Sunday, 13 January, 2008

AMM - Ammmusic 1966

"The first recording by these pioneers of electro-acoustic improvisation, AMMMusic stands the test of time both as a remarkably prescient session and as an utterly powerful and deep piece of 20th century music. Drummer Eddie Prevost's superb and detailed liner notes document AMM's early history, including the confusion engendered not only in audiences and critics but even in the band members themselves, unsure if they were in a free jazz ensemble, a contemporary classical group, neither, or both. The aphorisms adorning the original LP issue (the disc includes additional portions of the concert) give some indication of what was facing listeners and musicians at the time: An AMM performance has no beginning or ending. Sounds outside the performance are distinguished from it only by individual sensibility. Or: Every noise has a note.

Even so, at this early stage in its development, there are more "normal" instrumental sounds with a conceptual basis in either jazz or classical music than there would be later on. Lou Gare's tenor saxophone wrings out occasional avant-garde peals that wouldn't have sounded too out of place in Sun Ra's band of the period, and Prevost's drumming shares some affinities with the energy players of the day. Similarly, Cornelius Cardew's piano and Lawrence Sheaff's cello sometimes refer to this or that modern classical tradition. But the overall sound of the group, even in 1966, was so different, so idiosyncratic, that it's not at all surprising that both new jazz and contemporary classical audiences were baffled, if not horrified. The experimentation in sonic assault, noise, and chance sound (including transistor radios) would, however, reach the rock fringes (as Prevost points out) in the work of '60s bands like Pink Floyd as well as later industrial groups like Test Dept. and the Jesus and Mary Chain. But the palpable thrill of producing such music at the time is unique to AMM. The group's sonic conception in its totality is so enveloping and comprehensive that, once heard, it becomes impossible to hear music the same way again. Recent devotees of electronica, free improv, industrial, and noise bands owe it to themselves to check out their primary source: AMM. Brian Olewnick, All Music Guide

Originally recorded and released in 1966, this has long been considered one of the early high-watermarks of contemporary improvised music/sound. AMM were one of the first completely non-idiomatic free improvising ensembles, and this was their very first release. Out of print for over 20 years, this includes 30 minutes of bonus material from the original sessions.

Lou Gare: tenor saxophone, violin
Keith Rowe: guitar, transistor radio
Eddie Prévost: percussion
Lawrence Sheaff: cello, accordion, clarinet, transistor radio
Cornelius Cardew: piano, cello, transistor radio

Recorded in 1966 in London. Originally released in 1967. Re-released in 1989.
Tracks 2 & 6 are from the 1967 LP, and are shorter edits of tracks 1 & 5 .
Tracks 3, 4 & 7 are from the same sessions, previously unreleased.



Anonymous said...

Dear Bravo

Thanks very much for posting this amazing recording on AMM'1966. High recommended!

A request to you: Metal Music Machine ( compused by Lou Reed)by german Ensemble "Zeitkratzer".

Thanks one again, really interesting music on this site,
keep the good job!

best, Enrique.

1009 said...

thanks for this! i had a copy that i think must have been a vinyl rip or an old master or something. this one sounds fantastic!

bravo juju said...

Dear 1009
Glad you liked this. Always nice to get some comments.

Dear Kike
Thanks for your kind words.
We cannot help you with your request. It would be very interesting to listen to a version of Lou Reed's MMM, though...

SOTISE said...

a great choice i love this album!!!!!!
nice blog

Jason said...

Thanks for this great piece of musical history. Hard to find here so am Very Grateful! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing...

zardoz1984 said...

Forty years & forever new! Truly amazing record, a real landmark of improvised music. Many many thx

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Andy said...

Somehow I've missed this one - I think I thought it was the same as the one with the radio on the front. Very nice with the droning and piano splashes and percussive gamelan blings. Classic AMM, right at the beginning. Many thanks.