Wednesday, March 15, 2017


From a date already quickly receding into the mists of time, waaaay back in mid-2012, here's a rather overlooked collabo LP picked up cheap from the ever-lovin' Reckless experimental bin. Long-time regular readers of Blastitude probably know the music of Neil Campbell pretty well, and let's just say he seems to be more in ASC* mode than VCO** mode here, although it's hard to say when his collaborator is Robert Horton, a long-running under-the-radar Bay Area sound artist, instrument inventor, percussionist, electronicist, polymath, iconoclast, et al. In 1981 (which really is waaaay back) he was in a "punk funk" group called the Appliances that put out a 12-inch EP with a "Paranoia Rap," and we're talking live-band-in-studio rap like Sugarhill was contemporaneously releasing, and the rapper Dominique was none other than the daughter of Amiri Baraka and Diane DiPrima (born during her parents' Floating Bear years). That track is on YouTube; the only other thing I've heard by 'em is an unreleased mutant-funk instrumental that is cool as hell. After the Appliances, Horton was completely under-the-radar for many years, until the experimental/noise underground finally caught up to what he was doing during the early/mid-00's CDR/internet boom. Suddenly, he was a recording and releasing all kinds of records, solo releases under various guises like Egghatcher, and lots of collaboration and ad hoc group work, duos, trios, and larger, with people like Charalambides guitarist Tom Carter, and Loren Chasse of the Jewelled Antler Collective. You can learn a lot more about the music he makes and all of his other interests (as well as hear that sick unreleased Appliances track) by listening to this excellent 2012 podcast in which he is interviewed by George Chen, the guy who released Trojandropper on his label Zum. As for the music on the LP itself, both Campbell and Horton play multiple instruments, program mad beats both on-and-off-kilter, and have very full sounds all by themselves, and therefore, when working together, run the risk of overdoing it. Well, risk be damned, they both seem to put everything into the stew, and to their credit the blend is seamless as it slow-boils (and often gleefully boils over). All kinds of crazy rhythms, dare I say danceable for all their weirdness, everything and several kitchen sinks layered atop, often overwhelming in its sheer noisiness, this is yet another record I enter in the 'what I wish My Life in the Bush of Ghosts actually sounded like' sweepstakes.

  * Astral Social Club
** Vibracathedral Orchestra

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