Red Square; Rare and Lost 70s RecordingsMental Experience
MENT 003 CD
Ultra-rare recordings by '70s UK avant-rockers Red Square, the missing link between original free-noise practitioners like AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band, and Peter Brötzmann and post-no wavers à la The Blue Humans, Borbetomagus, Fushitsusha, and The Dead C.
Named after the early Soviet Constructivists, Red Square is a pioneering free-improvising, avant-rock band. They bridged the worlds of psychedelic rock, noise, and avant-jazz, and many of the techniques and approaches to music that they helped to pioneer have become common practice today. Predating Sonic Youth by seven years, Last Exit by a decade, and Mats Gustafsson's The Thing by 25, their railing aural assaults were once considered too extreme for commercial release.
Formed in Southend-On-Sea in 1974 by guitar player Ian Staples (fresh from gigging at the Middle Earth club with Ginger Johnson's African Drummers and sharing stages with Pink Floyd and Marc Bolan among others), bass clarinet/sax player Jon Seagroatt, and free-jazz drummer Roger Telford, their unusual sound was an amalgam of jazz, improv, and avant-rock, fueled by the loud electric guitar of Ian Staples, whose style has been described as a "revolutionary blend of Hendrix and Beefheart, with the sonic palettes of Derek Bailey and Stockhausen." Staples's atonal guitar riffs referenced metal without ever becoming metal.
Red Square shared stages with Henry Cow, Lol Coxhill, David Toop, and National Health, and they were also involved with Music For Socialism. But their extreme sound and attitude were too much for both audience and record companies. The band imploded in 1978 with only two ultra-rare private cassette releases as their only legacy. In 2008, they reformed again and they're still playing and recording as of 2016.
Rare and Lost 70s Recordings includes a complete never-before-heard heavy studio session from 1978 plus a thunderous live set opening for fellow "rock in opposition" mavens Henry Cow, recorded in perfect sound quality in 1976. Remastered by original member Jon Seagroatt (who is playing/touring with '70s pagan-folk gods Comus and Current 93 at the time of this release). Includes insert with liner notes and photos. Released in collaboration with Steve Krakow of Chicago's Galactic Zoo magazine and Galactic Archive imprint.