Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 6
(6TH Edition, Fall 1992)
Thanks to YOU, readers… your orders for I.N. # 5, with it’s offer of the latest Zzaj sampler (at COST, an offer which is STILL available) cassette, have helped me decide to carry on I.N. past the self-imposed deadline of # 6. I do NEED your continued support, tho’, in telling others of I.N…. if I dip too far below 50 paying ($1.50 or 5 $.29 stamps) orders, I’ll have to cut it off at th’ pass!
For those of you in the Wahsington/Oregon area who are IN to pirate radio, listen carefully over the next weeks for ‘RADIO ANARCHY’…. it broadcasts in the 41 meter shortwave band at 7419 khz; there will be an entire HOUR of Zzaj toonz on there, unless I bunged the tape too badly… it’s WORTH a listen, anyway. Even if you don’t catch the Zzaj show, listen in for it, & send your listening reports to POB 109, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17215. Pretty good show!
Why the smaller point size? I got SEVERAL letters from different folks who said they wanted to see MORE in I.N; the ONLY way to do that (short of more pages, which I’m not prepared to do – 20 is the LIMIT) is to decrease the point size by 1. Give me feedback.
Something I’ve REALLY enjoyed of late is (finally) hooking in to the INTERNET music nets… the one I use most right now is ALLMUSIC%AUVM.BITNET@VM1.NODAK.EDU (that’s the address from the MILNET; users on the INTERNET would access slightly differently)… it’s gotten me SOLID contacts in England, Germany & Italy thus far… any of ye’ who are in to OTHER nets, I’d encourage you to send me the EMAIL & INTERNET access addresses, so I can pass the word on to others… I’ve even considering posting excerpts from I.N. on there… in fact, during May, I uploaded a ‘zine contact listing & got QUITE some response to it! Let’s use EVERY avenue we have to spread the concept of networking! One good contact address out of that is from a music ‘zine in Italy… contact:
TNR – The Noisy Room
ATTN: Marco Olivotto
16, Via dell’Abetone
38068 – ROVERETO (TN)
Marco publishes in BOTH English & Italian versions!
Just TUNZA stuph came in this time… WAY more’n I expected… so, I’ve got quite a PROJECT ahead of me this time… which is just FINE… people, don’t STOP sendin’ all those great tapes, artwork & notes… but, on th’ other digit, please don’t forget that one o’ th’ MAIN reasons for this little rag is that artists need yer’ SUPPORT… ORDER somethin’ every once-in-a-while… or write & ask about TRADES! Now, don’t xpect to get somethin’ for nuthin’… if yer’ gonna’ do trades, send something of EQUAL value… or as close as you can come to it… several of my Zzaj tapes are open for trade, in fact; & I know (from doin’ it myself) that a LOT of artists out there will be more than willing to do some trading! I.N. is NOT for trade… it’s not (nor will it EVER be) a big TAX write-off… BUT, I can’t affort to support it all out of me’ pocket… SO, tell all yer’ friends THAT… I.N. is a great network tool… Zzaj DOES do some trades… Write FIRST! To me AND to other artists reviewed in here!
WIND ON WATER
Crsucated she, like a sinking
coin under’s ripple
ringing a loop of pants from’s
“loin o’ heaven’ or
wringing thought from’s
postulation, wavery tight-skin
in’s clotted compilation-ten
(o’er her nipple’s
soup of air, thickened with’s
can’ts of formulation…
deflation’s dribbling… er, flicker…)
blunging he, towards’ joint’s
she’s, glimmery like a drowning
(In’s elation, where’s cumula…)
where their oughts sunk
like a cloud!
John M. Bennett 5.20.92
Bob Bunce – DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME: From bob’s “Beyond Riddum” label comes this little GEM, folks… down & dirty, the blooz’ INVADES yer’ speakers… I’d seen reviews of some of his things before in the ‘zines, but never been fortuante enuff to actually SCOPE it! I’m reminded of a little (black) after-hours bootleg joint I used to go to down in Huntspatch, Alabummer… after two or three pints o’ that Jack Daniels, if ya’ know wot’ I mean… all th’ cab drivers in th’ ‘patch, sittin’ ’round singing & jammin’ to somethin’ VERY much like bob’s “Lunchbox Blues’… the comparison is especially pertinent since Bob does a lot of this in his HOME studio, players/friends sittin’ ’round jammin’… where it diverges is in the EXCELLENT recording quality… none o’ them sessions in the TRAX HOUSE (the bootlegger lived right next to the railroad, dig?) were anywhere near as clean as ‘Don’t’… Jonah’s harp is HOT, & there’s 2 saxophones tootin’ th’ blooz away fer’ ya’… if yer’ into clean-sounding’ DIRTY blooz, WRITE Bob at Beyond Riddum Music, POB 13792, Rochester, NY 14615. GREAT little J-sheet, too, with lyrics in the foldouts! This tap (& ALL of Bunce’s music that I’ve heard to date) is HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!
Doug Michael (& the Outer Darkness): OPENING REMARKS – Bryan reviewed this tape in GAJOOB # 8, & after reading his descripts, I sent off for a trade right AWAY! Ya’ know how a review, or something about the genre being described, sometimes just strikes a CHORD, eh? Well, tho’ I’ve been wrong before, I warn’t this time! Dougs’ letter back was (real) timely & real PEOPLE! No “star” hype here, but the music is on that level… it’s not that I haven’t heard riffs (on the order, at times, of Mahavishnu, fer’ us ‘baby boomers’) like this before; it’s just that Doug & guests (there are only two (Byron Reynolds, drums & Daryl Fieldheim, Tenor sax), are able to play music similar to others (Jeff Beck on one tune & – as already mentioned – Mahavishnu Orchestra on another) and STILL come off with an originality of spirit & style that will leave only the most JADED among us wanting for more! Fieldheim’s sax on ‘Artificial Respiration’ takes me WAY back to one of the first LP’s I listened to with Stan Gets on it, an obscure one composed and conducted by Eddie Sauter; as Eddie put it, Stan was only there to ‘fill in the spaces’… Daryl CERTAINLY is capable of doing that & almost as artistically as Stan did! This is just a SUPER tape & you owe it to YOURSELF to partake! Contact Doug at 2848 Hayes Way, Antioch, CA 94509, or order it from Carl Howard’s audioFile Tapes, 209 19 Ave., Bayside, NY 11260. This is a QUALITY tape! It will get MANY spins on the Zzaj decks.
Duke Andrews/Jacky Ligon – SNAZZ ON THE SLY: Think Duke tol’ me this was the first copy sent out… these guys are no stranger to I.N., nor should they be to you7… there’s an innate dedication to the idea of ‘self-made-man/woman’ here that (to Zzaj, anyway) EPITOMIZES what today’s music/art should be; the “SNAZZ” idea incorporated the use of loops (NOT boring samples; well crafted interspersals) and voice, to make something that’s BOTH entertaining AND musical… there is a certain lack of form that distances this from, say, ‘poetry’ or ‘lyrical’, but not to the detriment of the EXPERIENCE… do you understand? There WERE some moments when I expected (perhaps DESIRED) some cataclysmic INTERRUPTS or CHANGES… it just kind of EVOLVES – right? Very skillful use of the drums (non-machine, it sounds like), and the keyboards that Duke does lend themselves to jazz interpretations, tho’ there’s no ‘BLUE NOTE’ doldrums… I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone steeped in musical TRADITION, but I don’t reckon there’s a WHOLE lot of them folks gonna’ order I.N. ANYway! Fine experimental tape, well-crafted. Only crit is that th’ pieces are sometimes just a little SHORT fer’ my tastes! RECOMMENDED. Get it from Uncensored Music, 209 Williford Ct., High Point, NC 27260
there is a different man in bags
or maybe it is the same man
in different bags
with different street lags
and different no shoes
it is the same man
with a different name
newspaper and had
it is the same man
going a different way
or a different man going
what difference does it make
he is there
And now, NEW and FRESH reviews from our friend, Henry Schneider! henry is not only doing reviews, he’s currently working on an interview with ROTCOD ZZAJ, to appear in SOME ‘zine, SOMEtime!
Mauve Sideshow – MAUVE SIDESHOW: The Mauve Sideshow is a duo of expatriated Texans (somethin’ Henry otta’ know about, as he’s in Houston, .ed), Dusty Lee and Treva, now living in Seattle. Their new CD, Mauve Sideshow, includes remixed tracks from their two privately released LP’s “Dark Flowers”, and “Stray Apparitions”, with the additional track “Hide in the Rain”. There is a dream-like quality to this music. Dusty’s broad washes of processed synthesizer, tape collage and Mellotron are mixed under Treva’s wordless vocal meandering’s and psychedelic recitations. The tripiness of Treva’s singing is reminiscent of Lady June and her Linguistic Leprosy. Mauve Sideshow is perfect listening for those dreary, rainy afternoons or just before bed. Relax and let your mind wander through the music. Mauve Sideshow is the Psychedelic/Industrial/Avant-Garde crossover album of 1991. (Refraction Sound, 165 Boston, # 4, Seattle, WA 98109)
Peter Frohmader: ARMORIKA – The music on Armorika is Peter’s musical impression of this region in Brittany. Peter never ceases to surprise the listener, even on this CD, his 15th album. each new release is an improvement over the last. Armorika builds on and goes way beyond what Peter explored on Macrocosm & Millenitum’s Choice. Gone is Peter’s digital orchestra. Instead he returns to the bass, electronics, acoustic instruments, sampled nature sounds and a judicious use of silence to build the tension. Beautiful bucolic passages are followed by heavy ritualistic sequences similar to Zoviet France. And as always, there is Frohmader’s diabolical signature as in Tumulus, Les Roches du Diable, Dolmen, and Aberwrach’h. Truly another excellent album from the artistry of Herr Frohmader. Contact Nekropolis Records, Kriegerstr. 7 – 8000 Munchen 90, Germany
Most profound Zzaj apologies to Henry… about 3 of his reviews got “lost in the move”… I just recently changed abodes & managed (as I always do) to drop a few things – figured you readers out there wouldn’t mind seeing a few more of Henry’s new reviews tho’, so HERE GOES:
Now – CHILDREN OF A DYING WORLD b/w LOST: Now is a Belgian band and this 45 rpm single contains two songs from their CD “Spheres”. Now is a new band to me and this single is the first time I’ve heard their music. If these two songs are typical of the band, I am amazed that Musea signed Now and released their music. Now’s music is neither interesting, unique nor innovative. All the qualities we’ve come to expect from Musea releases. “Children of a Dying World’ is particularly mediocre with some silly backing vocals. It reminded me of the world “Progressive” band – Styx. The only thing going for Now is the outstanding Art Deco style cover artwork. Musea can be forgiven for this one indiscretion. Let us hope that Now is not a harbinger of a new trend in Musea’s catalog. Check out Musea at 68 La Tinchotte, 57177 Retonfey, FRANCE
Tale Cue – VOICES BEYOND MY CURTAIN: Phew! What an album! Tale Cue is not just another of those new Italian progressive bands. If I didn’t know better, I couild swear “Voices Beyond My curtain” was a lost progressive masterpiece of the ’70’s! This band evokes Pulsar and the German progressive bands such as Jane. Tale Cue’s debut CD has six wonderfully crafted songs and they maintain complete control of their musical journey. The music is outstanding! Much thought went into these compositions. Tale Cue is a band that knows how to control the use of Laura Basia’s soaring voice and Silvio Masanotti’s fiery guitar to release the tension that builds during Tale Cue’s quite passages. At times Ms. Basia goes through vocal gymnastics similar to Siouxie Sioux or Lenya Lovich. And on “Choices”, Basia and Masanotti have an inspiring voice – electric guitar duet. Laura Basia’s wide vocal range and incredible treatment of Tale Cue’s surreal lyrics greatly enhance the six songs. “Voices Beyond My Curtain” is an excellent suite of progressive music guaranteed to please the most discriminating music lover. Also from Musea label, see address above.
Various Artists – FACETS: “Facets”, the new Synkronos cassette sampler, offers six electronic “realizations” from the New Jersey – Pennsylvania Space Music community. Side A presents music by established Synkronos musicians Peter D. Gulch – “Premonition”, Chuck Van Zyl – “The Relic”, and D. Andrew Rath – “Electrum”. While side B features unknown musicians Bill Forcier – “Ayer’s Rock”, Mike Metlay “Band of Fire”, and Art Cohen “Space Vibrations”. Each piece explores a different “facet” of Space Music from abstract atmospheres through Tangerine Dream to New Age. The two strongest tracks, “The Relic” (stellar guitar ostinatos reminiscent of Edgar Froese) and “Space Vibrations” (swirling guitar work ala Manuel Gottsching and riichard Pinhas), carry the tape. Despite the tendency toward hackneyed New Age themes (last half of Rath’s “Electrum” and Forcier’s “Ayer’s Rock”). “Facets” is a wonderful journey through time and space. Contact Synkronos (POB 32, Upper Darby, PA 19082) and broaden your listening experience.
For those who haven’t seen th’ face above (there was a xerox photo, no longer available), it’s prob’ly ’cause Bob had his ‘shades’ on (previous interview in another ‘zine)… as you realize by now, if you’ve been with I.N. very long, Zzaj “likes” Bunce music… thought y’all might be interested in a few of his views on things – so, without further ado:
Name: Bob Bunce
Age: 21 for the second time
Marital status: 3 years of wavelength compatability
Children: 21 & 18 year old, both out of nest
Residence: Live (& unemployed) in Rochester, NY
What is your background – musical, artists & otherwise?
Took accordion lessons – ’50’s
Bass in garage band – ’60’s
Didn’t play much – ’70’s
Home recording – ’80’s
Tryin’ to make to to 2000 – ’90’s
Alive & FREE!!!!!
Where/how did ‘Beyond Riddum’ come from? How have your projects progressed/regressed through the years?
‘Beyond’ is a major part of our household vocabulary. It comes from my wife and lots of her friends. They claim to have gone beyond ‘beyond’. “We were beyond”, “Wow, that’s beyond”, “Let’s get beyond”, and “Where’s the beyond bag?” are part of this beyond dialect. It’s just so beyond that any other explanation is useless. ‘Riddum’ – I’ve got a bumper sticker that sez “Riddum is Life”, which sums up a lot of shit on this side of the fence… hence, the word “Riddume” becomes ‘beyond’ when squished between that which is beyond and music that is beyond.
Is yer’ blooz orientation more “White-boy-Hooked” (Sonny & Brownie), ‘Catfish Hodge’, ‘Paul Butterfield’ or ‘nunna da’ ‘bove?
Saw Son House in Provincetown Mass, summer of 1967 – first and deepest exposure to non-mainstream.
Please list all your releases and release dates:
headspace – Face the Space ’89
Mothman& Headspace ’89
Blues for a Tired Planet – ’90
Writin on th’ Wall ’91
Don’t Try This at Home ’92
Do you have any CD, vinyl or video plans? Or do you have ANY plans?
When the average guy can afford a CD recorded at home – I’ll have one – not the funds to do a CD release but it’s a long-term goal. Been doing video stuff for others but none of my tunes to video yet. Got some ideas though and my wife and I are doin’ some John Bartles video stuff currently. As for vinyl, I don’t really relate to that medium any more, as cassettes are such a big part of how I do things!
How successful is the distribution and sales of your tapes? Does anyone else distribute your tapes? What about trades/traders?
I distribute my tapes with Beyond Riddum. I sell some locally at a music store and a ‘beyond’ clothing store (Buzzo Music & Godiva’s) but it doesn’t pay the rent, so to speak. No one has ever offered to buy a tape through the mail, though I do lots of trading. I’m not in it for the money, so my tape production goes with my ‘cash-available-at-the-time’ rule… got a few bucks, buy some blanks, send ’em out, maybe get something back.
Does your music receive radio airplay? Is airplay important to you? If so, which radio stations do you recommend (& against)?
I finished ‘Blues 4 A Tired Planet’ at Earth Day time in 1990, sent it out to lots of stations thinking that with the Eco theme, I could get a little airplay. Success rate was low, but I tried again with ‘Writin’, sending out about 100 to stations that were supposedly sympathetic to the cassette culture and didnt receive a single reply or whatever. So my newest project hasn’t gone to any radio people – you know, why fool myself, even college oriented stations are locked into CD laziness, with a few exceptions. I’m having a good time networking this one and people are listening to my stuff in this way, so its’ success I’m measuring through the tapes I’ve been getting in trade that in turn open my ears up to ‘beyond’ the normal setpoint. But… I still WOULD like my stuff to get airplay… I mean, wouldn’t YOU? So, I keep the quality in recording as high as I can so a poor mix, or whatever, doesn’t keep an otherwise good piece off the air! (& Bob’s NOT just braggin’ there, friends – ALL his stuph I’ve heard thus far is of the HIGHEST quality – ed.)
Who designs the labels and covers for your tapes, or is that important?
The covers of my tapes are very important, hopefully they’ll be some sort of expression of what’s inside. My wife is the ‘beyond’ artists in this household and did the original design of what we call the ‘Headspace Guy’ who is on the cover of ‘Face the Space’. She also did ‘B4ATP’ & ‘Writin’ On th’ Wall’ covers.
You have quite a few releases. How do you work collabs? Are they through mail, or do you just meet & jam? Who is your favorite person/group to collab with? Have you gotten any good ‘playing’ contacts through networking?
Til’ now, I’ve never done a collab by mail, but lots of people do & I’ll probably do it someday. I’ve collaborated with John Bartles here in my stuido and at live spontaneous performances. Lots of times a friend will just stop over with their horn or whatever, & we put something down on tape unrehearsed, and some of this gets used on my finished projects. I recently met Jon Greenbaum as a networking contact who lives nearby and we’ve had the opportunity to record and perform live together with a couple of projects to come soon, I’m sure. I guess Bartles is probably the most fun to do stuff with, ’cause of the capturing of that particular ‘beyond’ moment that really happens when he’s ‘on’ and the other people exposed are responding in beyond likeness!
What is your philosophical approach to music? Or ist that an important thing? Is it more influenced by plants, animals or politicians (the lowest form of animal)?
My space stuff is influenced by years of abuse to my brain cells and generally begins as a momentary fleeting thing… my lyrical tunes are what’s on my mind… you know, fuckin’ up the earth & my mind all at the same time, when the ability to change things is always possible yet seldom seen!
What musical instruments and other equipment do you use when recording or performing? What does your home studio look like?
1 new guitar – G&L ‘ASAT’, lots of old guitars (Airline, Panelectric, Silvertone), Kawaii K-1/11, Casio CZ101, Yamaha TX 81-2, Alesis HR-16B, Casio SZ-1 sequencer, various effects & mixing stuff, cassette decks, DAT deck, Foxtex X-30 4-trak, my brother-in-law’s ’63 Precision Bass and a Pignose 150R amp.
…..& then, HE went offffff…. into th’ ‘Beyond’!!!!! & yet, I hear… …strains … strains …strains of…
Bob Bunce – WRITIN’ ON TH’ WALL: More rhythm & blooz from Bob & the ‘Beyond’ crew… tho’ in a much more ‘experimental’ framework, the RED-HOT guitar work is still there, scorchin’ your ears… gawd, how neat it’d be to hear Bob & Davey Williams (of Birmingham Transmuseq fame) get together to trade some licks… the thythms are still tight on here, well-executed & to some some degree familiar (for those who still need a form to latch on to), but there are verily ‘trippy’ spots that will extend yer’ listening horizon out quite a bit ‘beyond’ wot’ you may have been used to. I prefer ‘Don’t Try This At Home’, but this is still a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED tape! GET IT!
In The Studio
On the Pacific coast
Where abalone big as footballs
coat the seabed
and there are others
in stilted Baja villas
gaily fondle and lick
tangy bliss at being alive…
It means nothing!
C. Mulrooney, ’92
Got a neat note in from Ken, of ‘Eleven Shadows’ (POB 17283, Encino, CA 911416), on a little ‘zine (which Zzaj ain’t seen) called ‘Crach Network’… contact addresses, ‘crashes’ available, etc., which can be VERY handy for those of us on the ‘move’! Inquire at ‘The Crash Network’, 519 Castro St., # 7, San Francisco, CA 94114
Ligon/Andrews/Wall/Jackson – SILENT TONGUES: THIS is what ya’ get when you team the ‘snazz-tastic’ Ligon/Andrews with other artists… this tape is the BEST work I’ve EVER heard from the Uncensored Music team! Wall’s strong bass lines and the crystal-clear tapework by Jackson all contribute to a FINE collaborative effort that builds slowly through vocal sounding weaves to take you on a masterful mystery tour that ends up somewhere between scat & zzaj lands! HIGH quality sound and artistic excellence made this my FAVORITE tape in issue # 6. GET it, TODAY!!!!! See the earlier review of SNAZZ ON THE FLY for contact info.
Michael Bloom – URBAN AMBIENCE: Some VERY nice studio improv works & even an excerpt from a ?live? WBRS radio show, with Bloom on gitrz/bass, Bob McCloskey on sax/casio & Chuck U doin’ loops/noise on side 1. Quite tasteful excursionary guitar work, with sax/loop overlay that both compliments and enhances the total experience. Michael oversees the ALLMUSIC net mentioned earlier, & it’s easy to see that his involvement in the musical arena is based on solid musical ability & sensibility. Bob’s sax on ‘Takes 3 To Tango’ gives the lie to his jazz roots, & overall this side of the tape is EXTREMELY pleasant (tho’ not at ALL boring) to listen to. The OTHER side, Judas & Natasha Experiments, ‘features’ the vocal work of one Natasha Hanna…. it was NOT an enjoyable experience for me & I think most I.N. readers would concur… it’s NOT the music – that’s actually QUITE interesting… but, the VOCALS rendered by Natasha are in high-scream mode, grating & did little to enhance the listening experience. In the sense that this is ‘experimental’ (which it definitely IS), I’ve not qualms with it. & noone can accuse me of prejudice ‘gainst women screamers… a way-back effort by LaDonna Smith, recorded live in Huntspatch, Alabummer, uses the same technique to COUNTERPOINT the music & I LOVED that… now, DON’T get me wrong, when both sides of this tape are added up, they come out to an enjoyable sum… & if the vox on 2 were toned down JUST a bit, it would be SUPER! Worth inquiring about, & the ‘Urban’ side makes it worth purchasing or trading for… ask Michael at the BITNET address listed earlier on!
Greg Stomberg – IF BUSH ONLY HAD A BRAIN (OR A HEART): Here’s an interesting one from Greg’s Space Ocean music… a radio tape from the git-go, with Bush’s latest ‘smooth-talk’ rap ’bout Rodney King, L.A. riots & his usual litany of Protestant gobbeldeygook interspersed tastefully with sound bites from ‘Oz’… much better quality than some other ‘Space Ocean’ releases & fun to boot! Inquire at 303 S. 5th St., Oregon IL 61061 (Greg also asked me to note that he’s looking for “your band’s version of a Beatle song, cassettes preferred, ed.)
Rotton Kidz – THE UGLY ORCHESTRA & THE 7 GOBLIN GIRLS: For those unfamiliar with Rotton Kidz, mebbe’ you’ve heard ‘Jaws of the Flying Carpet’ tapes. Same group of folks, tho’ here they’re in Thailand & Burma… th’ ‘Goblin Girls’ add a mystic element (flutes, oriental strings & such) to twangy ‘Beefheart’ like rhythmic spoken pieces. This is a GREAT tape, folks! It’s my definige CHOICE of the ‘Kidz’ tapes sent in by Zal-Nikor Zundorum Bohatyretz, prime wotever of ‘Rotton Kidz’ (of which Zzaj is now a member) & ‘The Outdoor Planet’ label. SUPER sound quality too. Inquire (I STRONGLY recommend it) at 6397 Glen Knolls Dr., Orleans, Ont, K1C 2W9, Canada
Davey Williams/Samm Bennett: LIVE ON WBRS (Brandeis U., Waltham, MA) Michael Bloom (ALLMUSIC net) sent this at my request after he (or someone) had mentioned it on the net. Davey is out in FINE form, electric & all. He plays off against Bennett’s live drims, midi percussion & sampling in a round of RED-HOT improvs. Davey is my FAVORITE electric guitar improv player… he’s an absolute wizard, & if ya’ don’t believe ME, check out his ‘Alchemy’ series or ‘SDRAWKCAB ZZAJ’ from Zzaj Productions. I’d not heard Sam before, but if this tape is any indictor, I’ll be wantin’ to look him up to PLAY with when (if I EVER) get back to the states! Get in contact with Davey at 1705 12th St., So., Birmingham, AL 35205, for this & MANY other supremem improv listening experiences. Davey is also directly responsible for ‘the Improvisor’, one fot eh FINEST improv ‘zines around – & it’s been around for a WHILE!
Walter Wright, David Cook & Keith Meure – LLAMA – CAFE AMSTERDAM: If I read Walter’s letter correctly, & the posteer that accompanied the tape, this was a LIVE electronic improv, at th’ aforementioned Cafe in Indianapolis. If so, I’ve GOTTA’ get back to th’ states, so I can BE where this kind o’ stuff is happning… strong textural weaves revolve round old radio show loops in mysterious fashions – VERY enchangint… reminds me a LOT of some of the same kind of things done in the early ’80’s up in the Olympia Washington area, by denizens of ‘The Evergreen State College’ artists’ community. The radio looping is professional sounding & not at all scratchy or distracting, as SO many of them are these days. Electronics are thick and flowing, but not at all muddy. A VERY enjoyable trek, and something you OTTA’ check out at 911 Gallery, 911 E. Main St., Indianapolis, IN 46220-1714. RECOMMENDED listening for the adventurous!
Histatic Charge – HISTATIC CHARGE: From Terry Burke at SET Cassettes (POB 334, Kenmore Station, Boston, MA 02215) comes this neat, tho’ short, taste of one of his earlier tapes… all the way from the frontal assault on yer’ lobes on the first tune to the soft & lilting electronics on side 2’s first ‘bonus’ song (Prestatic Charge), this is a most enjoyable listen. Terry seems to have an affinity for mixing together a broad range of types of music, as on the SET tape ‘Drain That Dirty Water’, reviewed in I.N. #5. A BIG fan of D.I.Y., Terry shows definite skill and talent, and is NEVER bland or vague. His own liner notes support that – “This tape was made in reaction to the boring pap that is smeared inside our eardrums day in and day out. Go out and make your own music, D.I.Y.” HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended for a fine listening experience.
Jacky Ligon/Duke Andrews – LAIR OF EXCITATION: Yet ANOTHER fine tape from the folks at ‘Uncensored Music’… a completely different dynamic than ‘Silent Tongues’, far fuller than ‘Snazz’, this is electronic madness at the HEIGHT of today… while there are, as always, voices woven through the electronics, this approaches the orchestral frame, and will carry the dedicated listenerr off into brand new land in only a moment or two after the start of the tape. Now, it took a second listen to realize the wizardry involved… and it HAD to be on the BIG stereo, not on the portable or in the car player. the cassette itself was even LABELLED with the title. These boys have gone FAR, in only a short period of time. If yer’ looking for screamin’ guitarz’, hard grunge or the like, don’t go in this direction… but, if you ENJOY excursions into the depths of space, of TOMORROW, GET this tape! Contact at 209 Williford Court, High Point, NC 27260 This is a RED-HOT tape & will spin on th’ Zzaj reels quite frequently!
Raymond Scott Woolson – HOSTABE/THE TRICKLE-DOWN THEORY: Sure test of whether a tape has REAL appeal is if my wife listens to it & asks ME about it… “Who in ‘l IS that? It really sound FINE! A LOT different from wot’ ya’ usually get!” RSW should’ve titled it ‘Waves To Come’ or something’ like that, tho’… HE tells me “enclosed single gives you an idea…. …these two songs are actually rather sparse compared to the songs I’m currently working on.” Well, boy, I’m lookin’ FORWARD to the one with THEM on it!!! This is the BEST work I’ve heard yet by Raymond! Psychedelic improv to th’ MAX! Nuthin’ but guitarz, guitarz, guitarz & a NICE vocal lyric to go with it – ‘specially on side 2’s cut. Write RSW at POB 1158, Lockport NY 14095. If this is any sign of his new directions, you WON’T want to miss the ride, folks. Make SURE ya’ send ME the first review copy of the finished product!
Walter Wright, Michael Herndon, Billy Romanowski – CACOPHONY 2: This electronic excursion is not REALLY a nut-buster in the conventional sense… but the experience will set in gradually & KNOCK yer’ sockzoff… Michael’s pecussion & electronics are skillfully balanced with Billy’s gARP & Walter on Serge to guide you to the OUTER reaches… these are the kind of electronic tapes I enjoy more than ANY others… improvisational, but not unprofessional! This is NOT another waveride through obscure sounds… rhythm licks support the twists and turns, & even tho’ the tape doesn’t reach out & GRAB you, it will stay with you for a long time after! HIGHLY recommended! See earlier review for 911 Gallery address! VERY interesting!
Jaws of the Flying Carpet – SOLAR DREAMSCAPE: For those enchanted by the sounds of the ‘Rotton Kidz’, or earlier acquainted with ‘Jaws’, this will be an enjoyable experience… the sounds produced on ‘Solar’ are much more strongly oriented in the direction of dirge ‘rock’ than those produced by th’ ‘Kidz’… guest artist Annazon Rainforest’s vocals do much for keeping listener interest up… to be perfectly fair, tho’, the instrumental sections (title tune, ‘Dreamscape’, is a good example), tho’ a lil’ slow & plodding for my tastes in this type music, DO have intricate weave/lay ‘twixt guitars and QUITE strong anchoring drum chants. I also REALLY enjoyed the semi-instrumental (GREAT flute) on side 2, ‘Random Thought’. This is an interesting tape which, though it won’t CONSUME ya’, will hold your interest quite nicely – UNLESS you’re afraid to experience something ‘new’. See reviews of ‘Rotton Kidz’ for ordering info.
What follows is extracted from an English ‘zine, “Peace & Freedom”, in which our good friend & publisher Geoff Wall, of ‘Stick It In Yer’ Ear’ fame is interviewed… I’m tallin’ ya’ folks, you OWE it to yourself to CHECK his ‘zine out! The interview was done by someone named GYPSY…
Geoff, SIIYE has been going a few years now, can you tell me exactly how you came up with the name?
SIIYE began in mid-1980 when I broke my leg. During my convalescence I started to collate and review many independently released DIY cassettes. The first issue appeared in January ’81, and contained reviews of over 70 tapes, which came from most parts of the U.K. Word of a new magazine totally devoted to this work soon got around. I printed 500 copies and sold most via London outlets like Rough Trade and Better Badger. It proved a success, with tapes arriving from all over the world. I started exchanging a back issue for each tape sent, which continues today. As for the name… it came during a moment of drunken inspiration.
How has SIIYE changed from the first issue?
The biggest change has been moving from quarterly to bi-monthly. Back in ’87, it became monthly for 6 issues. It’s basically the same in ideals – to be supportive of an alternative, cheap method of musical communication; expose the infamous “Home Taping Kills Music” claim; to be more of a directory to the delights of DIY worldwide. The single most difference between 1992 & 1981 is that we now devote articles to individuals, bands or labels which we consider important.
There must be a lot of work involved with the preparation of each issue, so is this a labour of love, or why burden yourself with the work?
Certainly the whole project is a lbour of love, and there are times when it takes over your lifestyle, but the musical delights that pop through the letterbox never fail to rekindle my enthusiasm. I could not imagine life without it! Also, the element of friendship plays a very important part in my attitude towards the magazine. Over the years I have struck up many friendships worldwide. I suppose the tape world is sort of a giant Pen Pal club.
Over the years, you must have come across some very obscure music; is there anything that has left its’ mark, or something you still dig out and listen to now?
Most things received have left their mark! The variety hasbeen staggering. My 6 year-old daughter is beginning to discover many for herself, and in the process is re-exposing them to me.
You must have a vast amount of tapes, or what do you do with the tapes sent in, let’s say ones you don’t enjoy yourself?
The SIIYE tape archive has thousands of DIY tapes within it. Everything has been kept. We guarantee to include every tape that is sent. I will, probably, eventually, donate the entire collection to the National Sound Archives in London, together wih all the correspondence and literature.
How about recording music yourself, are there any projects you are working on?
As an extension to SIIYE we started SIIYE Tapes, which was devoted to Southampton music. In 8 years we released 40 cassettes, featuring jazz-rock-pop-reggae-folk-blues-dub-etc. With the birth of my daughter, SIIYE Tapes have tended to take a back seat lately, but everything is still available.
From all the tapes you get to hear, have you any recent favourites?
Probably the most consistent must be Martin Newell & The Cleaners From Venus. Also the Color Tapes of Gary Gipps are exceptional.
How many other people are involved with SIIYE?
With the establishement of SIIYE Tapes, more people contributed reviews and articles. At present, seven of us produce the magazines. If you include the distributors around Europe, then there are a lot more.
Is a policy of SIIYE only to review tapes you like?
I have always disliked the destructive criticism the music press thrives upon. We make an effort to get someone who will be sympathetic to the tape. A lot of effort goes into the release of a tape, the least we can do is give it a fair hearing.
SEND your submissions to:
5 Sunvale Close
Sholing Southampton SO2 BLX
FLASH – flash!!!!
So, I.N. has been out in 6 editions now, mostly well-received, tho’ there are always those whose opinions will go against th’ grain… & I have NO problem with differing viewpoints, in fact that’s a big part of wot’ this lil’ effort is all about… but the (purported) review of I.N. in “Ear of Corn” did stick in me’ craw… extracted, in part, it said:
…is basically a last gasp about how important THIS GUY’S music is & lists a bunch of titles (24) by HIM that cost $6 apiece for a homemade tape!
Now, c’mon Regi (or Dave, or whomever), yer’ talkin’ about my froggin’ CATALOG, NOT I.N…. give it a REST! & if I was so interested in SELLIN’ stuff, wouldn’t I be advertisin’ BIG price reductions in order to SELL more? In point of fact, MOST of my distribution is in TRADES! Or, is it just because (like I said in MY review of “Ear”) the print’s so damned small in “Ear” that yer’ brains (‘s WELL ‘s yer’ eyes) got fried so bad that you can’t recognize th’ difference between a ‘zine & a catalog!
THEN, it moves on to say:
…He talks about how regular folks would have no idea where MY music is coming from… and …All his reviews are extremely kiss ass.
NOW, he’s mixin’ my review (which WAS in I.N. #5) of “Ear of Corn” & Dave’s tape in the middle of what’s supposed to be a review of my ‘zine, when in fact, he’s putting the catalog & the ‘zine TOGETHER in order to be able to write thishokey shit about rotton reviews & such… was my review of your ‘zine/tape ‘kiss-ass’? Does that mebbe’ have something to do with the way your comments about I.N. are being written? Yea, everybody’s entitled to an opinion, & (JUST LIKE AN “EAR of CORN”), you’ve shown right where yers’ wuz’ when you were writing that “review” – UP yers! NO problem with a bad review, but MAKE it HONEST; yes, it’s true that I advertise my tapes, but who DOESN’T, in a catalog…those who’ve been with me (since I QUIT putting any specific reviews of my own tapes, as of I.N. # 3) will know that I’ve made a very intentional effort NOT to let I.N. be a forum for my own material.
Now that that’s off my chest, let me just say that I’m worried about that review like I’m worried about much of anything… not VERY damned much! My only interest is in promoting the network, especially since so many of the ‘zines have dropped off the face of the earth! My ONLY interest as far as cash is concerned is that in order to keep the ‘zine goin’, I DO have to have either cash or stamps equal to $1.50. &, yeah, it’s NICE to sell a tape every once in a while, but I’m not out there hawkin’ ’em as you imply! Don’t want my address, Regi? Fine, nobody (in their right mind) would want YOURS, either! I mean, WHY waste the stamp?
Got a letter in from someone who “used” to be named DimThingShine… for those who didn’t get notified, he’s now changed his name to Jim Rite, with a new address – Jim Rite, 5722 S. Flamingo Rd., Suite 4272, Cooper City, FL 33330. Despite the name change, Jim’s still involved in the nets, & by way of example, here are a few reviews HE wrote…
Eleven Shadows – ELEVEN SHADOWS: C45 11 Shadows is an ongoing project of artist Ken Lee. The music included was documented between 1987/90. Instruments like piano, samplers, drum machines, guitars and vocals are used. All pieces are structured but improv and experimentation are not forgotten. Some tunes seem to flow into non-conventional compositional areas that come as a refreshing surprise. vocals by Kristin Jaeger are pleasant and technically convincing. Chinese letters and references are implemented in the overall atmosphere. It may be at points alternative rock… at other times experimental with ethnic flavors… good beginning into what Mr. Lee has to offer. Check it out! Available from POB 17283, Encino, CA 91416
Legoland – MEAT IS MURDER, BUT PEANUT BUTTER IS BORING: C90 This West Virginian duo write songs about the unsettling doomful/gloomful realities of life… though they show some humor with snippets of prank phone calls to some quirky voice who squalls “Hello” relentlessly. They use parts of TV-show/movies for openings and parts of songs. BUNK NESBIT handles all bocals, synths… FROG MOORE plays guitars and they both handle drum programming. Music is fort of like a tame version of Subterranean bands with a lttle Wall of Voodoo… but with a garage band sound/recording. This tape is ok when played in small doses… but can get a bit overdone (90 minutes of tunes). Still… it’s fun alternative rock that you may want to check out. Write HARSH REALITY, POB 241661, Memphis, TN 38124-1661
Usward – THE SEA OF SLEEPWORLD: C60 Here be one of the latest releases of USWARD… a solo project of Mr J. Niswander. The music at several points similar to older Residents type stuff. The overall feel to these tunes are slow moving. The lyrics are moslty non-sensical. The melodies and singing are quirky. Keyboards, guitars and sampling are the dominating intruments on this tape. Some of the tunes seem in search of something… as if not completely finished… but it has enjoyable moments. There is a strange comical attitude behind USWARD and it can be surprising. Check it out at POB 401, Anderson, IN 46015
Murray Reams – REVIVAL: C60 This here be a compilation sampler of releases available on Sound And Fury label… all of which includes Mr Murray Reams. Murray is a percussionist/experimentalist who put together this label several years ago. There are many solo percussion pieces contained… incorporating pots, drums, misc items. All are free-form… a few have structure in approach. Also duets with sax, tape manipulation, piano, flute, religious Radio/TV cutups. Some performances are live… some in the studio. Overall sparesly sporadic & gritty. 2 solo pieces are previously unreleased. The last piece contains manipulations on Elvis song ‘Treat Me Like A Fool’… with added background sounds giving an eerie effect. A good variety for improvisational music, incorporating sound experimentation. This tape is worth checking out at Sound and Fury, POB 10331, Greensboro, NC 27404
Just a sample of what Jim can do… more reviews from him in # 7… & let’s get MORE reviews from you folks out there! Send yer’ reviews of tapes, LP’s, CD’s, ‘zines & comiz to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks, Jim!
Allen Salyer – ALTERNATIVE MUSIC: #’s 12 & 13 – Two fine issues of this great little news ‘zine… 12 was the more common orientation for me, with editor comment, news & tidbits; insightful reviews of both sound recordings and other ‘zines; & not a few essays/interviews that were enjoyable! For some reason, there were NO reviews in # 13 – I preferred the onw WITH the reviews… on th’ other digit, # 13 was CHOCK full of interviews, with some of the ‘hottest’ ladies in the underground… Lydia Lunch, Annie Sprinkle & Lisa Suckdog all have their say-so, & QUITE interestingly… mebbe’ # 13 was just the ‘female’ issue! Each tops out at ’round 30 pages, & the print is comfortable – not so scrunched that it’s impossible to read! I’M sending some stuff in to Allen for review – you otta’ too! Recommended! Fer $2, ya’ can’t go WRONG! GET it at POB 1551, Royal Oak, MI 48068-1551
David Thomas Roberts – THE EXECUTION: Little 8 pager of some of David’s very interesting poety…
I set out for Caledonia
On split rail conduits laced with buttermilk
Determined to catch the chalk of a moon weeping over
…just as a sample! I was turned on to this by Bob Grumman, another prolific writer/poet. I LIKED it, & believe many others will too. Write to Pinelands Press, POB 5243, Kreole Station, Moss Point, MS (with $2)
Tim Kelley – COMIX: A brand new batch of Tim’s entertaining comic booklets made it in here again… with titles like ‘The St. Valentine’s Day Mascara’, ‘Justify My Food’ & ‘The Patty Zuke Show’, you can imagine. These are all 8-pagers & a mighty funny read! Tim’s on a WHOLE bunch of those little artiste chain letters, too – a REAL networker! Contact him at POB 512, Amityville, NY 11701 for more information.
Ah, the drama of the underground ‘zine world, eh? In the way of updates… it seems that Hal McGee has closed up the postbox for Electronic Cottage… our old networking friend Jim Rite (formerly DimThingShine) tells me that Hal has said he’d make good on the buckz he ows folks for subscriptions, orders, etc. Just have to wait & see, eh?
Several folks have told me that Factsheet Five has folded up at the edges, & dn’t answer the phones… really a SHAME, ’cause I know “I” got all excited & sent ’em off the price of a subscription when Gunderloy originally announced the turnover… I imagine a LOT of folks have sent in tunza tapes as well… if we’re to keep the network ‘zines going, we need the editor’s TRUE intent announced every once in a while (as I try to do every issue or so), so we have some idea of if we can count on that source or not…
The last issue I have of GAJOOB I got was the April issues, in which Bryan said the publishing schedule was going to “become more of a ‘newsletter’ rather than a ‘magazine'” and “I hope to increase the publication schedule to nine issues this year (every 40 days and 40 nithts… so, here it is August (the 4th, as I write this)… now, I KNOW the mail’s been delayed somewhat because of train strikes & the like, & I can even allow for a “little” slippage, ’cause I know MY work schedule gets in the way of I.N. sometimes – but even if you discount half of May, what’s that leave you in number of days? Just EEXPAND the deadline… DON’T make promises you can’t KEEP, right? GAJOOB is one of the FINEST tape ‘zines I’ve ever seen, & I don’t care if it’s ‘newsletter’ or ‘magazine’… I want to see it stay ALIVE… but folks are BOUND to STOP if they can’t get any more reliability than that out of it.
Kentucky Fried Royalty is a world-wide tape network system, dedicated to “gettin’ the music OUT”… the ’92 issue includes many new tapes (including 6 Zzaj tapes) from ALL over the world… the artists is guaranteed some return ($1 per tape), the buyer gets to hear good tapes at a decent cost ($5 cash or check, except in ‘some’ overseas locations, where it’s an additional $2 to help with air-mail postage), & the artists tape(s) are played on some of the radio shows that are supported/used by K.F.R. Exposure for the artists, & another way of keeping the network STRONG! U.S.A. contact is KFR USA, c/o Lonely Whistle Music, POB 23952, San Jose, CA 95153, USA! In Europe, contact KFR GERMANY, c/o Lord Litter, Pariesrstr. 63A, 1000 Berlin 15, Germany. USE it before you LOSE it!!!
“Now That’s Interesting” is a radio outlet for home-tapes in Minnesota that looks SUPER… I just GOT the flyer (well, actually it was back towards the first part of June), but they’ve got listings from all OVER the place… I’ll give you more feedback after I’ve had a chance to hear from them… coupla’ tapes going out in the mail, like, TOMORROW, man! This looks like MY kinda’ SHOW! Contact them &/or SEND those tapes in to Tim Id Productions,k POB 47474, Mpls, MN 55447… this one looks HOT!
Chris Wind – PAINTINGS: My first listen, & I’m ALREADY enchanted! Simple but intimate electronic backgrounds woven by Chris, against which play a variety of folks and instruments… VERY pretty music that will put you in a frame of total relaxation… JUST wot was needed to round out my evening! There are flugelhorn, violin, guitar, flute & many others; mostly standing out as solo pieces against her captivating electronics. I was MOST impressed with the lead-in tune, in which Stephen Crowe plays his flugelhorn against a slow-moving suspension in the back! This is a GREAT tape, and comes HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended from Zzaj. GET it at R.R. # 1, Sundridge, Ontario, Canada POA 1ZO
I’ve decided I’ve just GOT to use this last page to get a bit OFF! The decline of so many of the other ‘zines means we’ve GOT to keep the few that are left ROCKIN! At least ’til some more come along… the future looms with all KINDS of threats to our freedoms… Tipper Gore leading a (VERY behind the scenes) campaign to drive all us ‘weenies’ back to a book-burning frame of mind or another 4 years of legislative madness & CIA intrigue…
…it’s not ONLY the ‘zines that matter, either! We need to PRODUCE – !ANYTHING! – that will shake the pillars… not necessarily tear ’em down, but make ’em QUAKE! Let others know that there ARE still many left who will NOT stand for the mediocre… who will NOT let others choose FOR them… & who will CONTINUE to think for themselves, create and generally keep things STIRRIN’! On that score, PLEASE encourage all you know to NETWORK! Make tapes, trade, participate in chain letters and feed each OTHER! Networking is not some remote idea in the sky that belongs to the few… ANYONE can do it! Once you’ve started, once you see just HOW many folks there are out there of similar mind… of all DIFFERENT persuasions, colors, backgrounds… different countries, religions, sexual orientations or wotever… you’ll FEEL the power present within yourSELF! That certainly doesn’t mean that you’ll LIKE everything/everyone you interchange with… that’s (as ever) a matter of degrees; anyway… some you’ll like, some a lot, others little… but OPENING yourself, unLEASHING your creativity to OTHERS will feed you back THEIR creativity…
…don’t get me WRONG… this is no mutual admiration society… ’tis no “happy” world… everything’s NOT gonna’ be ALL right, man! It MIGHT, however, be JUST a little better if we share some ideas musically, orally or poetically!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue, & will repeat that MY committment to this is based PRIMARILY on the ideas expressed above… I believe it is TERRIBLY important for us to KEEP the networks alive… and, for as long as I’m able to do it (both financially and energy-wise) I WILL! Join in… D.I.Y.!
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