Gregory Jones, Roy Sablosky; No ImaginationCreel Pone
CP 069 CD
Upon first glance at this Creel Pone reproduction of an obscure 1980 private-press Synth / Art-noise LP - originally issued on “Vinyl Records” - two things caught my attention: the phrases “Electronic Instruments designed by: Serge Tcherepnin” & “Special thanks to California Institute of the Arts”, both in small text on the back of the jacket - as I understand it, Serge Tcherepnin himself was on faculty at CalArts from the early 70s until he left for San Francisco to start the serge company in 1975. I imagine that he donated one of his instruments to his Alma Mater, ultimately resulting in Roy Sablosky and Gregory Jones here - both students of Morton Subotnick - logging time on said beast, which they used to render this remarkably prescient set of pieces entirely for “Electronics” (with one notable exception.)
The album opens with the spacious / serene “No Moon No Mirror,” uncannily resembling something out of the post-desktop / Max-MSP mold, only done in the late 70s & in real time with the aforementioned modular mega-beast. From there we’re re-directed 180º to “Intro (Summer Names),” a 16-minute blast of acid / feedback guitar & cracked monotone monologue, barely audible above the din, replete with a bit of Alvin Lucier-lineage psycho-acoustic interference - the feedback tone appears to be “playing” another guitar lying in the space before it’s picked up and viciously strummed ad infinitum for thegreater part of the piece. It's a Post-Punk / Art-school recasting of Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” that needs to be experienced to be believed! On the flip, we’re treated to “Diverted to Frankfurt” - 9 relentless minutes of 12-fold overdubbed variable-width square wave LFO action - surprisingly engrossing - before the epic 16-minute “Forced” lays down some seriously crispy-fried comparator-skree that erupts into a frenzy of power-electronics ala Philip Best’s early “Consumer Electronics” material, albeit predating said by a few years.
This one’s definitely for the art-noise crowd; a great mix of Academic Electronic “Concept” and jagged Youth-Noise, completely killer. A record that seldom gets talked about in either circle, which this replication addresses.