Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 9

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                  (9TH Edition, Spring 1993)



Gotten more’n a few requests since the last issue to place a lil’ mo’ emphais on who the reviewer was in any particular review.  So, as of this issue, you’ll see the NAME of each reviewer right at the END of each review; no confusing initials, no code to decipher, but the actual NAME – even if it IS a pseudonym, right?  wOT ?MORE? COULD YOU ASK FOR?  you TELL me!  This ‘zine IS fo’, by & of the people & (unless yer’ request requires the entire RE-FORMAT of th’ ‘zine).  YOU tell ME!  This ‘zine IS fo’, by & of the people, & (unless yer’ request requires the entire RE-FORMAT of th’ ‘zine) we want it to be what YOU want it to be!  So DON’T hesitate to let me know WHAT you want!  I normally editorialize a bit up here in front, but there was SO much stuff comin’ in for this issue that I thot’ I’d best stick to what this ‘zine is all ABOUT…. reviews & information!  So, without FURTHER ado… right to the reviews!

Eclat II (Musea FGBG 4064.AR) CD:  40:10  I knew that I was in for a treat from the moment I saw the magic square on Eclat’s new CD II.  This Musea release contains 9 songs dealing with the Nornes, alchemy, the Celts, rhythmic cycles, Led Zeppelin, numerology, the magic square, the Grim Reaper, and the circus.  A vast amount of territory to cover in 40 minutes!  The lyrics and booklet are in French but the subject matter is so fascinating that I had to translate them to get a better understanding.  Manipulation of numbers and letters is a key aspect of clat’s songs.  The second song Vitriol (the alchemist term for sulphuric acid) discussed the inner workings of man on his journey to wisdom.  Each of the three verses contains seven lines, the first letter of each line reading down spelling Vitriol.  Opera Magique uses the magic square as the basis for the song and for constructing its lyrics.  The three verses consisting of six lines of six words each use the letters in the magic square as the first letter of each word.  A very intriquing and mathematical approach to music!  Eclat is a contemporary French progressive band of accomplished musicians.  Alain Chiarazzo (guitars and chants), Fabrice Di-Moudo (drums, percussion and vocals), Laurent Thomann (bass), and Pascal Versini (piano and keyboards).  Eclat plays a varied music.  Beautiful bucolic and acoustic melodies and lyrics alternate with jazzy progressive fireworks.  This band really cooks!  One high point (as if each of the nine songs isn’t) is Page Orientale, a tribute to Jimmy Page of Led Seppelin and traditional Indian music.  Chiarazzo’s acoustic guitar work is outstanding and sounds like Alain Markusfeld’s classic Le Desert Noir.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  (Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retofudy, FRANCE)   Henry Schneider

Kerrs Pink Mellom Oss (Musea FGBG 4068.AR) CD 60:01  Kerrs Pink is a Norwegian progressive band that fuses progressive rock and Scandinavian folklore just as Grieg married symphonic music and Nordic folk songs.  The music also pays homage to bands like Camel and String Driven Thing.  Kerrs Pink is Tore Fundingsrud (drums), Jostein Hansen (bass, guitars, and vocals).  Harald Lytomt (guitars, flute, keyboards and bass), and Per-Oyvind Nordberg (keyboards).  Mellom Oss is a reissue of Kerrs Pink’s second album recorded in 1981 plus six previously unreleased bonus tracks.  Mellom Oss was originally recorded on an old 4-track recorder.  With today’s technology and Kerrs Pink’s impprovised studio they decided to rerecord the first six tracks making this CD a pseudoreissue.  Their seventeen minute opus from the LP, Mens Tiden Forg r (While Time Fades Away) is a remixed version of the original recording.  The CD booklet, as always, is true with Musea releases, contains extensive historical notes and English lyrics even though they are sung in Norwegian.  Another highly recommended reissue from the European progressive archives.  (Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE)    Henry Schneider

Zao_Shekina (Musea FGBG 4068.AR)  CD 41:06  Shekina was an experiment in music styles by the progressive jazz fusion band Zao.  Back in 1975 they wanted to combine the experimental jazz fusion of Zao with a string quartet, Le Quatuor Margand, to create a synthesis between European jazz and pseudo-classical music.  The resulting L.P., Shekina, is now available on CD in Musea’s catalog of reissues.  Over the course of the five tracks on this CD you experience a juxtaposition of Le Quatuor Margand’s chamber music against Zao’s complex jazz instrumentation.  Le Quatuor Margand were excellent sight readers and they had to work extremely hard to play with Yock’o Seffer’s minimal musical notation.  The resulting music is very thight complex arrrangements with Magma and Soft Machine (circa Third) styling.  At the time of this recording Zao consisted of Yochk’o Seffer (saxophones, clarinets, and vocals), Francois “Faton” Cahen (keyboards), G and Prevost (electric bass), Jean-My Truong (drums), and Pierre “Ty Boum” Guignon (percussion).  Le Quatuor Margand was Michele Margand (violin), MarieFrancoise Viaud (violin), Francoise Douchet (viola) and Claudine Lassere (cello).  The quartet later went on to form Seffer’s Neffesh Music.  The music is as fresh today as it was in 1975 and no doubt influenced bands like Art Zoyd, Third Ear Band, and Universe Zero.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!   (Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE)    Henry Schneider

Gerhard Schedel, Andreas Merz, and Peter Frohmader Attenti Al Trento!  (Nekropolis NCD 005) CD:  5:21  This latest Nekropolis CD is unique in that it is a split release featuring music by three Munich composers:  Gerhard Schedel, Andreas Merz, and Peter Frohmader.  Merz and Schedel are not new to the electronic music scene.  Both have works on the excellent 1988 sampler 11mal elektronische Musik aus Munchen.  Each composer has a unique style and the music on this CD dovetails perfectly.  Attenti Al Treno! opens with eight delightful and intriguing musical excursions by Schedel.  Schedel’s familiar musical reference in “Whodunit?” drove me crazy for weeks until I tracked down a copy of George Bizet’s Carmen, and identified it as The Habanera.  Schedel’s music is inclassifiable.  It is modern experimental electronic music blended with avant rock, telephone noises, and found sounds hinting at early Der Plan, Pyrolator, King Crimson, Asmus Tietchens, and Cluster.  Andreas Merz bridges the distance between Schedel and Frohmader with his 20 mionute “Ballet Music for Mechanical Dancers in 12 Acts”.  This electronic ballet combines electronics, music boxes, analog bubbling & gurgling, squeaks, cuckoo clocks, electric guitar, koto to mimic the sounds of mechanical dancers. Frohmader contributes eight pieces of dark electronic chamber music that continues on in the new direction he has recently taken.  Peter is playing his bass more these days and his soloing is outstanding.  The accompanying CD booklet briefly outlines the musical careers of each composer.  Frohmader’s is complete with detailed chronological data.  My only gripe is that the CD does not contain enough music of any of the three composers.  The 75 minutes of music left me wanting for more.  j kropolis Records, Kriegerstrasse 7, W-8000 Munich 90, GERMANY    Henry Schneider

Jared Peterson  Adventures from My Den  (No label information  C-60  Adventures From My Den is 60 minutes of 26 short tape collages layered over Peterson’s synth and rhythm tracks.  Peterson uses TV, porno movies, and his answering machine as source material for his collages.  I usually find sound collages fun an interesting but this tape is not.  The sound is tinny and distorted.  Each collage is overlong and boring.  The one collage that stays in my mind is “Pick Up the Phone”, with the embarrassing sound bite of Jared’s girlfriend Vanessa begging him to pick up the phone if he wants what he “got the other night”.  I wonder if Vanessa is happy with the results.  Applying better recording techniques, equalization and more focus on the message the collages convey would go a long way to improving his compositions.  (Jared Peterson, Suite 14, 2 Morgan Ave., Newbury, MA    Henry Schneider

David Bagsby  Hydrophony  (Esotericity Music EST 002)  C30

David Bagsby  America  (Esotericity Music EST 006  C60

When you think of musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma such names as Leon Russell and J.J. Cale come to mind, musicians with roots in blues and gospel-based rock.  Avant-garde music is not what you would expect, yet it is being created by one David Bagsby.  David is currently releasing a series of tapes based on a very creative technique.  First David tapes the source material:  birds, running streams, people, etc., and then runs the tape through a pitch-to-MIDI converter to digitize the pitches and rhythms.  He chooses the timbral density and then controls his synths with those MIDI data.  The MIDI data reveals notes and rhythmic patterns normally obscured to the naked ear.  The results are rather outre.  Hydrophony relies solely on a running creek as the source.  My firs impression is that this tape is 30 minutes of random notes and rhythms.  It sounds very much like the cold avant-garde electronic music of the ’60’s.  If you concentrate you can begin to visualize the rhythm and tonal variations of runing water.  America is divided into three parts:  Canada, West Indies and Venezuela.  The liner notes give no indication of the source material but again the music is random notes and rhythms.  The randomness defies your brain’s ability to perceive any patterns or gain enjoyment out of listening.  I applaud David’s creativity in exploring different ways of controlling a synth.  There may even be a scientific application of his technique.  Maybe it is his choice of percussive timbres and the minimal effects processing, but I can not recommend these recordings.  David needs to experiement more with his source material, timbres, effects, and computer processing of the MIDI data.  I think that he will then produce some interesting music full of warmth and depth. (Esotericity Music, POB 906187, Tulsa, OK)   Henry Schneider

Agitation Free   Last  (Spalax 14229)  CD:  45:37  Agitation Free was a mid-seventies German band with connections to Tangerine Dream through MIchael Hoenig (keyboards) and Ash Ra through Lutz Ulbrich (percussion).  Their three obscure LPs are constantly sought after by record collectors, especially the rare third Last.  I have seen it going for $150 to $200.  Now the French label Spalax has reissued Last on CD.  I am ecstatic that Spalax resurrected this long lost gem.  Last consists of three live recordings from March 1973 and February 1974.  Soundproof (5:47), Laila II (17:08) and Looping IV (22:45).  Lila II has a dated guitar-dominated sound but it does not distract from the music.  Laila II is an extended cosmic guitar jam that hints at Quicksilver Messenger Service’s classic “Who Do You Love?”  Amon Duul II, Ash Ra, and (of all bands) Jefferson Airplane.  The high point of Last is the slow moving Looping IV with its wave after wave of electronic washes hinting at Tangerine Dream’s Zeercussion used in an analog electronic piece.  My ears have gotten tired of electronic persuccion.  The only drawback to this CD is that Spalax photo reduced the original album jacked to CD size:  cover damage, red printing and all.  I could not read the liner notes without a magnifying glass and at that I am not certain about some of the words.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  (Spalax, Paris, FRANCE)   Henry Schneider

Galaad   Premier Fevrier  (Musea FGBG 4068.AR)  CD:  55:37   Galaad is another group in the new wave of French neo-progressive bands recording and mixing their debut CD  Premier Fevrier between July and September 1992.  Galaad is the quintet of Pierre-Yves Theurillat (lyrics and vocals), Gianni Giardiello (synth and piano), Sebastien Froidevaux (electric and acoustic guitars), Gerard Zuber (bass), and Laurent Petermann (drums and percussion).  I think that Premier Fevrier is a concept album since their CD booklet contains a 7 page story and lyrics, but I can not read French.  Galaad composes and plays intricate melodies employing some enticing techniques.  The opening song Janus starts with the sounds of birds and someone walking down a busy street eventually leading to a heavy pounding beat and progressive fireworks.  Blasphems initially sounds like a scratchy 78 rpm “Galaad” recording and then kicks in to full blown chord changes and drums.  Theurillat’s lyrics dominate the songs rarely allowing an instrumental break.  His dynamic and emotional vocals have the same quality as Peter Hammill.  I don’t think you could say he is singing a melody in the “classic” sense.  Theurillat is telling a story, as in opera, conveying the message through the emotive quality of his voice.  Giardiello’s keyboards and Froidevaux’s guitars supply the elaborate melodic content.  It is not until you hear Votre M e and Sabliere (the two eleven minute songs) that Galaad cuts loose and your speakers sizzle with electricity!  These two songs offer the broadest range of emotions on the CD full of shifting moods, angry and savage singing, complex rhythms, soaring guitar solos, fantastic “Moog” synth lead lines and beautiful pastoral flute and piano duets.  Galaad is a band with a unique yet a definite French approach to neo-progressive music.  They are a band to watch!  (Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE)    Henry Schneider

Step Ahead  Step Ahead  (Musea FGBG 4037.AR)  CD  65:48  This CD includes Step Ahead’s only album recorded in 1982, three live tracks recorded at the Theatre de Verdure, Nice, November 1982, and two previously unreleased tracks recorded at Step Ahead’s rehearsal studio in 1982.  The additional five songs are not of the same technical quality as the rest of the congs.  Christian Robin and Musea included them as a document of their musical value for the band’s fans.  Christian Robin reworkded these tracks at Mr. Potier studio, Metz-Magny, in October 1992 to give them the best song quality possible under the circumstances.  Step Ahead was Christian Robio (electric guitars), Danny Brosn (vocals), Gerard Macia (Ovation Adamas acoustic guitar), Claudie Truchi (keyboards, Bosendorfer Imperial grand piano), Antoine Ferrera (bass), Jean-Yves Dufournier (drums), Alain Lejeune (keyboards), Philippe Recht (bass), and Emmanuel Riquier (drums).  Together they produced symphonic progressive music along the lines of Yes, FM, and Rick Wakeman.  Christian’s voice sounds like Jon Anderson with more body.  If you apprieciate middle of the road progressive music, Step Ahead is an album to explore (Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE)    Henry Schneider

Ant-Bee  With My Favorite Mothers and Other Bizarre Musik  (Electik Yak 003)  C60  Have you ever wondered what happened to the Mothers of Invention after they split with Frank Zappa?  Well they are alive and well and jamming with Ant-Bee (aka Billy James) in a mythical Mayberry RFD.  Billy James was barely out of diapers when the Mothers started recording in 1967.  But citing influences as diverse as The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and Pink Floyd’s Piper At the Gates of Dawn, Billy is playing and recording music that extends what the Mothers were exploring 20 years ago.  This cassette is a sampler of the various music and interviews available on Electrik Yak and captures the Mothers’ zany antics and tape manipulations as on Lunar EggClips Runs Amuck.  Other songs (The Girl with the Stars in Her Hair and the bizarre Do You Like Worms) have striking psychedelic jams that hint at Hawkwind and the Beach Boys(?).  Then there are the informative extracts from the interview tapes with Don Dewilde (Don Preston), Geronimo Black (Jimmy Carl Black), and Bunk (Bunk Gardner) giving their reminiscences and views of Frank Zappa and the Mothers.  This sampler is a highly enjoyable excursion into psychedelic and progressive experimentation.  Ant-Bee is destined to be a household name!  Glass Onyon Distribution, POB 1422, Cornelius, NC 28031   Henry Schneider

Mike Shannon – BAPTISM OF SOLITUDE:  Here is yet another from Mike’s Joy Street Studios, in San Francisco.  Very interesting sound collage work, with more than the normal amount of instruments to share the energy & the stage set for your aural pleasure by the many players on here… Carol Yarbrough (horns), Tony Calvo (sax/perc/flutes), Robert Horton (samplers, zither, flutes, etc.) & Mike (12 string/tapes/etc) join forces to take you on a trip through sounds that do closely follow the theme of the title… this is MUCH different from the first tape of his I listened to (which you’ll find reviewed later in this issue), in that the directions taken are much more subtle and shifting (almost like SCUBA diving would make you feel, I ‘magine) as they carry you on the journey!  The Bhuddist ideal of achieving a state where nothingness is at the forefront is put in to practice musically… let that not deter you from ORDERING this tape, however!  Any & all who enjoy new terrains in their sonic ventures will get OFF on this!  The best feature of Mike’s music (on this tape, anyway) is its’ intricate weave; there are things musical in the background that you have to listen for!  I REALLY enjoyed this tape & it comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  If you are looking for cheezy 4-chord drone or high&heavy metal, shy away from this one – but if you LIKE pleasant and enjoyable music that easily wraps you in its’ spell, ORDER it from Mike at Joh Street Studio, 18 Joy St., San Francisco, CA 94110   Rotcod Zzaj

Walter Wright, David Cook, Debi Sellers, Keith Meire:  LLAMA – “die brucke'”  Now here are some FRESH sounds from the folks out Indianapolis way!  The highnote, for Zzaj anyway, was Sellers’ percussion tracks throughout the weave.  As with many of the efforts coming from Walter’s 911 Gallery, 1911 E. Main St., Indianapolic, IN 46220-1714, these are in the nature of an excursion to the outer reaches of the groups’ particular mind at the thime.  VERY good improvisational sketches, with superb sound quality.  There are lots of little nuances that you must listen quite carefuly for, which is a sure sign – to this editor, anyeay – of GOOD!  There is little separation between the pieices, and not titles arre listed; for some this would/will be a drawback… but if the listener’s focus is on experiencing the music and mayhem, it’ll only be a very small one!  This is in fact, one of my FAVORITE tapes from 911.  They have carved out a unique niche, and surely should be on your listening calendar.  For a great exploratory listen, contact Walter TODAY!  RECOMMEDED!   Rotcod Zzaj

Jeffrey Morgan, Jindrich Biskup, Martin Klapper:  SUMMER ASSAULT (’92) – A brand new effort from our long-lost friend Morgan & crew, this time in Deutschland!  I reviewed a tape with basically the same name (subtitle was CHARBROILED), in a very early issue of I.N…. Jeffery & I (& many others, too numerous to list here) used to play ’round with this kind of musical mayhem back in the early ’80’s, up in the majickland of Olympia, Washington.  It was MUCH fun & still is!  This time out, Jeff’s alto walks you through a live performance forest of screech/whistlestops that’re guaranteed to remove th’ PHUNK!  In fact they’ll strip the veneer off yer’ braincells & get right down to the nitty-gritty!  There IS a certain (what’s the right word?) maturity on this new excursion… the horn is SOLID & th’ blowin’ is BARE-BONED! Tho’ I alluded to the kind of whinin’ & poppin’ one would usually associate with improv sax, there’s actually only a small degree of that on ’92’s effort!  The combined efforts of this trio are WELL worth the price of a coupla’ stamps to CONTACT ’em!  Very intricate tape, & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj!   Inquire to J. Morgan, Albermannstr. 58, 5000 Koln 91, Germany… & do it NOW!   Rotcod Zzaj

Keith Hampton, Keith Meiere, Walter Wright – THE MECHANICAL BRIDE:  Another wandering through the dense territories inhabited by those folks populating the terrain ’round Walter’s 911 Gallery.  This rendering is slightly less percussive than ‘de Brucke’, but every bit as fascinating!  There are no definitive vuidelines for listening in an improvisational zone such as these folks created for you… & that’s where the joy of the experience comes from!  If you’re inclined towards rigid structural landmarks, shy away from such… but if you want to be challenged on ALL mental fronts, you WON’T want to pass this up!  I enjoyed ‘die Brucke’ slightly more, but they are both RECOMMENDED!  Contact at the address previously given!   Rotcod Zzaj

Ken Rubenstein – 14 REASONS WHY I’M SO F_CKING LONELY:  Now, I’ve been waiting fer’ this tape for over a year or two!  Ken first mentioned it then, & tho’ I heard from him about various other projectz’, his noteworthy mentions in Guitar Player ‘zine just a while back, & many other neato things, the tape was not (hardly) mentioned again.  I’m telling you folks, if you don’t inquire about ANY other tapes this year, if you LIKE well-produced music that doesn’t FIT in neat lil’ pigeonholes – THIS is THE one!  Ken’s guitars are joined together in FULL force with the vox from Meredith Borden and Michael Ornstein to forge a listening experience that ye’ WON’T soon forget!  E’en a scots bagpipe session in all it’s grandglory!  The keywords (besides well-thought-out) are varied and challenging!  & those of you wh’ve been scopin’ out this ‘zine for ANY length of time at ALL know that those two words don’t come LIGHTLY in my reviews of things… from the moment you start spinnin’ this thing, you are on a froggin’ musical rollercoaster.  To keep pace, your mind must be WIDE-OPEN!  Ken uses various loops, but they all have CLEAR intent!  To keep you focused on the experience!  This is THE best tape in this issue, from both a production standpoing, as well as the artistic value conveyed!  ‘Elizabeth’ on side 1 is one of the FINEST “straight” guitar pieces I’ve EVER heard Ken do!  All the way from space loops to sotskilts, this is a TASTY tape!  Don’t even THINK about it, just GET it!  Inquire at Wild Turkeyneck Records, 45 Belmont Ave., Garfield, NJ 07026.  Or call at (201)772-6996.  I can tell you NOW dear readers, this is one musical journey you WILL NOT want to miss!  As I said before, this is the PICK of this issue!  Absolutely SUPERB!    Rotcod Zzaj

Jacky Ligon – UNISON ON THE EDGE:  Ligon has a special place forever in the “Zzaj Hall of Fame” (note that if you could add ‘nother ‘F’ in the title, you’d have a pretty interesting acronym)… but, furiously, volks!  Jacky was reviewed in I.N. # 7… that tapte, “The Symbol Of Returning”, was indeed a GREAT tape… UNISON carries it a step or three further!  There is a John McGlaughlin-like expansion to the tunes, something I really prefer when listening to electric guitar-based pieces.  You know, clear purpose, the player knows xactly where he/she wants to TAKE you, but not so rigid that there’s no room for the listener to THINK/IMAGINE.  Pure pleazure fer’ th’ Zzaj aural receptacles… there is enough percussion woven in and through the longstretch solos to keep it from grinding yer’ mental gears too much, but the guitar quite clearly (& enjoyably, I might add) is the FOCUS!  This is a GREAT tape for TODAY – surely comes RECOMMENDED from Zzaj – contact Jacky at Unsensored Musics, 209 Williford Ct., High Point, NC 27266   Rotcod Zzaj

Jack Lucas:  EMBRACING THE SHADOW – Here’s a brand new experience for me!  Bryan Baker sent this in a recent correspondence!  Straight AHEAD rock/folk; actually there’s no way to place this in a categroy, except to say that it’s GOT pattern… definition… there’s a label on the front that sez’ “Parental Advisory” – either to satisfy Tipper, or to legitimately point out to those parents who’re responsible enought to LISTEN to lyrics – BEFORE their kidz do – that the first cut has some pretty crude language on it – but it’s a GREAT song (titled Pop Culture Attitude)!  Bryan said that this production, done almost in it’s entirety by Jack, took a lot out of him.  I can see WHY – it’s fo’ REAL, man!  While this IS music like you might hear on “the radio”, the similarity ends right THERE!  This guy’s got a lot that’s pertinent to the nasty things happenin’ TODAY on his mind – % he’s lucky enough to have the talent to get it to come SCREAMIN’ out thru the various instruments he plays… guitar, keyboards, Alesis-16 drum machine!  The mesh is near FLAWLESS… you wouldn’t even KNOW it was a drum machine, unless he TOLD ya’ so!  You’d better WATCH him… he’s GOING places!  Judging from the crystal clear stories told in some of the lyrical adventures… he’s already froggin’ BEEN there!  The ONLY complaint is that the j-sheet had the lyrics, & MO’ importantly, the CONTACT address so small I couldn’t READ ’em!  SO, in the interim, try contacting our friend Bryan Baker, GAJOOB magazine, POB 3201, Salt Lake City, UT 84110 – I’m pretty sure he’ll steer your right TO jack!  Absolutely FINE tape, & (tho’ I ain’t got a Merc’ry) it’ll SPIN a LOT while I’m drivin’ down th’ road, Jack!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Rotcod Zzaj

Damascus:  SOON THE DOORS WILL OPEN – & with a title & group name suchly, how else would you be inclined to loook at it?  Pretty obvious that this is a Christian group… that does little to detract from the actual LISTENING… ’tis just that the east coast havens for extremism that I grew up in (NorthEast Pennsylvania, ‘nother story, ‘nother time) made me awfully wary of ANYONE who had to attach a label to somethin’ they did to get it accepted!  They’re really able to carry on the Yes-like rock-orchestrals & heavy-metal revival calls they perform quite WELL, though!  Nice use of synths, quite hi-tech in fact!  Their dedication to the ideal they seem to be promoting comes across quite clearly, without resorting to cry-in-yer’-beer-&-getcha’-whinin gimmix… Damascus rates high marks on both performance and feeling; a very professional rock 4 man group with enough youth in it to keep the blood stirrin’, and I’ll certainly look forward to hearing more of their work – tho’ I doube I’ll catch th’ freedom bird just to go back & hear a gig!  Came with a packet of flyers, so I think they do a fair amount of performances in various places… contact at 1112 Cherrywood Drive, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056   Rotcod Zzaj

Mike Shannon:  TORNIQUET OF ROSES – Got a chance to rap just a lil’ with Mike during one o’ our in-house beer-barrel fests!  You know, get wired & than start callin’ the WHOLE database!  ‘s NICE to speak with someone this creative in the improvising arena (try tellin’ that to yer’ wifey when th’ phone bill comes)… Torniquet is a much “softer” tape than some of the others he’s sent my way.  & that’s a big PLUS!  Very meditative, but not so new-agey that yer’ bored after the first 90 seconds… good underlying percussion, some drone trax on the first cut, “In The Desert Where There Is No Silence”, but be sure & give it a closuer listen!  There arre some REALLY intricate parts on here… reminded of the jungles of lower Burma for some reason… where the opium-elephant-trains wend their way thru the jungle daily (& nightly, I’m sure).  For those of ye’ a little shy ’bout new musical adventures, THIS one is THE one to get started with!  Definitly an “oriental” feel, sort of a musical chanting goin’ on… I really LIKE the use of the whistles!  This tape is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  As in pick up yer’ checkbook & contact Mike, like NOW, folks!  A GREAT tape for relaxing, too!   Rotcod Zzaj

Patronized Humoplasms:  ALL BROKE DOWN – CAN’T BE FIXED – This tape came in from MIchael Jackson, of Xkhurshen Sound, as one o’ his faves.  After only ’bout 12 bars, I could SURELY see why!  It’s circa 1988, assembled about that time, with various & sundry pieces that, according to the’ original liner notes, “preserve select moments of the Plasm’s Vortex Travels harnessed from live cassette recordings of freely improvised musics”… yeah, ‘i’ remember some sessions like this!  Players included CJ Cooper, R. Venturini, S. Matejko, T. Dimuzio, R & D Mazza, J. Spence & J. Venturini.  The music wanders hither & yon, JUST as a truly imporivsed session should – but it don’t EVER get boring… yeah, it’s true that many of the sessions (that both they & we did) have similar sounding musics… the distinguishing factor on THIS tape is that it comes across as tho’ YOU were there!  & for the many of you who’ve listened to a thousand of these “improv” jams, you KNOW that’s HARD to do! I’m not even sure if the contact address is still good (8 Waldo Terr., Brighton, MA 02135), but it’s sure as “L” worth a stamp to find OUT!  I know I’ve seen some of T. Dimuzio’s work lately, so if it’s HIS address, you should still be able to get a copy!  MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with improv/chaos in their veins!  Shades of Sharrock, ver’ shur!  GET hold of it – NOW!   Rotcod Zzaj

John Herron:  DR MONGO, Tari-bubu and LOVE GRENADE – If you want an example of just WHAT happens when creativity is laid down carefully (& apparently painlessly) trak by extraordinary trak… then GET this TAPE!  John sent it to me just a coupla’ weeks ago, & it’s already spun over & o’er – ‘most 20 times now!  No particular category, tho’ there are STRONG rock influences, GREAT heavy-textured basslines & other nuances that might lead to somehow or other lumpin’ it in with R&R… but that would NOT be fair, either!  The point is, there are at least 9 separate dramatic occurrences on here – & that’s only if you listen to it the FIRST time, as that’s the number of toonz’ there are!  As you listen on & on, you begin to find that there are connections both noveau & mystical woven all THRU it!  Some superb funk lines, lil’ jazz here & there & some of the spoken pieces surely could be interpreted as being comparable to early Beefheart!  I was (as you might have by now gathered) mightily IMPRESSED!  Well recorded & very professionally flavored, this tape is an absolute MUST have… contact John at 4022 South State, Salt Lake City, UT 84107   Rotcod Zzaj

Tusko Fatale:  PRICK – Folks, this is FRESH & CRISPY… true, there are shades (fo’ us OLD phroggers, ennyway) in there of Jethro Tull, but this AIN’T no lame kopykat schlock!  This is the real THING!  Now, I’ve sent a note off to these guys asking for more info, ‘coz we ALL wanna’ hear MO’ from these folks – I can GUARANTEE it… to-the-socond ON-IT percussion, guitarz electrified to plug in yer’ BRAIN, vox that won’t QUIT!  & the amazing thing is that ’tis all addressed ‘ere from 318 Blair Ave., Apt B, Newport News, VA 23607… which shorely makes ‘er sound to me like a HOME studio… gawd ferbid that I ever start turnin’ out stuff THIS high quality in a home studio; it’d be BOUND to give one (or th’ whole GROUP) some kinda’ COMPLEX!  At any rate, there’s not a LAME toon ON  this tape & the booger STOMPZ from the second it starts spinnin’!  This is an absolute MUST have!  Comes HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from  ZZAJ!  Gon’ make ME rock-on-downa-road fo’ a COUPLA’ months, at least!  I’m not KIDDIN’ folks, you NEED this one!  Just a GREAT tape!   Rotcod Zzaj

Area 51:  BISCUITS – N – GRAVY – & most assuredly, the phroggin’ meat&potatoes come WIT’ this DISH… if yer’ plate craves foot-stompin’, chair-crashin’ metalbeat, here’s yer’ TICKET!  My personal experience in this arena over the last 15 years or so is a bit limited – gotten off in to the stranger sides of improv, but even an OLD fart needs to get his blood boilin’ every once-in-a-while, & this will DO the job, friends!  Solid guitars (& you can even HEAR their lines) & kickazz bass.  If yer’ a prospective member of the PMRC, the liberal use of the F-word will send yew into a tizzy, but the music is wot’ WE’RE listenin’ for ennyway, right?  The only critz I have are that the print on the J-sheet wuz’ a little small, & there were only 4 songs on it.  Good solid road listenin’ with a REAL punch… RECOMMENDED!  Contact Area 51 at 2818 Oasis Circle, Henderson, NV 89014   Rotcod Zzaj

Headspace:  FACE THE SPACE – An early-on effort from Bob Bunce’s “BEYOND RIDDUM'” music came from him on a recommend from an old “I.N.” friend/collaborator, Ficus Strangulensis… those who’ve been with us for a while will recognize the “Beyond Riddum” label right away, but this tape, right in line with the title, is much more space-oriented than the (primarily) blooz tapes Bob is zo famous for!  His fine guitar weaves in and about to carry you on his absolutely majick ride into the place he seems to like to be mostly – beyond!  Actually, THIS tape is turning out to be my FAVORITE Bunce tape of all time – YET!  Very atmospheric & tasty!  Gets extremely HIGH MARKS in the Zzaj book…. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at Beyond Riddum Music, POB 13792, Rochester, NY 14613 – NOW!!!!  Rotcod Zzaj

& now, we turn briefly to the latest submissions from Runaway Spoon Press, the brainchild & experimental word laboratory of one Bob Grumman, a frequent contributor to “I.N.”… this is a publisher who is definitely hip to what now is all about!  You truly owe it to your intellect to check out the mind-expanding lit comin’ outta’ here… several items were packaged in one shot, & I’ll give my impressions of each one…

Thomas Wiloch:  NIGHT RAIN – A chapbook that clockz in at nearly 50 pages, with a rather longish (albeit quite informative) intro by Robert Frazier… quoting Robert… “In the body of Tom Wiloch beats the heart of a collage artist.”… quoting Tom… “The cut-up haiku tingles at the edge of meaning, like the memory of a dream.”  The cut-ups are all quite wondeerful examples of Tom’s description – one of my favorites…




     to splatter hands


     (severe music)


…in addition to which there are absolutely out illustrations (an old-style ARK, coming atcha’ outta’ a starburst against dead-black universe) to accompany lines like…


sky whispers


     the dream migration


     (clockwork terrain)


aw, ‘l, it’s really not describable in a review – GET the chap… it’s GREAT!


Nancy Frye:  ONCE WATER – More along the lines of the “conventional”, Nancy’s works come in a more standard half-size volume of 45 pages… it’s a bit hard for me to extract “snatches” of longer works, as I feel that does an injustice to the poet, ergo, one of the “shorter” pieces, enjoyable tho’ not as full of imagery as the full-paged ones…


An Allegory of Surfaces


Because he could not go beneath

he chose to exist soley on the surface:

to eat off the surface of plates

and to notice that, indeed,

that white mound is potatoes.

He was especially fond of crying, “Someone

has not given me my fair share of brains,

for had I as much as others, I too

could think deep thoughts…”


…I like her imagery, but this is much less out there than many other Runaway Spoon releases… still, in all, it’s a pleasant read!


Mimi Holmes:  A SELECTION OF SELVES – (textually illustrated by ((our lont-time friend)) Jake Berry) – Feast yer’ EYES on it… this is a prime example of what Bob terms vizlature… very odd black&white renderings by Mimi of, what else???  …against which Jake intertwines his own brand of textual strangeness!  I enjoyed the text-weaves by Jake more as a contrast to the fractured ?self?-portraits – but then, perhaps the intent of the drawings was to wake the reader UP to the weirdnesses we ALL display at times… ya’ know, life AIN’T all scrubbed-clean & Hollywood, eh?  Strange but enjoyable diversion, for a chap!


Jonathan Levant:  OEDIPUS THE ANTI-SOCIOPATH (or autumn angst) – Save the lest for bast, say always they, eh?  This is THE book to read, out of the most recent subs from Runaway Spoon, I’ll tell YOU!  EACH  poem preceded by an introduction from another author and/or publisher, no less than NINE of ’em… Grumman wrote his OWN book (reviewed WAY back in “I.N.”) called Of Manywhere At Once… it speaks VERY knowledgeably of writers & artists who are able to take you on that MAJICK ride; I haven’t the time to dig through stackz&stakz to find out if Levant was mentioned in it, but if he warn’t her SHOULDA’ been… there is a certain attitude in his works (I don’t REALLY want to term it disrespect, coz’ it’s obvious he is in TUNE with the language he abuses)… something ‘long the lines of – it’s my party & I’ll write what I want to – that is EXTREEMLY attractive to th’ improvisor in me’ blood… no sense in yakkin’ ’bout it…



human becoming


how one remains what one is


the umpire the supreme court

has made a very bad call


god did not tell me that

my dyes did/i hope

that god is on my side

but i do not insist on it


there are great silences within

which cannot be gulfed


and you joke like a ping pong

which is the brain of king kong

leaving you with only sing-song


i say crap on the critic

i was never analytic


sheer JOY, my friends!  Contact Runaway Spoon at Box 3261, Port Charlotte, FL 33949 for this & MANY more VERY interesting publications!  You’ll BE rewarded NOW, tho’ mayhaps not in the afterlife – once you’ve become THIS jaded!!!


Amscray Amok:  I’M OK, YOU’RE A TURNBUCKLE – First received in an absolutely out collection of madnesses submitted by Eric Hausmann, from up Seattle way, this is the cutest music I’ve seen/heard in AGES!  I don’t know if any of you remember it or not, but one of the early tapes by Jeff Olson, Screamin’ Popeyes, (reviewed in “I.N.”, of COURSE) had Eric on it.  His “spilling Audio” label has true variety on it, as ye’ shall see from the other reviews o’ his material!  But THIS tape is absolute FUN – nuthin’ BUT!  Apparently taken from a series of live performances out&about, you could think of yourself in an ol’ speakeasy; just sub a calliopie-soundin’ keyboard for that good ol’ honky-tonk variety, & settle back for a mighty HUMOUROUS run thru toonz both entertaining & nuts!  Featuring Bryan Kieser & Nathan Jewett in addition to Eric, there are trombone & sax sounds that expand on the flavor of old-fashioned… this tape is not only RECOMMENDED, it’s nearly (or should be) REQUIRED listening!  CONTACT Eric at Spilling Audio, 1633 Melrose Ave., #107, Seattle, WA 98122  Truly Up/Up/Away!   Rotcod Zzaj


Mustard Bernard:  THE LIVING ARTS – Here’s ‘nother kickazz listening experience from Spilling Audio… froggin’ SMASHING, in fact… along th’ lines of metal, but with some actual CHARACTER – not just blurred screeches from the gitarz, & inter-twined ‘monst the frenzy, they coume out & SPEAK with ye’… this is rock with somethin’ to SAY, but it doesn’t overburden you… e’en shades of Z.Z. or old Blues Project in here… picture yerself drivin’ down th’ four-lane in th’ middle o’ the desert, ya’ know, lookin’ for a VISION – ya’ pop this obscurely-named group Mustard Bernard in the deck, & after th’ first four barz, yer’ wheels begin ta’ float a lil’… on into the second toon (No Freedom/The Law) & yer’ awready 10 miles high!  This is a SOOPER tape & the world NEEDS to hear mo’… mo’… mo’… comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj.  Contact Spilling Audio!   Rotcod Zzaj


60-Cycle Hum:  SPACE IS THE PLACE – From Dancing Bear Audio Research – D-BAR for short – comes a short excursion into momentary pandemonia.  A bit hard to tell xactly wotz’ incorporated, as the liner notes list things like:  bass, POS, etc.,… you know, guyz, itz a lil’ hard ta’ tell wot elese might’ve been in there, with all those etc’s in there.  The electric drums are apparent, & the bass does stand out, as a HIGHLIGHT, I’ll add… I just prefer to have the creditz reflect a bit more accurately who did what!  As to the music… NOT bad, actually… title cut is marred ONLY by the vox – a constant repetition of sumguy sayin’… wot else?  The music on the “Space Is The Place” cut even reminded me in stretches of some Sharrock I’ve heard previously.  The developments from that point on are quite satisfactory…. swirls, ebbs & flows into deep uncharted territories… I’d not chart it as a nova or a black hole yet, but it’s a path I surely don’t mind traveling!  The guitars are very relaxing, but containing enough play/interplay to keep the drive up to warp-speed in several sections.  Good space music for cross-country drives… contact D-Bar at POB 807, Warwick, N.Y., 100990-0807   Rotcod Zzaj


I got an absolutely wonderful tape in from Belinda Subraman (she was reviewed in #8, remember) to work with for possible release… you’ll be able to find out more on that later, from my catalog, but I wanted to give you a preview of one of her works… this lady’s got soul, heart, wotever’ ’tis that makes words and music flow together… scan THIS…



Poetry Jungle



The poor who know

the art of living

raise themselves with heart,

color, taste, music,

splash their meaning on the walls,

shout above the traffic

their concrete songs.

The know the dangers.


Art does not apologize 

nor the C.E.O.’S who elbow by.

Out in the urban jungle,

out in the sunshine and smog

they wield their words

like swords and trophies.

It’s poetry out there.


                            ©  Belinda Subraman


…those of you who actually do something with words/music will recognize the art in them… ‘s from a “larger” work by Belinda… check her OUT, at POB 370322, El Paso, TX 79937


Ear-Relevant (#2):  LIVE AT THE BARN – Those of you who know me really well, ‘specially from the listening ‘oint know that one o’ my fave artists (& one I’ve played with at least a coupla’ times0 is Bret Hart!  He hoodwinked me more’n once over the yearz, most recently (’bout “I.N.” #4, I think ‘t wuz) with “Blind Pineapple Phillips”, some SPACEY blooz kickerz…. well “Ear-Relevant” was a bit mo’ straight-up.  I’ve been after ‘im for about 3 YEARS to lemme’ (& alla’ YOU, ‘s well) know just wot’ in ‘l he was doin’ musically… ALWAYS to EXCESS, this fellow… got a pack of 5 tapes all at ONCE last month from him!  This one is HEAVY on th’ blooz & best ‘self-described’… “drunken, stoned, tired & juds-got-laid Bret” – yeh’, & it SHOWS… I mean what BETTER fuel fo’ kickin’ out some GUT blues?  The entire instrument list is too long to print here – you’ll have to ORDER th’ sucker from him, at 97 Blossom St., Fitchburg MA 01420 – but the players are Tim Kane, Nate Coombs/Dan Doring, Eric Heuweg, Steve LeCain & our man Bret!  The pain & th’ phroggin’ JOY  shine on THROUGH, bro’Bret!  Don’ let it be sed that he’s outta’ the scene… just’ been on a lil’ vacation, folks!  This is blooz that’d de-skin any uncircumcized whale, volks!  He may not plan on actually releasin’ this one as a prod, but he’d BETTER… THIS IS THE essence of why folks play blooz… kickazz harps (I mean abso-phroggin’-lutely kickazz), guitarz that won’t QUIT, with a taste o’ jaded improv thrown in to focus it all!  All the way from “Southern Man” & “Red House” to “Funky Pussy-Shape – (Cinnamon-Interruptus)”!  Just the kinda’ session I wanna’ BE at!  MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Get in touch with ‘im, people!  Just GREAT stuph!   Rotcod Zzaj


Progress:  ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE  – Here’s yet another with th’ inimitable & (slightly) wacked Bret Hart on it!  This is mo’ like a studio session than anything I’ve ever heard with ‘im on it… collaborative brainchiled of one Pet Zoui & Bret, this actually WAS recorded in a studio up in Maine.  There are some pretty standard covers, albeit of the “old-fashioned” variety… th’ toonz Zzaj grew up (sometimes DOWN) on durin’ th’ rockin’ yearz of Cream, Hendrix & the like.  A kickbutt version of “folding The Flag”, lil’ “Hey Joe”, old standby “sunshine of Your Love” & many others that SHAKE it!  Along with Bret & Pete’s gitarz, you’ll find the Prescott bothers (I assume) Jeff on bass & Keith on drums!  This is the most radioable renditions I’ve heard from Bret, tho’ I’m not sure if that’s somethin’ he now aspires to… don’ make a lick o’ diff ennyway… the musics are FINE!  Get in TOUCH wi’ Bret, RIGHT NOW… RIGHT ON!  Same address as the review immediately above.   Rotcod Zzaj


Arrington de Dionyso:  BIG LUNG SAMBA – Now here’s THE tape that gets this issues award in the ?category? of greatest IMPROV… &,. natch, it couldn’t have COME from anywhere else… Olympia, Washington (Pine Cone Alley Productions, c/o Box 22, KAOS, TESC, Olympia, WA 98505, if yer’ interested in contact; & I can tell ya’, if yer’ IN to improv, ya’ SHOULD be)!  From time to toime you’ll hear me rant on&on ’bout the majick properties of the ROCKS up there… my two years of residence surely proved to me that folks unafraid to challenge the ?norms? – as opposed to th’ Freds? – currently runnin’ roughshod over the airwaves in “reg’lar” mugwumps ’round th’ world are somehow DRAWN to Olywa… & this h’yar collection from Arrington PROVES it!  A truly homespun improv that’ll shake th’ SOCKZ offa’ any of ye’ who demand sum phroggin’ phorumla concoction as part of yer’ improv!  Many instruments & styles, simple toonz to complex sax pieces, this gent HAS it.. wotever ’tis that takes us all (as Bob Grumman has sed) Manywhere At Once!  I had to listen to side 1 twice to REALLY enjoy it… but side 2 has Arrington emerging as an absolute MONSTER on vox that come out as a cross somewhere twixt Tom Waits & Beefheart!  This is a FANTASTIC tape, & ANYONE into the MAJICK will want to contact Pine Cone Alley Prods right NOW!  He’s also sponsoring some compilation tapes you might be interested in… WRITE!   Rotcod Zzaj


Michael Torello:  VISIONS – With titles like “Journey Trhough A Black Hole” & “Coriolis Effect”, you can probably hazard a pretty fairguess as to what Michael’s “VISIONS” is all about, eh?  Many would quickly relegate this to the “category” of drone, I’m sure!  All digitally processed, with samplesrs, varied acoustics, accordion & other loops layered on top, it will be an atmospherists’ dream… there are many intricate and sensitive moments, something on the order of the background to an old Vincent Price movie I once saw relating the weirdnesses of opium additiction.  This is EXCELLENT for meditative dreaming… I know that I wouldn’t snub it, in fact if MORE folks could calm themselves down long enough to actually concentrate on what is occuring here, we’d have a much more peaceful/desireable world!  One line in his self-description of the tapae notes that the musical experiences is “defiant of any singular genre, the works explore various compositional modus operandi as the medium of experimentation”… not much more to say than that.  From the standpoint of “pure” improv, “Visions” fills the bill QUITE satisfactorily… uncompromising and original indeed!  RECOMMENDED, unless yer’ ONLY into FORMULA!  Let us hear MORE, Michael.  If this seems to catch your ear in even the slightest, contact Michael at JaRello Production, 16 Presbyterian Hill Rd., Stephentown, NY 12168.  There were a couple of other contact addresses in there, too, but I’ll let HIM tell you about them!   Rotcod Zzaj


Apraxia:  KALBERER HOTEL SUPPLY – Here’s another from th’ crew at Apraxia… they were reviewed in # 8, on a collective improv effort… positively, I might add!  This session feels more involved, & those of you who actually DO live improv, whether of the radio loop/holler/scream variety, or with ?R-E-A-L? instruments (like flutes, actual electric bass, as well as various keyboard soundings) will KNOW what I mean!  NO plan, just yer’ basic meander through the sonic & mental territories familiar to those who have grown absolutely BORED with concept & FORM… I enjoyed this tape e’en MORE than the last reviewed, becoz’ th’ synths are more in a LEADING mode than many I’ve heard.  Also, to their CREDIT, there’s very little of the radio-manipulation that sometimes bores us nearly to tears & a strong sense of unity among folks who actually know how to PLAY something!  Shades of Miles Davis here on side one… this certainly comes RECOMMENDED – a FINE improvisational expericne that will be of real ENJOYMENT to the newly acquainted as well as us absolutely jaded improv freaks!  Contact at POB 85155, Seattle, WA 98145   Rotcod Zzaj


Dan Susnara:  BLACKLITE FOREST – Now, this is different!!! Dan’s note back to me after my initial coments on “Blacklite” explains that he “grew up in the early ’70’s, but my ideals to this day remain rooted in the previous generation”… well, whether that’s 100% accurate or not, his MUSIC surely is!  The diff is that a whole lotta’ the groups that “I” listened to (when I was emerging from my late teens, in the mid-sixties) sounded REALLY cheezy… & Dan has managed to recreate the environ many of us so cherished back in those daze (gimme’ a “hit”, maaaannnn… of yer’ BANANA-PEEL, man… hee…hee… I mean how those Sergeants gonna’ “do” ennything, maaaaannnn – ‘s only a phroggin’ BANANA), with full-BODY… all the way from the opening desert-trek of “Behomoth Day” thru “Cosmic Percolator” & to the closing strains of “What Would You Wear On The Moon”… ‘s almost as if I were right BACK there!  The rambling stratocaster, vox interspersed with sum kinda’ hidden meaning (that ye’ really can’t figger out until morning, when th’ fat lady actually SINGS)… EXCELLENT work!  This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj!  Contact Dan at 7806 S. Kilpatrick, Chicago, IL 60652  & I mean, flash it to ‘im, man, itz’ like, a to-tal TURN-ON!   Rotcod Zzaj


The Militant Musicians Pond:   A CLOWN PARADE – There ‘ave been some letters of late pleading/begging for more improv… well, as I told Chip Handy – the gent who submitted “CLOWN” – this h’yar tape fills th’ bill!   With Chip on guitar/bass, Marvin Ingram on DX-200, Commo receiver & David D. Young on Bell Tree & percs, it’ll reach right out & GRAB anyone who’s got improvisin’ in their blood as a sort of replacement fer’ that ol’-time religion!  Not strange at ALL that I should be reminded (as I listened to this) of late-night & early-afternoon sessions with summa the FATHERS/MOTHERS of today’s evolving improv… th’ whole TRANSMUSEQ crew of early-’80’s Iron Tortoise, Davey Williams, LaDonna Smith, Wally Shoup & many others… wanderments abound… piano-string-sounding adventures through the jungles of make-it-happen type improvisation!  You’ll be hearing MUCH ore about other efforts by Chip & crew… there is a mature direction taken on th’ entire tape, recorded in March ’93, that FAR outstrips the JINGLE-JANGLE crash&burn of many taped efforts I listen to these days classing themselves as improv.  Be foreWARNED… if your orientations are strictly commercial (where’ve we heard THAT before, gang?), you’ll run screaming from the room; but then, if you hadn’t escaped that trap-a-ganda already, ya’ wouldn’t be readin’ THIS ‘zine, wouldja?  HIGHLY recommended for those new to mindstretch.  CONTACT Chip at MMP, c/o Handy, APT 1, 230 J St., Davis, CA 95616   Rotcod Zzaj


Michael Thomas Jackson:  MORE MYTHS ABOUT FREEDOM & REALITY – From Michael’s Xkhurshen studios comes this collection of solo imporv pieces… heavy textures & semi-composed sections with bass guitar, strings & various percussion weaves lead you through a romper-room of serious & not-so-serious panorama that somehow are familiar & new at the same time… that’s the pleasure inherent in improv, anyway… taking something relatively known & making it your very OWN!  All the elements required for ?true? improvisation are presnt, & for veteran & newbie alike, this will be an EXPERIENCE!  High quality sound, this is much more enjoyable to me than some of the earlier improv-oriented things I’ve reviewed from Michael!  EXCELLENT improv tape, comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact him at 622 N. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401   Rotcod Zzaj


Jacky Ligon:  MYRIAD OF MOMENTS – As many of you who are regular readers of “I.N>” know, Jacky is th’ other half of Unsensored Musics… he’s had many tapes reviewed in here, both solo & with his partner Duke Andrews.  These guys ALWAYS turn out quality music, sometimes in a strictly improv sense & others that relate closely to slightly more mainstream contemporaries (in Jacky’s case, especially) like Mahavishnu or Jeff Beck!  This tape is refreshingly DIFFERENT… solo percussion by Jacky as he says “sort of a show-case for the 19 tone temperament”.  There is always a temptation (on my part anyway) to relegate straight percussion to the background category (& I don’t care what anyone sez’ ’bout how great a listener they are, our minds ALL still tend to place sounds/music in niches)… NOT this one, volks!  I’ve already listened to this thing 8 times (NO b.s.)… it is, for some reason MOST captivating!  I suppose that’s because some of the layerz include various electronic percs that sound like a high-toned marimba, or somethin’… but, whatever the reason, Jacky has MADE something FINE here… HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact Jacky at 3507-A Truman Av., Archdale, NC 27263   Rotcod Zzaj


Zzaj-Rant –

So, as we approach the close of the centruy, we find that far FAR too many easels are still in the blank mode… waiting dormantly for whoever th’ next self-proclaimed “artist” (prophet) or “idiot” is to emerge… some slick “Branch Davidian” (or other crock-meisterr) telling (literally) HUNDREDS that it’s OK ta’ do WOTEVER he/she sez!  We all (self included) sit ’round proclaiming – “that’s improssible”… “how could anyone”… “only an animal would follow that *%^%%%”… well, volks, guess we’d best break out th’ nose-rings; the recent disgusting events in Texas prove that the “animal” population of sheep/cattle is not only alive&well (‘cept for 90 or so that “gore-ass” sent to “hell” early), they are INCREASING – at (what I consider to be) a truly ALARMING rate!  Now, volks, as some of you know (& probably many don’t) I was RAISED in an environ that in quite a few ways mirrored the horror in “wacko”.  What’s at issue here has VERY little to do with FBI/guvv-i-mint decisions, or lack thereof (hell, THEY’RE the biggest offenders of tryin’ to paing yer’ easel THEIR way, ANYWAY); the TERROR that I see is that no MATTER how GROSSLY SAD THE DEATH OF THOSE KIDS WAS – & it IS enough to make one upchuck – at least they don’t have to grow UP with some bung who is going to beat their butts raw each&every time theat they refuse to listen to the torrents o’ bullshit spewing forth from the spincter of some saviour… as for the human rights of the ?adults? who died with them being compromised – HOGWASH… they gave UP their rights when they chose to use Koresh & his nuts as a substitute for reality; OR they never had ’em in the first place (& THIS is REALLY sad), because they had remained sheep all their lives – having been indoctrinated with such poop from the time THEY were children!


     …back to the canvas – the lesson to be learned, if any, from all this is that WE must control our own art… our OWN lives… our own MINDS!  No mind, no life… no life, no ART… no art, no BEING!  How long will it take for even a FEW more to realize that most recognized/approved art, visual/audial or else-al, is produced by the SAME kind of diseased minds that led up to WACKO-WORLD!  I’m NOT hitting on commercial art here… there are many who have MADE it who HAVE a mind of their own when it comes to art… they just chose to make a PROFIT on it… & I won’t begrudge ’em that (EXCEPT to say that many times they CONTRIBUTE to the mindlessness prevalent today, by promoting the message tenaciously or NOT) that it’s OK, even desireable, to be/think/act/paint/play/etc/etc/ad nausea like someone ELSE… hey, people, the world of diversity IS the world of art!!!  ONE way to defeat (I mean absolutely SMASH) those who believe that it’s somehow their phroggin’ MISSION to make us all ALIKE, i.e., DEAD, is to NETWORK!  The painting continues to CHANGE that way… in fact, the MORE individuals who DO something (matters little what it IS), the less chance there is that we wke up some morning to the screams/pleas of some blatherin’ YO YO Yaweh tellin’ us to pour kerosene on our tapes or paintings!  The DANGER comes from not ACTING it out!  From doing NOTHING, because some personage (inna’ parsonage) tells us it won’t be ACCEPTED!  That it’s not DOCTRINAL!  Isn’t the reality that if it IS “doctrinal”, it’s not acceptable to US?  Improvijazzation, art, actin’ crazy, wotever you want to term it is basically the doctrine of NO doctrine!  We do it OURSELVES… if WE don’t like the end-result, we do it AGAIN… but we CERTAINLY  don’t let some politician or preacher be the judge of what WE create!  PASS it on… NETWORK!  Since there ARE no answers (except inside oneself), YOU’LL have to choose that path… but I can tell you now, it’s a road that will change your LIFE!  AND, it will help to defeat those who would rather you didn’t know about freedom!  Freedom from THEIR ideas, that is!  & lastly, don’t take MY word for it… just TRY it!




The tape reviewed earlier called “Big Lung Samba” was, as noted, done by Arrington de Dionyso… he asked me to make sure everyone’s aware that he’s putting together a compilation focussed on yer’ covers o’ th’ Captain… Beefheart, that is!  If his comp efforts are anywhere near ‘s good as his wild & wacky tapes, this is one you’ll WANNA’ be on!  Contact him TODAY, eh?


For anyone in to th’ visual side o’ th’ arts, if yer’ in th’ Dayton, Ohio area & th’ time is right, you might want to check out what surely looks like a great little video-oriented show, produced by one Andy Valeri, called “The Eat More Carp Show”.  It’s on every third Saturday at 1:30 pm, on Vision, Channel 30 & Continental channel 3.  Contact Andy at Big Beef Productions, 231 Medford St., Dayton, OH 45410-2116 for more information.


If there are any of you who need cartoons for yer’ ‘zine efforts or inserts elsewhere, you might want to consider gettin’ in touch with David Adkins… he’s got a couple of series that are quite interesting.  Get in touch at POB 763, Pine Lake, GA 30072, or call (home) (404)296-9248



Belinda Subraman sent along a little flyer in re: her GYPSY compilation anthology… justa’ few notes/rules:


1.  Choose your best work or works to place on the front & back of a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet.


2.  Be sure to leave enough margin for a binding.


3.  Copy the sheet 300 times.


4.  Textured papers and original artwork especially encouraged.  You may use white or tinted paper.


5.  Deadline:  1 June, 1993.


I’ve seen (& reviewed, in earlier issues) much of Belinda’s work… & I can tell you that the compilation efforts are high quality material… send submissions to Vergin Press, POB 370322, El Paso, TX 97737


The latest issue of Ficus Strangulensis Transmog ‘zine, # 9, arrived just a bit late to be reviewed in this ish… it’ll get reviewed in #10… but he’s always lookin’ for submissions of “Absurd, DaDA, surreal, ur-real, visual, graphics, stream O’Consciousness, found, etc., reavealing links of art and minds”… send ’em in to Ficus Strangulensis, c/o Strangulensis Research Labs, Rt 6, Box 138, Charleston, WV 25311


Spilling Audio Productions sent a copy of their neat little 4 page 1992 Catalog of Cassette Releases…… highly charged releases from Eric Hausmann & many others… you’re bound to find somethin’ that’ll massage yer’ earz in here (or bend ’em)… contact at 4602 SW Brandon St., Seattle, WA 98136


Got a fresh copy of Chris Wind’s catalgo, called Magneta… it’s got all of her great tapes, some books & other stuph… this lady has been reviewed more than once in “I.N.”, & you owe it to yourself to get in touch with her at R.R. #1, Sundridge, Ontario, CA POA 1Z0


DiMuro Tapes sent their catalog, released in February of this year… I believe Don Campau is the one who actually sent this, but Dino has been in, on & around this scene for a LONG time & produces some real quality sonic experiences… contact at 3359 Hollywood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90039-2112 or call at (213)669-2112


& lastly, you need to scope out the “Birmingham Art Association’s “the tape”.  Our old friend Glenn Engstrand sent a little flyer for this year’s tape… having played & jammed with some of the folks in this area, I can tell you in advance that this tape will be pure pleasure for those with improvijazzation runnin’ through their veins.. the tape is $8 and $1 p&h; order from  POB 426, 2331 2nd Av No, Birmingham, AL 35201-0425


That’s IT for this issue, folks… I’ll be truly lookin’ FO’WARD to all of your inputs for issue # 10… that’s still on schedule… cutoff is 15 July for submissions & I’ll plan on having it ready for purchase during the first week of September… I’ve told you before, but I’ll remind you once more… #11 could experience a slight delay, but I want you to KEEP ON submitting… #10 already has a significant amount of input & promises to have a LOT of improvisors in it!  Til’ next…









Rotcod Zzaj

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