Sunday, September 21, 2008


Partially to assuage the distaste of those regular readers towards the Curran and Cuypers pix, but mostly because I'm utterly enjoying wallowing in this. Been listening to The Inexahustible Document several times over the past few days. Always loved it, of course, but wallowing in the sucker is almost too pleasurable.

It appeared about three years after AMM's previous release, "Combine + Laminates" (Treatise '84 being appended for the CD reissue) and was the first recorded example of the trio playing with a guest, Rohan de Saram. Hard to say whether it was de Saram's presence (or simply the fact of four musicians) or a leap in the intervening years (or both), but at least as far as recorded material goes, this was the first time all the dross accumulated from the 70s diaspora (Amalgam and PLO in Rowe's case, Prevost/Gare, Supersession, the Japo release) has been entirely shed. I'd been interested in listening to C+L and Generative Themes how the vestiges of those approaches could still be picked up; not throughout, but often enough. As a complete document, this is the first time in some 15 or more years AMM attained the kind of "heights" they achieved in the late 60s (The Crypt), although oriented in another direction entirely, one much more attuned to contemporary classical (not just due to de Saram). His work here, relatively conservative though it is in terms of technique and an often near-Romantic approach, also seems to free Tilbury to investigate deeper, darker areas. As much as Prevost reins in his jazzier tendency--which he does magnificently here--Rowe's just astonishing in his reticence, really signalling toward later concerns. Great, great stuff.

As relaxing and, consequently, work-inducing as it is out here in Montauk, half of me is missing being in Japan for the Amplify fest which, per reports on IHM and a couple of mails from Keith, seems to have resulted in some rather good music thus far.

6 comments:

Jon said...

yeah, all of Keith's four sets were pretty remarkable. I'm currently thinking about releasing three of them as ErstLives (Unami duo, solo, Toshi duo), pending my actually hearing the recordings when I get home. the Sachiko duo was also fantastic, and the only reason I'm not doing that also is I'm hoping the recording session we're doing tomorrow will supersede it for their Erst release.

so at least you'll get to hear most of it, but it was a pretty special weekend, especially from a Keith-centric perspective. an incredibly alive room, a very attentive and knowledgable crowd, a lot of great musicians operating at the top of their game and outside of any of their normal comfort zones, an entirely successful festival from my perspective.

Richard Pinnell said...

" half of me is missing being in Japan for the Amplify fest.

Yeah , me too. This summer has been frustrating and disappointing all round from the concert-going perspective, I badly wanted to make the Dinamo fest as well. Such is life though, both of these trips just weren't possible this time. Good to hear we may get to listen to some of the sets from Tokyo anyway, and it looks like Autumn will be a better time for gigs here if I can get myself free often enough.

Brian, now I have to look at possibly the most phallic of album covers ever each time I visit your blog...

Brian Olewnick said...

:-) For a long time, I interpreted that cover as phallic as well before I finally understood the construction and orientation of the original photo (a still from a Malcolm Le Grice film, I assume)

Richard Pinnell said...

Well it is phallic! However I was never in doubt that the image has many layered meanings that go significantly beyond its resemblance to a penis. I don't believe that back then in '87 this went unnoticed though...!

As coincidence has it Keith will be playing music somehow alongside LeGrice's film work in a few weeks in Scotland.

Jon said...

oh, and also the Parisian filmmaker who's been making a film about Sachiko for a while lives here now, and filmed the Sachiko solo, the Keith solo, the Keith/Sachiko, and is planning on filming today's Keith/Sachiko recording session. not sure if or when those will ever emerge in any form, but they do exist FWIW.

Jon said...

FWIW, I've never once thought of that cover as phallic, but maybe you guys just think about penises more than I do. :)