It was not for nothing that Evil Dick used to call his label Polemic Music. This delusion that “good music” hovers above us sordid social animals like some unearthly pristine unctual anointment is a running sore which hurts us daily. In a false world, Truth becomes Polemic, not out of perverse itch of aggrandisement but simply by being true to itself. The proselytisers for “quality” are running stupid petty marketstalls whilst pretending they’re in a holy temple. Overturn the tables! Wreck the sales racks! In order to foreground the fact that all art is social (or anti-social!) statement, I wrote biographies of Zappa and Bailey – inspiral rubbishers of quality norms – but this “intellectual” approach got me the wrong audience. So I sent them over-educated suckers off to peruse Wire magazine, and tried something else: radio. After seventeen years, I’m glad to say I’ve gathered various Mitglieder (aka AMM All-Stars) and become a mite louder. Here is my most condensed and organised polemic yet, where I challenge you to tell the difference between: Blues, Freak Rock, Punk Rock, Free Improvisation, Politics, Entertainment and Poetry (with a little ugly something – probably called “Graham” – on the side …).
Evil Dick “The OTL Show Theme” 1:49
Evil Dick feat. Dave Jackson on tenor sax “Wolf Harbor” Mappa Zappa (Cordelia, 2018) 4:22
AMM All-Stars feat. Dave Black on bottleneck guitar “Glottal Bottleneck Folk Remedy” Combined and Uneven with Dipping Sauce 20-iii-2019 46:07>>52:08 6:01
The Blues Boys feat. Lonnie Johnson on violin “Memphis Stomp” 15-ii-1928 (Okeh 12″, 1928) 3:02
Mothers of Invention feat. Frank Zappa on sped-up guitar and Art Tripp on percussion “Nine Types of Industrial Pollution” Uncle Meat (Bizarre, 1969) 6:00
Derek Bailey and Min Xiao- Fen “Da Qing Ye (Woad)” 16-xii-1997 Viper (Avant/Disk Union, 1998) 4:38
Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa “Orange Claw Hammer” (KWST, 1975) 4:50
I Digress Indeed/Out To Lunch “Selection from Homo Fludens” (SoundCloud, 20-iii-2019) 18:26>>23:08 4:38
Splash’n’Klang is a musical practice developed by Out To Lunch in response to various problems facing modern music. Over the course of the twentieth century, recording wrecked the old composer-score-musician arrangement, enabling advanced music to dissolve the distinction between documentary sound and composed score (see Derek Bailey, Iancu Dumitrescu and Frank Zappa’s “Wolf Harbor”). However, although they play by ear and could invent every note, thus making each performance unique and extending musical variety and delight into infinity, most non-reading bands survive by reproducing known quantities. In order to encourage the musicians of AMM All-Stars to suspend musical time and pay attention to the sounds immediately in front of them, Out To Lunch records Splash’n’Klang in his bathtub: running taps, rattling the plug, pouring water from jugs, making bubble sounds, and striking floating bowls and glasses with plastic chopsticks. These rituals are then played during the weekly improvisation session by AMM All-Stars which constitutes Late Lunch With Out To Lunch, a radio show on Resonance FM (2-3pm Wednesdays). Splash’n’Klang was partly arrived at through email discussions with guitarist I Digress Indeed about listening to records whilst washing up, and noticing that emancipated music (Sun Ra, Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, Eugene Chadbourne, Music With My Insane Friend, AMM All-Stars) renders each kitchensink noise vibrant, delicious and beautiful (“the thud of a saucepan as it hits the zink” as Richard Evans put it). OTL wanted to find a way of injecting these beauties into his broadcasts. He also acknowledges that humans and animals delight in water sounds because they remind them of urination (see James Joyce’s Chamber Music), and also of time spent in the womb and ancestral memories of all life’s oceanic origins. On 12th February 2019, possibly due to the drama of freeing a pigeon brought in by his two cats (Brella and Sox), OTL recorded a record-length Splash’n’Klang, and realised his application to this instrument had reached some kind of peak. So the soundfile was offered to I Digress Indeed (guitarist of Music With My Insane Friend) and this duet (one of three) resulted: “I can now join the pantheon of my personal household gods, and die happy” quoth Lunch.
Out To Lunch – Splash’n’Klang, pigeon rescue I Digress Indeed – Guitar
The Dickster has done it again. Evil Dick, never one to shirk his responsibility to throw us all off the musical track, has created yet another exquisite red herring, Earthly Delights. Evil is a multi-instrumentalist of rare ability with a stunning imagination. A truly unique composer in a Varesian and Other Worldly tradition, whose music demands an attentive and serious, yet inquisitive and playful ear. A musician who never forgets to pose the question to the listener, in fact, to all of us, now living in an ever increasingly precarious world…
“Well, are you going to buy the fucking thing or what?”
This album was compiled between January and August 2018. It takes its name from the famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch; however, comparisons largely end there. The music has its own logic, taking the listener on a sonic journey through a mysterious and often unpredictable, phantasmagorical landscape. The full title of this album is Evil Tends to His Garden of Earthly Delights.
“It’s very direct, very melodic, and it sounds like a bunch of demos recorded by visitors from outer space who have just encountered jazz and are demonstrating what they’ve found to an interplanetary alien space station crew of investigative analysts.You see, what kills music is THEATRE, the sequencing of brute effect according to narrative … Wagner, Pink Floyd, Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, David Bowie. What I crave is collective union of attention to musical detail: to the intricacies and intimacies of players’ establishing harmony and rhythm; unstitching the inherited garment and playing with frayed edges and weird worlds of thread. Or, to change metaphors, what I hear in COFFEE AT MILANOS is the dissecting scalpel of player intelligence cutting through the skin surface of “music” to expose pumping arteries and zinging nerve cells and replicating blood corpuscles. Close focus on the stuff of music itself.”
In 1997, following a negative review of Tom Chant’s Touch (Matchless), three big cheeses in London Improv – Eddie Prevost, Evan Parker and Martin Davidson – decided that the Ben Watson by-line must be banished forever. This was Tom’s big break, and it upset their plans if anyone pointed out the record wasn’t much cop (since then, all three musicians have agreed in private that I was basically right). Derek Bailey was highly amused, and congratulated me on outraging no less than three eminences with a single short review. Shortly thereafter, Evan Parker was raging in a reader’s letter against another “erroneous” critic, and said something along the lines of “the problem is that, if – God forbid – Ben Watson should be run over by a bus, there’s going to be another idiot ready to replace him”.Derek pointed this out to me, raised an eyebrow and said “that’s a threat, you know, and not so veiled …”. Derek responded to this letter (and some other things) in “The Ballad of Big Bad Ben”. It’s from Chats (Incus), a fantastic CD-R with lots of Derek’s inimitable spoken-word.
Free improvisation and Chadbourne are most definitely a manifestation of Holloway’s other-doing. A crack in the fabric of market capitalism. Outside of the spectacle and beyond its tentacles. No commodities or profundity chasing here. This is primal use value all up in ya face. And he’s an old fart as well, who’s been doing it for years. Eyebrows and recalcitrant stiff middle fingers all over the place. A fuck you to the man. Who says you have to grow up! Revolutionary potential? Who knows, go ask Taylor Swift!
Below a review by the Psychedelic Bolsheviks of Eugene Chadbourne’s concert at Cafe Otto in London. The link for those interested
Seriously, how long does one have to put up with liberal Nobel Laureates and other half funking arsed liberal economic commentators rabbiting on with their holier than thou OVER FUNKING EDUCATED bullshit as if they REALLY funking care. Funking debt restructuring and giving countries a fresh start because that’s how capitalism can work?!? YEAH, AND THEN YOU CAN KEEP YOUR FUNKING HUGE SALARIES as you rock back and forth guiltlessly in your serious leather funking business shoes with your hands in the pockets of your seriously look-how-successful-I-am suit funking pants.
FUNK YOU AND FUNK OFF ! JUST CANCEL FUNKING CAPITALISM BECAUSE THERE’S NOT A FUNKING SKERRICK OF MORALITY IN IT. IT’S JUST ONE GREAT BIG FUNKING PHYSICAL AND MENTAL PRISON YOU FUNKING NOBLE LIBERAL LAUREATE MOTHERFUNKERS.