ALLMUSIC net a year or so ago, Michael Bloom!  Tuned percussion double by Michael Bloom, with double bass by Craig Schildhauer!  Omigod, this is just like a flashback to th’ glorydaze o’ th’ Gnu Deli artists’ community frolics up in Olympia, Washington in the early ‘809’s!  I have tapes from live shows that Dave Holland did in there, & this live show by Chenrezi is very similar in intent!  Unique stylings, straightforward improvisation with no HANGUPS about where-are-we-goin’-next… just pure & talented FLOW!  I’ve reviewed some of Michael’s things before in ‘I.N.’, but I can say, wintout qualification, this is the most PLEASANT/STIMULATING music I’ve ever heard him do!  For any out there in readerland who crave new directions that don’t BORE ya’ to tears – GET THIS!  This is my FAVORITE improv listen in this issue!  Contact Michael at 33 Browning Rd., Somerville MA 02145 – TODAY!   Rotcod Zzaj

Monkeydeed/Drowning Girl Shoebox:  EAT UMBRELLAS – Jonathan Ashworth sent this pure madness in here!  Loop, loop, loop… there is an attraction for me here, maybe just that I’m in the mood for a diversion EN TOTO!   Not really music… at least not in the sense of instrumentation… but you can’t really class it as pure NOISE, either!  Like I sed, rather diversionary, somethin’ for when you ARE frustrated & pissed enuff to include umbrellas in yer’ diet!  Needs a little more work on the editing, methinks!  Contact Johnathan at Box 644, Aurora, OH 44202   Rotcod Zzaj

Francisco Lopez:  CRUSTOCEANIUM – I’ve always liked Francisco’s improvisational excursions in to the various animal kingdoms; this tape is no exception.  Cymbals and gongs attempt, quite successfully & in a VERY interesting fashion, to auralize the structure and environ of “crustaceans, an organic lineage that reigns in all the oceans of the earth.”  This is assuredly best listened to with headphones… you want to be absorbed in to the experience.  Of course, if you don’t enjoy ‘mollusks on methadone’, or new experiences, you’ll not like this!  But for those with adventure in their blood, this is a MUST HAVEW!  Contact at Linea Alternative, Apartado 49, 28800 Aleala de Henares, Madrid, Espanola  RECOMMENDED   Rotcod Zzaj

Music Uncovered:  ‘zine from Seattle; this was issue #13, which had primary coverage of an event called ‘Progfest ’93’; surely looked interesting, & editor Louis Hesseltvan-Dinter wrote most of the coverage as an interview with festival coordinator David Overstreet… tho’ I’m no big ‘fan’ of ‘style’ music, the energy with which Louis described it would have been enough to make me DIG the buckz out to go… the only problem, however, is that even though they mention the days & times, they forgot to tell us the DATES!  That’s really the only neg-crit of this lil’ 6-pager, tho’, ‘coz the reviews of various tapes (all the way from headliners Djam Karet to our old netfriend Marco Olivotto of ‘The Noisy Room’) are better than any I’ve seen in quite some time… no ‘one-liners’ here… full & comprehensive (but not boring) descriptions of the sounds on each album/tape/CD.  This is a ‘review’ ‘zine that you’ll WANNA’ get on your list of MUST HAVES!  Contact at 22833 Bothell-Everett Hwy., Suite 1121, Bothell, WA 98021  MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED   Rotcod Zzaj

The Noisy Room:  & since we’re on ‘zines, I’ve just finished reading the latest from the TNR folks in Italy!  Marco Olivotto & friends publish this (rather sporadic; this was supposed to be the ‘December’ issue – I received it in May) great little update/focus on the happenings of TNR as a group.  You may or may not remember a review I did only a while back of their release, ‘The Chessboard’, an absolutely smashing prog-rock CD (also on tape!  Gigs, thoughts, upcoming projects & the like!  There are also some FINE comprehensive reviews of European groups, mostly Italian, mostly in the ‘prog-rock’ vein!  The nicest thing about all these reviews is that although they pull no punches, it’s clear the reviewers ‘like’ what thy’re hearing, and because they ‘understand’ the music themselves, they come across with clearcut descriptions of the music that will let you decide for yourself if it’s something that you really want to invest in!  The ‘foreign’ reviews have folks like our old ‘I.N.’ friend Henry Schneider & the ‘Screamin’ Popeyes’, both electronic wizards.  Even a nice section on some weirdo named Zzaj… GO for it, folks!  Marco publishes in both English and Italian versions & even tho’ it’s infrequent, it’s WELL worth the wait!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at 16 Via del’ Abetone, 36068 ROVERETO (TN), Italy   Rotcod Zzaj

Bret Hart:   BULLSEYE – Different’n anything I’ve ever heard friend Bret do before… folk guitar with a decidedly broke-dick cast, lyrically anyway!  Pretty much solo, tho’ Mark McGee does a bit of percussion, to flesh it out, I guess!  Bret’s playing is crisp & clear & his vox/lyrics take me back to mid/late sixties, whether they intended to or not!  Tell the truth, folk/balladz are not my forte… too close to cry-in-yer-beer ‘jerkers for me… so, the enjoyment in this one, for me, came from watchin’/hearin’ Bret PLAY!  He does some electric, some acoustic & (apparently) all th’ bass work!  Other than early ‘Blind Pineapple Phillips’ stuph I’d heard him do, I’ve not heard this genre from him much in the past!  The title cut is the best!  For fit-fiddle freaks everywhere!  Contact Bret at 97 Blossom St., #5, Fitchburg, MA 01420   Rotcod Zzaj

Jon Gillespie:  I’VE SUFFERED FOR MY MUSIC; NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN – Now, YOU may have heard of Jon before, but this was my first listen to him!  He’d sent me a letter (about 3 months or so ago) that was essentially a ‘rejection slip’ from some bigco recexec… the guy had, for all intent  purpose, told Jon he was ‘insane’… IOW, his tape had no ‘commercial’ value!  Where have ‘i’ heard that before?  Maybe that’s the reason why I never buy BIGCO musical output anymore… they’ve gotten too far away from what ‘we the people’ WANT!  This is quite well crafted… keyboards, synth, loops, vox overlays, but BEYOND the normal scope of such efforts!  It’s not ‘just another’ noise tape!  The only thing I didn’t like, Jon, was the speed variances on some of the mixed pieces… they distract from the listening, for me, anyway… aside from that, tho’, this tape is VERY interesting & even has some MUSIC on it, too!  WELL worth the price of a stamp or two to inquire at POB 1445, La Mirada, CA 90637-1445   Rotcod Zzaj

Spilling Audio:  SMELLS LIKE 7 – Here’s yet ‘nother compilation from Eric Hausmann….. spilled in in a big BATCH o’ tapes he sent for review… ‘The Conspiracy’, ‘WF & The Question’, ‘Screamin’ Popeyes’, ‘Bryan Keiser’ & a coupla’ others… & it even has BONUS trax… the stuff from ‘The Conspiracy’ (England) is mersey beat, 60’s/70’s flavored ?what-cha-ma-callit?… cutesy luvlyrical stuff, but nothin’ that will turn th’ tide; they DO play quite well, if you like radio standarz!  Th’ stuph from ‘WF’ (Germany) is spooky & mysterious… original-sounding simple instrumental wanderment (bass/perx/synth/gtrz), with no ‘top-40’ schlock-sound… I liked it; quite relaxing!  The middle section of side 1 has percussion pieces taken from another comp, called ‘Drum’, which was an ‘experience’ in&of itself… excellent placement on this comp that lends to an overall ‘picture’ of the music of now!  The ‘Screamin’ Popeyes’ ‘Look Ma, No Sticks’ was my FAVE piece of the three offered here!  The set continues with all of the wizardry of any Spilling Audio compilation!  I’m tellin’ ya’ folks, this is a label to WATCH!  Contact at the address shown for ‘Mustard Bernard’!  HIGHLY recommended!   Rotcod Zzaj

Francisco Lopez:  LA PRIMERA AVENTURA DE CEKONI Y CONIKE – Now, this is a different style than I’ve heard from Francisco in SOME time… a film soundtrack tape composed jointly by him & Miguel A. Ruiz.  I have no earthly idea what the film was about, but if the music is any iindication, I do WANT to see it… previous tapes by Francisco have been (for the most part) sound structures, if you will, that required some pretty heavy listening for enjoyment thereof.  There are still pieces like that interspersed, but the total effect is that of a musical experience.  Most HIGHLY recommended.  You can contact him at the address given in an earlier review of his work.   Rotcod Zzaj

Factsheet 5:  ‘Zine – Well, R. Seth Friedmann has DONE it… resurrected the FINEST ‘zine review ‘zine around!  If you have a need to KNOW wotz’ goin’ on out there in ‘zineland, this (as he sez) is THE “definitive guide to the ‘zine revolution”… clockin’ in at a whopping 112 pages, this sucker will have you engrossed from the moment ya’ pick it UP!  It’s been a LONG time since Gunderloy turned the responsibility over to someone else, & th’ ‘zine has gone thru quite a bit of change since… they DON’T do music reviews right now, but the latest flyer sez they  MIGHT… IF they get enough support from YOU!!!  &, this is ZZAJ tellin’ ya’ that you’d better DO it!  Like, NOW!!!  Contact POB 170099, San Francisco, CA 94117-0099   Rotcod Zzaj

Neuronium & Vangelis in London (Chacra Alternative Music CHACD 036)  CD Single:  8:56  In London to my knowledge is the first Neuronium single since Privilege a decade ago.  This CD single is a collaboration between Neuronium (Michel Huygen) and Vangelis recorded at Nemo Studios in London.  Judging from the photograph’s copyright dates of 1981 and 1992, and the resemblance to Chromium Echoes, I would guess that 1981 is also the recording date.  The sequencer and analog synth based music reminds me of Michael Hoenig’s classic Departure from the Northern Wasteland.  Huygen’s dramatic Spanish electronics and Vangelis’ Spiral-esque timbres keep the music well away from the hackneyed “New Age” cliches so prevalent today.  I’ve grown bored with Huygen’s music of late, but in London is such a strong composition that it rekindles hope that the old Neuronium could again rise like the phoenix.  The nine minutes of music pass all too quickly leaving you wanting more, much, much more!  If you have never experienced Neuronium, In London is an excellent introduction to the Neuronium of yore.  (Chacra Alternative Music, Inc., 3155 Halpern Street, Ville St. Laurent, Quebec, CANADA H4S 1P5)   Henry Schneider

Various Artists Angelica 91 (Caicai Music CAICAI-001)  CD:  78:36  This CD documents the Angelica festival that occurred from 5 to 9 June 1991 in Bologna, Italy.  Subtitled “la lingua me cercava le parole” (language looking for my words), the goal of Angelica 91 was to promote a small but significant spectrum of vocal styles.  A true international festival, Angelica featured singers and musicans from Canada, Franc, Italy, USA, Great Britain, Spain and Holland.  Some of the music is quite difficult and intricate like the opening three wordless chants by two Inuit women.  These women stand in front of each other, look into one another’s eyes, and form a mental link that they use to weave their rhythmic droning, grunting and breathing.  Another difficult piece is Aquesta es la Historia que Mai Podre Oblidar; Una Triste Historia damor, d’Un Amor que Mai, Mai, Mai Podra Acabar by Carlos Santos.  Carlos plays frenetic piano over his sung narration sounding remarkably like Christian Vander and Magma.  Then there is the performance by Shelley Hirsch, Tom Cora, Lol Coxhill and David Weinstein, Hi.Co.Co.We. that brought to my mind Nurse With Wound.  Diametrically opposed to these avant garde performances are the beautiful harmonies, melodies and lively singing of the femaile Italian quartet Quartetto Vocale Giovanna Marini.  Accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, these women bring a breath of fresh aire and fun to the CD.  Lol Coxhill’s Hong Kong Blues is another pleasant interlude that also displays his unique sense of humor.  Due to the nature of the festival, Angelica 91 is an uneven release.  Unless you have extremely broad musical tastes, there will be songs on this CD that you will love and others that will make you hit the eject button.  If the academic side of avant garde music interests you, buy this CD  (Caici Music, c/o Massimo Simonini, Via del Monte 1, 41058 Vignola (MO) ITALY)   Henry Schneider

Jack or Jive Mujyo (Dradomel DRADOMEL 06)  CD:  51:59  Jack or Jive is the Japanese duet of Chako (vocals) and Makoto Hattori (keyboards and synths).  Their music, a hybrid of minimalism, New Wave and avant garde vocals, grows on you and is not as cold and sterile as you would expect.  Mojyo’s pervasive mood is one of mystery, perfect for rainy days or late at night.  Chako’s beautifully eerie Japanese vocals and Hattori’s minimalist piano and electronics paint slow-moving tapestries that never become monotonous or boring. Each of the eight songs displays a different facet of Chako’s vocal ability and Hattori’s electronis ckill from the industrial Fragments of Me to the pseudo European New Wave of A March for the New European.  Despite the Japanese titles of some songs, the music never really sounds oriental.  The closest it comes is Chako’s “Yoko Ono” wailing heard on Fragments of Me and The Orient.  Mujyo may not be for everyone but it is a change of pace compared to the plethora of music released today.  Be adventuresome and check out this sothing concoction for the savage breast.  (Dragnet Records, Aureliusstr. 1-3, 5100 Aachen – GERMANY)   Henry Schneider

N.O.R.M.A.  N.O.R.M.A.  (Caicai Music CAICAI-062)  CD:  54:10  N.O.R.M.A., a project conceived and realized by Tiziano Popoli and Massimo Simonini, is the result of comparing different points of view – at times coinciding but often diverging.  The CD opens with Suite from Psycho that is a tribute to both Alfred Hitchcock and the composer Bernard Herrman.  This music fascinated Popoli because of the way Herrman used anti themes instead of a traditional movie soundtrack.  Not owning Herrman’s score but only a few snatches, Popoli painstakingly reconstructed the soundtrack “by ear.”  The instrumentation of Suite from Psycho includes found sounds and dialog from records and CDs interspersed with electric guitars, percussion, brass, strings and an alto sax.  The result is a spooky 15 minute suite that faithfully captures the tension of the original soundtrack and the movie.  ChiNOISErie follows Psycho and is another 15 minute suite consisting of 13 pieces composed for an Italian version of Madame Butterfly.  The idea behind ChiNOISErie is one of underlying discontinuity achieved by alternating short pieces of Eastern and Western music in rapid succession.  The next composition is Circus Music, a series of short pieces conceived as a score for an orchestra with each piece being the basis for a typical circus theme and rearranged from the poetical, ironical and surrealistic point of view of Arturo Brachetti.  Popoli intended Circus Music as a tribute to Nino Rota and to the music composed for Fellini’s I Clown.  Circus Music was previously released by Chris Cutler on his Re Records Quarterly vol. 3 number 4 in 1992.  Circus Music is undoubtedly the lightest and most fun suite of music on this disk.  You can readily picture the crowd, elephants, tigers, gypsies and Ha ballerina.  N.O.R.M.A. closes out with three comparatively short compositions:

N.O.R.M.A.  pasticci e postumi – a remixed montage of sound fragments and session outtakes, Artes moriendi – Popoli’s political statement about war, and Classico! – a solo effort of Massimo Simonini consisting of orchestrated found sounds and objects.  My general impression of N.O.R.M.A. is one of late sixties’ avant garde and experimental jazz music combined with eighties’ tape collage.  Like Angelica 91, N.O.R.M.A. is an academic exploration of experimental music and should appeal to the adventurous listener.  (Caicai Music, c/o Massimo Simonini, Via del Monte 1, 41058 Vignola (MO) ITALY   Henry Schneider

Vladmir Petrovsky  Chimes of Russian North  (Melodiya SUCD 11-00326)  CD:  61:07  Bells first appeared in Russia soon after the arrival of Christianity and for a millennium chimes accompanied everyday Russian life.  Unfortunately the sound of Russian bells has been silent for the past fifty years.  Today bell ringing is experiencing a revival in Arkhangelsk through the efforts of Vladmimir Petrovsky.  He can hear and feel the sound of a bell achieving expression through rhythm and timbre.  The rhythmical variety results from moving the tongue of motionless bells unlike the European method of moving the bell.  The compositions on Chimes of Russian North show Petrovsky’s careful attention to the old Russian heritage and to contemporary free improvisation; nine traditional and four modern bell ringing performances.   Traditional Russian bell ringing uses non-Western scales and on the surface resembles the gamelan music of Southeast Asia and the music of avant garde composer and musican Harry Partch.  By contrast Petrovsky’s modern compositions are slower, longer, introspective and more abstract.  However, Petrovsky only plays the bells, my Western ears soon grew tired of the unrelieved metallic sounds.  This CD brings to the world a fascinating glimpse of another culture.  Unaccustomed to this music Westerners, should take it in small doses.  (Melodiya Record Company, USSR)   Henry Schneider

Various Artists  Ohrenschrauben/Ohrensausen (Dragnet Records DRAGNET 04)  2CD:  44:59/37:56  This double CD is a reissue of two”classic” DOM industrial/noise compilations and comes packaged in the new single-width CD jewel box.  Featured on this reissue are Whitehouse, H.N.A.A., Vagina Dentata Organ, New Blokaders/Organum, Toll, Current 93, P16 D4, Nurse With Wound, The Haters, Chrystal Belle Scrodd, Sema, Smegma, Dukea Bass Band, Asmus Tietchens and Mieses Gegonge.  This double CD set faithfully documents the experimental noise excess of the mid-eighties.  In addition, the two album titles appropriately describe the music:  Ohrenschrauben (ear screws) and Ohrensausen (humming in the ears); Ohrensausen being the more accessible of the two.  Thankfully we have evolved beyond such overindulgence today as Whitehouse’s noisily obnoxious My Cock’s on Fire and Vagina Dentata Organ’s Kill Baby, Kill!  What saved these compilations then and now are the truly experimental and innovative tracks by Current 93, H.N.A.S., NWW and Tietchens.  In all likelihood these tracks only appear on this release.  So, if the vinyl noise of the original LP releases bothered you (though on some of these tracks you couldn’t tell the difference), you can now enjoy this music “cleaned up” by the digital magic of the CD.  (Dragnet Records, Aureliusstr. 1-3, 5100 Aachen – GERMANY)   Henry Schneider

Ellen Fullman Body Music (Experimental Intermedia XI 109)  CD:  63:04 Body Music is a collection of six pieces composed for and played on Ellen Fullman’s unique The Long String Instrument.  The Long String Instrument is an eighty foot long instrument with approximately eighty longitudinally vibrating strings that Fullman developed over the past thirteen years.  When Fullman started, she envisioned her instrument as “sculpture as music”; now she has come full circle in conceiving “music as sculpture.”  Fullman bases her music on the diatonic scale and due to the heterogeneous overtone content of the vibrating strings a complex harmony results.  A group of performers slowly moving back and forth while sliding their hands or fingers along the strings of the instrument create the drones and plucked timbres.  The resulting sound can be anything from a buzz saw to a cathedral organ!  These sonic changes are not abrupt.  The sound constantly folds in on itself and transmutes into something new.  Body Music reminds me of the Tony Conrad and Faust collaboration Outside the Dream Syndicate of nearly twenty years ago but without the bass and drums.  Both pieces of music can be either meditatively soothing or extremely grating to your nerves.  Body Music is the sort of album you play when you don’t really want to listen to music but just want to relax and let your mind roam.  (Experimental Intermedia Foundation, 224 Centre Street, New York, New York 10013 – USA)   Henry Schneider

Mauve Sideshow Meet Me in the Wasteland (Ventricle CD 3)  CD:  49:48  Meet Me in the Wasteland is the latest and possibly final musical chapter of Treva (voice and electronics) and Dusty Lee (Mellotron, keyboards, and sound collage).  Like their self titled CD of two years ago, Meet Me in the Wasteland delivers more of their trippy cosmic industrial imagery.  Dark, abstract and eerie, Mauve Sideshow composed electronic music like no one else these days.  Dusty Lee’s Mellotron washes and Treva’s sing-song recitations take you on a journey through a strange and blasted landscape.  This music is a perfect companion to William Hope Hodgson’s fantastic journey into the far distant future nightmare world of The Night Land.  Wrapped forever in impenetrable light, the dying earth spins on through eternity and Mauve Sideshow is there to guide you “safely” home through time and space.  (Refraction Sound, POB 19523, Seattle, WA 98109)   Henry Schneider

Cathedral Kingdom of Ends (Kinesis KDCD 1005)  CD:  54:26  Here we have another band named Cathedral, not to be confused with the UK band or the US band reissued on Syn-Phonic.  Kingdom of Ends is a reissue of sorts in that it is a compilation of two four-song E’s independently released over the past two years.  Unfortunately the weakest song on the album Beneath the Wheel is the first one you hear.  Ted Thompson’s whiny nasal voice destoys any enjoyment you could get from the music.  Kinesis would have done well to omit it from this release.  Fortunately it is all uphill from there!  Cathedral displays a strength of purpose previously unseen.  Ted’s vocals are orders of magnitude better and the musicianship of the other band members is exemplary.  Influenced by bands like Genesis, Marillion and FM, Cathedral forges a distinctive music.  Even though they have a keyboardist, the guitar is always at the front of their music.  You can easily hear Steve Hackett’s influence in Gary Sisto’s chops.  Kingdom of Ends reaches its pinnacle with the final song Pinocchio.  Here Cathedral excels with an extended guitar solo that is alone worth the price of the disk.  Cathedral is a domestic band on the rise.  (Kinesis, 1430 Wisp Court, Hanover, Maryland 21076 – USA, Distributed by Smashing Records (708)782-1877)   Henry Schneider

Grendel Au dela du reve… la solitude (BC 7292)   CD:  49:11  Au dela du reve… la solitude is the dept solo release by a young musician with the pseydonum Grendel of Beowulf fame.  Learning from such luminaries as Christian Beya (lead guitarist for Atoll) and Fish of Marillion, Grendel has released a strong set of dramatic and lyrical songs.  Grendel’s music is a marriage of folk and progressive rock.  The songs alternate between French and English.  What is truly amazing is that at the age of twenty Grendel has produced a strong solo progressive rock release that contemporary bands of four or five members can not hope to achieve.  You normally associate a solo work with electronic or experimental music, not progressive rock.  The arrangements are tight, the vocals inpeccable, and the production crystal clear.  Grendel shows an exceptional dramatic sense in his music such as the guitar lead that closes Testamour.  Ana excellent debut release from an artist I am sure we will hear much more from!  (Bruno Cormand, 2 rue de la ville Comard, Saint-Laurent-d-la-Mer, 22190 Plirin – FRANCE)   Henry Schneider

FOT Records:  Catalog – I don’t believe I’d seen these folks before.  Probably got the catalog in response to my periodic mailouts soliciting mo’ readership for ‘I.N.’… ah, th’ pains o’ bizness, yoah?  These volks’ve got a KICKER of a lineup!  Amy Denio & Henry Kaiser were the standouts for me!  There are OTHERS as well!  ‘s a really nice collection of performers, & there are both CD’s and tapes for sale!  Put it THIS way… it’s a good enuff lineup that ZZAJ is submitting for possible distribution through them!~  If you have any serious aspiriations (&, of course, some serious TALENT), OR yer’ just in need of good music ta’ LISTEN to – check these folks out – at POB 505, Bloomingdale, IL 60108 USA   Rotcod Zzaj

The Mill Valley Taters:  STRATFORDIZED – Never heard o’ these volks before… sed they red ’bout ZZAJ in the (by no infamous) interview wi’ me in GAJOOB #9, & thot’ I’d appreciate sum zaniness… well, I’ll tell ya’, they weren’t far off th’ mark…. 3 of them (Tom Andrukevich, Steve Sullivan & Chris Neal) from up Conneticut way, phoolin’ ’round with a MOOG & vario percussives.  Actually, aside from the slightly weird intro makin’ me groan (as in, ooohhh, nooo, ‘nother o’ those broke-dik radioweave thingies), it’s quite SOLID musically… covers of late 60’s & early 70’s toonz, guitar at th’ fore!  Quite professional sounding,  & the accompanying flyers/review cutsheetz show ’em playing ’round their home territory quite a bit… ‘s a cute & bouncin’ (tho’ regrettably short) jaunt in & thru their collective musical mind!  NOT bad!  I like it, but it WAS a bit dissapointing that both sides (as in DEMO) contained the same songs!  Still MOST worth a stamp for inquiry, & I ‘magine they’ve got MO’ product by now.  …to 426 Highland Ave., Stratford, CT 06497   Rotcod Zzaj

Spilling Audio:  DRUM – A PERCUSSIVE COMPILATION – & what a comp it IS!  Eric has outdone himself AGAIN!  LOTS of folks that ‘I.N.” readers are familiar with on this one; John Herron, Screamin’ Popeyes & Eleven Shadows, just to name a few… I mean, this tape is today!  A hallmark on all SPILLING AUDIO productions is the sound quality… not only is there NEVER a dull moment, it’s all produced as tho’ it was goin’ out over the airwaves.  I imagine that leads to more than one letter where folks are submitting, as many of the tapes sent in are probably not quite ready on first go-round!  If you enjoy percussion that comes right out & makes a statement of its’ own, you’ll LOVE this one!  OTOH, if you have to have other instrumentation, this probably won’t be yer’ cuppa’!  MOST HIGHLY recommended!  Contact Eric Hausmann at the SPILLING AUDIO address given earlier!  You’ll be GLAD you did!   Rotcod Zzaj

Mark Casner:  WILDEST DREAMS – Some old, OLD compilations from Mark… circa ’86.  A bit plodding on side 1, & very low-fi!  These works surely qualify as improv, & this one is not screech&whistle… poetry read over the top of gitarz, but the words are so muddy I can’t make out the intent.  It’s clear that the DIY aspect is at the forefront, as it should be.  I’d LOVE to (be able to) HEAR everything that’s going on here – but probably the only way for that to have happened is to have BEEN there.  Whoever is on the bass/gitarz was a monster-player.  Mark has (& has sent) a WHOLE bunch o’ material… inquire at 4022 6th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11232   Rotcod Zzaj

The Militant Musician’s Pond:  PART 3 – For those of you familiar with Davey Williams/LaDonna Smith’s work during th’ ’80’s/90’s as Transmuseq, this one from Chip Handy will be a real treat… several of Chip’s other works have been reviewed in ‘I.N.’, & he’s what improv is all ABOUT, folks!  As in all arenas, there are different shades of improv… Handy’s sonic adventures on this tape with Chadbourne, Davey Williams, C.K. Noyes & others of equally legendary stature in the underground community are nothing short of FANTASTIC!  Clicks/pops/whistles, flitting percussives & even some solid gitar licks all blend together, as you go into ‘automatic hearing’ mode!  If you’re not able to layback & relax for the listening experience, these musics will do nothing but DISTURB you… a supreme wander through the minds’ eye of some VERY notable improv giants!  GET IT from Chip at the address mentioned earlier for him!  Again, this comes most HIGHLY recommended for those who enjoy the intricate side of improvisation!!   Rotcod Zzaj

Pine Cone Alley Productions:  23 – A RADIO PLAY – Arrinton & th’ volkz from th’ majickland of OlyWa are at it AGAIN… on community station KAOS, a mainstay of the Evergreen State College, they’re filling the airwaves with absolutely great sounds… the readers in this radio passion play (about Frank & his typewriter) are crystal clear, with SOLID musics (piano being most notable & enjoyable) weaving a truly enchanting sonic tapestry behind them!  If a station anywhere near me had adventures like this on it, maybe I’d LISTEN to the radio!  This is IT, people!  I CAN guarantee you, you WANT this one!  Contact Arrington De Dionyso at 3138 Overhulse Rd., Apt 62, Olympia, WA 98582 for this eone and many OTHER excellent DIY efforts!  MOST HIGHLY recommended!   Rotcod Zzaj

ALLMUSIC:  1993 ALLMUSIC COMP – This is a 3-tape set of tunes culled from all over the WORLD… netvolkz faves, if you will!  It doesn’t fall strictly within the definition of DIY, becoz the songs are all from OTHER players… yet it merits recognition as a DIY effort, because the assemblage of people’s favorite tunes was done over the worldwide e-mail netz!  & they’re ALL kickers!  You talk about shake/rattle/roll… all th’ way ta’ Seoul, man!  I mean, this set of tapes is spinnin’ in my T-Bird ALL  the time… &, I almost forgot, it DOES have several original DIY pieces submitted by people on the net – to include, of course, the ZZAJ!  High quality all the way thru, this one FINE listening experience!  It came with a great little booklet that had pictures of (nearly) all the contributors, too!  Contact Gary M. Gettier via e-mail (Internet) at for orders!  In the event that address doesn’t work, just post an inquiry about the set to ALLMUSIC%AUBM.AMERICAN.EDU@VM1.NODAK.EDU   Rotcod Zzaj

Belinda Subraman:  ELEPHANTS AND ANGELS – This tape came in quite a while back, right after I first started talking to Belinda about doing a collaboration.  The instrumentation on this tape is much softer & smoother than the work I did with her.  Rhodes and/or synth weaves by Cosmic Trend (a.k.a. Jiri Jirasek) liltingly in the background… a very far-eastern flavor!  The musics are beautiful, as are Belinda’s poems!  This lady has a real talent for telling you what she’s feeling, and her reading captures you almost immediately!  If you don’t care for peotry over music, you won’t like this; but if you enjoy the beauty that comes from a good marriage of sonics & verse, your search is over!  This is THE poetry tape of the year, as far as ZZAJ Productions is concerned!  Order from Belinda at POB 370322, El Paso, TX 79937   Rotcod Zzaj

Art Control:  AUCTION CATALOG – Here’s a rather unique concept… to me, anyway.  A catalog listing vinyl, CD’s & cassettes tha’re being auctioned off.  As Steven  F. DeiNero sez’, “many of the items are one copy only”, ergo th’ reason for the auction.  Bids for items in the current auction were cut off as of May, 1993… after that date, anything leftover will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are literally hundreds of items.  Contact at POB 415, Lakewood, OH 44107, or call at (216)631-6878  For collectors, THIS is the ticket!  LOTS of improv items.   Rotcod Zzaj

Rinso:  ‘ZINE – From the Dayyton, Ohio ‘scene’ comes this sorta’ cute lil’ ‘zine.  Andy Valeri (our ol’ friend from BIG BEEF PRODUCTIONS) sent it to me, & it’s quite interesting… 24 pages from cover to cover, & chock-full of news & views on many areas… decidely punk emphaisis, with a heavy flavor of DIY, which is always of interest to ZZAJ; &, I assume it will be for your as well.  Seems there’s a whole LOT happening in & around Dayton these daze!  Neat interview with ‘CIGARHEAD’, a few ‘zine reviews, just a LOTTA’ stuph… to ‘read all about it’, contact POB 3422, Dayton, OH 45401   Rotcod Zzaj

SUBMISSIONS WANTED!!!  In case you haven’t heard me mention it before, our friend Terry Burke, of Set Cassettes, moved out Ohio way a short time ago.  For those of you who read ‘I.N.” regularly, you’ll probably remember several of Terry’s productions having been reviewed herein.  At any rate, he’s actively soliciting submissions 9no deadline) for ‘culture jammers’ running (what he calls) ‘uncommercials’.  30 60 60 seconds long, NO Dolby, to SET CASSESSES, c/o Terry Burke, 3100 Markbreitt Ave., # 2, Cincinatti, OH 45209-1706   All contributors who are selected get a free copy of the end result!

The Conspiracy:  Hundreds of breasts – Not what I’d come to expect from Spilling Audio… but mebbe’ that’s just coz’ my tastes are too jaded… aw, it’s not bad, folks; there’s actually some sorta’ cute music on here, in a folky sorta’ way.  Lots of acoustic guitars from this group out of England (who must have been around for a while now, as the liners credit it as bein’ all th’ way from ’87 thru ’93).  Some pieces reminded me, in some strange manner, of early Donovan… anyone remember that?  Don Campau plays it on KKUP, so it must have an audience.  Guess it’s just the improv runnin’ in me’ blood… I’d listen, but only if I didn’t have anything else.  For those who’re big fanz o’ hitz, you’ll like this, I’m sure.  Poppy in a big way.  Contact Spilling Audio.   Rotcod Zzaj

Pine Cone Alley Productions:  STUMP GRINDING – here’s another from Arrington de Dionyso, this time in collab with another group of strangeness that I’ve seen reviewed in quite a few of the ‘zines… the Larry Mondello Band.  ’tis a most interesting juxtaposition, I’ll tell ya’… I’ve raved before about this dude’s weirdnesses; I like ’em coz’ they’re simple… not a buncha’ mo-chine created loopmania, as there’s actually a sense of PLAYING on here.  I’ll admit… it IS raw!  Nunna’ dat’ ultra-sophiticate crapola that you’d see outlined at great length in ‘Keybord’ ‘zine, or it’s ilk.  All the way from git-zrz to disturbing repetitive phrases & a touch o’ Tiny Tim mixed in on some pieces, if ya’ kain’ dig wot I mean!  Just a GREAT improv sense, & not boring at all; the title cut bringz it all home!  If yer’ in to looseness & freedom with a sense of th’ haunted, ya’ WANT this one!  Contact at the address listed earlier for Pine Cone Alley.   Rotcod Zzaj

Jacky Ligon:  ARCHETYPES – Well, Jacky’s done it again!  A classically monumental excursion through the mind of one of today’s most outstanding improvisors.  Ctentered around percussive ‘odd’-esseys, and more technically oriented than many of the tapes received for this issue, he never lets GO of his innate sense of purpose and musical mystery.  Synthblends mix beautifully with his masterful percussion to transport you into his own tapestry of utopian dreams!  I absolutely loved this tape!!!  Click&scratch (or tape-loop) variety of improvisation will have a hard time dealing with this!  But any/all who need and enjoy absolute POWER of the music of the spheres will not want to miss this fantastic and very entertaining cosmic ride.  Contact Jacky for this & many other exciting explorations at 3507-A Truman Ave., Archdale, NC 27263   Most HIGHLY recommended.   Rotcod Zzaj

Screamin’ Popeyes/John M. Bennett:  RETRO BREATH – Those who’ve been with ZZAJ Productions for any amount of time now know that I’ve done many collab efforts with poet John M. Bennett; so, ‘s a foregone ‘clusion that I’d fancy most anything that had him on it!  What you may not realize is that John has collaborated with the highly notable ‘Popeyes’ frequently before, too!  The music created for this venture is somehow darker & stranger than many of the ‘Popeyes’ unique past efforts (Anyone remember Outer limits’?).  The difference between this & many poetry/music collabs is that the sound quality is SUPERB (much like my most recent direct effort with John, of course… that was ‘Skinless He’, more into available for S.A.S.E. to me)… not just a rantvoice on toppa’ a coupla’ loops like so many of the poetry efforts these days!  SOLID musicianship & a distinct tension created by John’s reading style!  This tape is MOST highly recommended!  Contact Jeff Olson (Screamin’ Popeyes) 135 Buttonwood Rd., Hollister, MO 65672  p.s.  look for a ‘Popeyes/Zzaj collab in the early fall, as well as new stuph with Bennett/Ficus   Rotcod Zzaj

Lame Duck:  SAME – Ho-kay, boyz, wuz it ME, or wuz it th’ (lack o’) MEMOREX?  I mean ya’ cut up a buncha’ radio samples, talk over it, & then design a rather humorous flik of a slightly broke-dik cudk – & what are ya’ SUPPOSED ta’ call it?  Aw, th’ music’s just a lil’ cute, but since ye’ didn’t include any ADDRESS info, we wouldn’t know where ta’ get hol’ of ya’, ennyway, eh?  Prob’ly just as well, I s’pose!  Side 2 has some pieces that are worth listenin’ to… but without the address, I won’t know hot to call & thank you.  Spare myself, right?   Rotcod Zzaj

Info mam:  ‘ZINE – All in French (or something very close to it… of course, my prob is that I can’t read that language.  Manages to incorporate reviews of many European tapes/CD’s & a few names I recognize from the states (Vidna Obmana being the most notable, I guess).  Can’t really comment on it any farther than that, since I can’t really read it very well.  Contact at 21 Avenue Chde Tollenaere, 1070 Bruxelles Belgium    Rotcod Zzaj

Face In The Crowd:  NARROW LEDGE – This is another input from Mark Casner, outta’ Broolklyn, NY… he’s sent me about a ton of tapes, mostly in a hoax mode it would seem… j-sheet, titles on the tape, all the trimmings of a home-produced effort, but when ya’ play it, it’s a college-radio DJ playin’ some (not too bad) collections o’ stuph on early-a.m. radio!  Ergo, NO more tapes from Casner will be reviewed in ‘I.N.’  This is NOT a phluff-zine, & I DO listen to what gets submitted.  I’d advise any/all to FREGO any dealings with this schlockmeister!  while I’m on that rant, the tape reviewed earlier from Casner may well fall in the same realm; avoid this dude like th’ PLAGUE, people!   Rotcod Zzaj

Adam/Wayne/Wes:  AWW 142 – IF this is th’ 142nd show that Adam Fleishman (bass/synth/midi-sax), Wayne Thiel (guitar/effects) & Wes Jensen (electric perx/cymbals/synth) have put on – at a New Jersey VFW, no less – I really HAVE been missin’ somethin’, folks!  How in ‘l they ever got this by in a VFW is beyond me… but it WORKS!  I’m a big Sonny Sharrock fan, listening most fondly to his tape ‘Machine Gun’… &, believe it or not, Thiel’s guitar carries ya’ over miles & miles of similar territory, but with enough original energy to make it unique… what I liked MOST about the experience is that it opens up with a few weaving bass lines & then (absolutely JUMPES in to the fray!  & it don’t STOP!  My only crit is that the TAPE didn’t have any label or other indicator of who it WAS… when you’ve got aas many tapes as I have floatin’ around, this makes it a bit difficult to keep track of ’em – PUT a label on the next one, eh?  This tape is released/produced under the auspices of D-BAR (Dancing Bear Audio Research) label, one to keep yer’ eyes on!  You owe it to yourSELF to catch these boys in action… contact D-BAR (Wes works for them, in fact) at DBAR/METRO, POB 3214, wALLINGTON nj 07057   HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!    Rotcod Zzaj

Spilling Audio – SHIRT MOUTH – Another of the neatly packaged & very professionally done compilation tapes from Eric Hausmann’s label.  He culls tunes from whatever his latest label releases are & blends ’em thoughtfully together to ensure you get a GREAT sample of what his latest efforts are… this outing includes some from Eric himself, Mustard Bernard (a GREAT rock-oriented group, previously reviewed in ‘I.N.’), Amscray Amok & many many others!  In tone, Shirt Mouth is slightly more subdued than some of the other compilation efforts I’ve heard from him already; but its still a FINE listening experience!  Each of the comp tapes can be had for a very reasonable price… write Eric at 4602 SW Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98136-1130   Rotcod Zzaj

Ligon/Andrews:  QUESTION THE SKY – Why th’ Hollywood logo?  Sittin’ here listenin’ to this pretty percussion journey, I can easily see/hear it as the background for an epic movie about an exciting trek through the deepest darkest panoramas of the Amazon jungle… Jacky & Duke work together like the vertan improvisors they are… IF ?community? radio stations were indeed interested in providing music that would ENHANCE the culture, this tape would be right up at th’ TOP o’ their playlists!  Winding down the snake, furtively glancing right/left, over-the-shoulder snatches of mystery… it’s all HERE!  Many of you have already heard the garden-variety improv percussion tape, wherein two or three folks get together, get stoned in one fashion or another & begin banging about on an assortment os sticks/stones/pans, wotever is there… & tho’ those can be fun too, they can’t come close to the BEAUTY of ‘Question The Sky’… if you haven’t heard Ligon/Andrews yet, you’ll WANT to… if you have, you’ll know already that something fresh&new is at hand!  GET it!  TODAY!!!  Contact at Unsensored Music address listed in earlier reviews.   Rotcod Zzaj

60 Cycle Hum:  INTUITIVE CONCEPTS – Here’s another D-BAR tape… live recording again.  Nelson (Nelson who?) does guitar/synth/etc. & Pete (again, Pete who?) does bass/synth/etc.  Starts off in a slow fugue mode, & is verily improv… Pete’s bass is STRONG, but not overpowering, as they sort of wander through space.  Though this sez’ it was done ‘real time’, i.e, live, I don’t think there was actually an audience here.  It’s got a hum comin’ through the amps that I don’t much care for; it’d be nice it that was weeded out!  Still, these guys do a nice job of feeling each other out, & don’t get overly excited about form!  Not bad at all… definitely worth a stamp to inquire about ’em!  Contact the D-BAR address listed earlier.  This one wouldn’t be at the top of my stak, but it’s quite listenable.   Rotcod Zzaj

Soapbox Junc:  ARG – A quite interesting catalog… published yearly, their stuph runs the gamut from tapes to ‘zines to mail-art… they had a fair amount of entries that I’ve not seen before, ‘specially in the ‘zine arena.  Looks like you order directly from ‘Soapbox’, in most cases.  They printed the cover sheets from selected issues o’ th’ ‘zines they were reviewing, which made it graphically much more attractive.  Editorial, guest articles, much more.  Surely worth a stamp.  I enjoyed this one & will probably use some of the addresses for expanding my contact base.   Contact at POB 597996, Chicago, IL 60659   Rotcod Zzaj

The Nitro-Snappers:  SAME – So, you wanna’ change-o-pace, eh?  Been alla’ way thru th’ whistlepop & spacezone tapes you kin’ deal with for the year, & yer’ ready fer’ sumthin’ NEW?  Here’s yer’ ticket… our ol’ friend Jim Rite (who was then performin’ under the moniker many o’ you will recognize ‘im by – DimThingShine) joins up with Mike Mangino/Chris Shepard (os SMERSH), & takes ya’ off on a journey supreme.  Rockin’, kickin’, scratchin’ it’s way ta’ fame, eh?  Don’t expect any breaks, coz’ (just like th’ old DTS tapes), once she starts, KNOWbody NOSE where she’ll stop… much more in a rock vein, but not yer’ common everyday AM radio schlock variety, this is FUN!  This tape has some REALLY nice sounds, & they’re crystal-clear as well… no mud!  GET it today, from 5722 Flamingo Rd., Suite 272, Cooper City, FL 33330  RECOMMENDED!   Rotcod Zzaj

Wes Jensen:  IN THE WAY – Here’s Wes again, this time solo… electronic percussion and synth… I am impressed!  If D-BAR continues to add artists like this to their repertoire, they’ll be absolutely unbeatable!!! All ‘live improvs, recorded direct to 2-track’, as Wes puts it.  His musicianship is obvious, and invites comparison to some old friends of mine up Olympia, WA way – John Alkins and Harlan Mark Vale, to be specific.  Styles are quite a bit different, but the sensitivities for what the listener’s ear will enjoy are on a par with those gents, who are masters!  The ‘realm’ that these pieces inherit is more on an orchestral level than other work I’ve already heard Wes do (see AWW 142 review), but that only shows his diversity.  (Side 1, that is; side 2 moves more in the jazz circle)  Tho’ his work is new to my earz, he already comes HIGHLY recommended.  Contact at the D-BAR address furnished earlier!  You’ll REALLY be glad you did!!! this gent is HOT, volks!   Rotcod Zzaj

Rite/Phinney/McGee:  DIMDOGANGUISHEDINEASMENTALMASTERTHING – For those who are relatively ‘new’ to this networkin’ thang (as the temporarily defunct Electronic Cottage editor Hal McGee used to put it), the title may have little significance… but those of you wh’ve been ’round for a bit will know that Jim Rite (formerly DimThingShine), Chris Phinney (of Mental Anguish label) & Hal McGee (editor of the arorementioned ‘zine) were (& in a certain sense, still are) prime MOVERS & SHAKERS of the home-taping movement!  On this outing, they got together at EC headquarters in Apollo Beach, Florida to fashion a synthmadness that sounds much like the first Apollo mission probably did… GIGANTIC sounds paint a flowing and moving protrait of sound that (if yer’ into synthlarge at all) will transport you!  If you DON’T like sound pictures, and absolutely INSIST on having melody lines with NO noise, this won’t turn you on!  It’s surely best received in a laid-back atmosphere, lights low, no disturbabnce & only th’ lights o’ the deck to guide you… as I listened to it that way, I couldn’t help but picture the musics as a background for a video of that first Apollo flight… when listened to in that fashion, this tape is an absolute KILLER!  It comes HIGHLY recommended for all aficionados of sound experiences!  Contact Jim Rite at 5722 Flamingo Rd., Suite 272, Cooper City, FL 33330   Rotcod Zzaj

SPILLING AUDIO!!!   OK, people, ya’ know that I try & keep th’ hype down in this ‘zine about my own tapes… gotta’ lotta’ FLAK when I first started about self-promotion & the like… the flik ya’ see at the left, of course, IS the cover of the latest Zzaj tape… believe it or NOT, this is not in here so much to hype sales for the tape as it is to point out that several of my tapes are now being carried by Eric Hausmann, of SPILLING AUDIO productions, an absolutely fantastic label out of Seattle, Washington!  You’ve heard me rave on about several of Eric’s releases – you owe it to YOURSELF to check out his label; Eric has a real sense of what’s NOW, what’s shakin’ – & he makes it EASY for you to hear snatches of all his newly acquired sounds by issuing LOW-cost comps of them… $3 for the compz, in hopes that those you really LIKE, you’ll go on  purchase the whole tape!  He handles production with EXTREME care, so you’ll only get the BEST sound quality!  Of course, I’ve got a special interest in his being successful, since I’m now releasing through him – but there’s WAY more to it than that!  I want everyone out there who is truly IN to hearing/buying the cutting edge people producing creative outputs to get in TOUCH with Eric!  His is one of the few labels that treats both the artist & the listener fairly!  Please don’t hesitate to tell ALL yer’ friends about his efforts, & get in contact with him NOW – at 4602 SW Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98136-1130  He can also be reached vy e-mail at   DO it TODAY!    Rotcod Zzaj



Where iz’ the ‘underground’ headed?  What are the means/tools to project it evermore rapidly into ‘prominence’?  & by ‘prominence’, I most assuredly do NOT mean stardom!  If yer’ goal as an independent artist is to ‘hit the top o’ th’ top-forty’, mebbe’ ya’ otta’ give ‘er up right NOW!  I am talkin’ about artists who’re truly FREE of obligations…  if you ‘sell’ yourself to the highest bidder, you DO owe them something… no, I’m talking about producing audio/visual/wotever in the way of art that will move us AWAY from the whole IDEA of the artist as ‘star’!  What ‘i’ (& several other hundreds of thousands like me) truly want to see is the ability for artists of all genres to COMMUNICATE their ideas to the masses… in hopes that those ideas & expressions will begin to CHANGE the world!  Move us AWAY from a ‘war-mentality’ into an era where folks of all persuasions can SHARE in the good that freedom can bring!

I suppose some of you are sitting there thinkin’…. “o-no, Zzaj is goin’ off it agin’… there’s not really any way to BEGIN to do that!  Well, while it’s true that I do get out in my thinking, ‘s not as far off-trak as you might think!  Ya’ remember Clinton and/or Gore spoutin’ off about an ‘instant access’ communications capability?  Of course, their true colors (like ANY damned politicians) are comin’ to light right NOW!  They want to CHARGE for the use of INTERNET!  Which would put it OUT of reach for many of us!  &, of COURSE,  that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  The MEANS for passing/sharing the most fantastic of ideas and concepts already EXISTS!  Right ‘now’…. I hook in nightly to a truly WORLD-WIDE network, via this rockin’/rollin’ monster called the INTERNET!  Talkin’ to my friend Eric Hausmann up in Seattle (& I’ve NEVER met ‘im face-to-face), sharin’ ideas for an interview with my newly acquired friend Marco (of The Noisy Room) in Italy, pull down timely information about an art show happening next month in Yugoslavia… it’s all right HERE, folks!  NOW!!! & the best way to KEEP it is for you ALL to jump up ON it!!! If you have a computer with a MODEM, you can start TODAY!  Send me an e-mail at   There’s another reason I mention this… we need (literally) THOUSANDS of you to sign up NOW – so we can send MASSIVE e-mails to the prez, vprez & ALL of the congressional uyks who want to put the INTERNET on a charge-per-call basis!  Don’t let these barstards commercialize the INTERNET!  & join IN… this worldwide communications capability offers the OWER to upset the collective applecart of ANY/ALL  who DON’T want your ideas/opinion/art to spread too far!  Let us HEAR from you!  TODAY!

Well, that’s about IT for this issue!  ‘I.N.’ # 11 cutoff for submissions will be 1 November… I’ve GOT my contract renewed & will be over here for at LEAST two more years!  I apologize in advance to anyone who sent a tape in that didn’t get reviewed yet!  They WILL be in #11!  & tell ALL yer’ playin’ friends, ‘I.N.’ is a GREAT place to get reviewed…





Art Is Not Just Beauty

A sort of minimalism

sawing simple da             da      da

da             da


or jazz

discords berserk


as elephants

projected against slow

calm jungle

swinging away opposites/juxtaposed

to stab

eventually end on wavey metal


to be someone’s idea…

ugly and lovely seldom separate.

©  Joan Payne Kincaid


Same Old Movies

That fixation again

your mouth said no, but your eyes said yes, yeah sure, why


Only I had it ass backwards


you coulda’ sliced off your ear, van gooooogh style


or slapped me across the room

brando to my magnani

i woulda believed only what my eyes weren’t telling me

and vaulted back into that

1940’s film noire can.


Suicidal Commuter


That angel is galloping toward me again

in my rear view while I wait for red to turn green…

blood thunder with trust in the strike

yet she loses her energy in the rush… I can feel her silky air

ripple thru my essence


Guide me home, lead me home

my route is long, my aim is boneless

make a long deep incision, scrape away this toxin


sanction to a termination to this indecision.





Look over edge

engenders; other worlds

black with expansion

invisible light seer

contrasts quantum lazer leap

flowed sax disk dusk

ledge of whiskey

singing loose loony toon segway

to artificial future-

and past invasions knee-deep

where you neither by bird

view star – strung-out sleep

nor vision spread on steel

lounging feel up inventions

high on kilo.


©  Joan Payne Kincaid


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