Black To Comm – ‘EARTH’ LP/CD
According to Marc Richter, most of his 7th LP as Black to Comm, EARTH, was composed under the influence of heavy painkillers while recovering from a broken leg. It’s unfortunate to have to blow those on actual physical pain, but EARTH — music composed for the art film of the same name (Singapore, 2009, dir. Ho Tzu Nyen) — was built on broken bones. The music (like the film) is about slowness and decay, states of unconsciousness, sleeping and waking up, dying and being reborn. The film is basically a post-apocalyptic collage based on paintings by classical European painters (Caravaggio, Delacroix, Rembrandt, Géricault); the music tries to translate that concept employing similar collage-based sampling techniques using loops made from vintage vinyl and shellac records combined with acoustic and electronic instrumentation and voice. EARTH puts me in a mindset similar to that evoked by Gifts-era Loren Connors and Scott Walker’s Tilt, and we’re as excited to be working with Marc as you will be to spin EARTH. This next release is one we’ve been trying to work out for around 10 yrs. Its a pretty massive undertaking, and the breadth of the material requires us to do it digital-only (though we do also have a small stash of the original LPs available — click on the cover art for info on that). But the art and expression are stunning in their clarity, vision and realization. Follow the link on the cover art for more biographical and purchasing info.
Poetry Out Loud – ‘Vols 1 – 10’
Poetry Out Loud was a series of ten LPs released between 1969 and 1977 as a sort of “magazine of oral poetry.” The driving forces behind Poetry Out Loud were two couples: Peter and Patricia Bebe McGarry (Harleman), from Topeka, Kansas, and Klyd and Linda Watkins, from Nashville; together they followed their muse of “taking poetry off the page,” seeking a centuries-long end-around back to the oral tradition. As Peter said it then, “The poem on the page has no relationship to the poet. There has to be an integral relationship between poet, performer and audience.” In other words, this is word-as-sound art, a heavy trip. While the ensuing years have pushed Poetry Out Loud toward the fringes of crate-digging awareness, they won over some significant fans in their day. Robert Palmer (author of Deep Blues, among other works) wrote about Poetry Out Loud at length in Rolling Stone more than once during the ’70s. “Such sounds, with their welter of enharmonic pitches, stimulate most of the surface of the basilar membrane, thus ensuring the transmission of as many simultaneous neural impulses as possible to as much of the brain as possible,” he wrote in the notes for Poetry Out Loud Number Nine, getting at the physio-mystical heart of things. “And the neurons are able to rest between firings because of the rapid decay time of the sounds, thus insuring continuing peak effects for the sound and allowing changed or other sung material to periodically resume its own hypnotic pattern. In other words, the shaman’s basic equipment – voice, drum, rattle – is actually a sophisticated tool for self-induced hypnosis, or trance.” That (and much more) said, no written words are going to prepare you for the experience of hearing what might be one of our most visionary releases. The literary nature of this release makes a good opportunity to pass along word of something else we think you might like: Our pals over at Rain Taxi have published a riveting, no-holds-barred, sexually explicit excerpt from Richard Hell’s forthcoming autobiography, I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp. Titled Chapter 28, this hot little limited edition pamphlet is a conceptually complex meditation on the music-era sex life of one of punk’s originators and leading provocateurs. Comes with a cover drawing by Hell and artist Christopher Wool. Rain Taxi has also published other cool pamphlets, many with a surrealist bent (and a Jim Woodring T-shirt too), but Chapter 28 is especially essential for the musically inclined.