When AMM brought the subversive practice of freely improvised music to the public eye, it wasn’t exactly accompanied by a championing of accessibility. With their extensive backgrounds in jazz, arcane philosophies, and overall air of impenetrable mystique, they embodied the truly unlimited potential of improvisation on the end of the perceivers, but not so much the other wondrous aspect: the fact that this form of music all but eliminated the need for any formal training or experience whatsoever. This is not to say that the performers of this curious “outsider improv” lack musical talent, but instead that the only thing of importance is the textures, sounds, and the harmonies between them that are created. This mix collects my favorite instances of the amazing results that can come from these elusive, mysterious, singular collectives and artists.
It also acts as an homage to Davey Williams, who died earlier this month. Williams performs on the first track as part of Trans-Idio.
00:00. Trans-Idio – “Cretaceous Insect Festival” from Alchemical Rowdies (Trans Museq, 1981)
05:31. The No-Neck Blues Band – “Seven Spaces of Empty Place” from Letter from the Earth (SER, 1996)
10:40. Horaflora – excerpt of “Live on KALX Berkeley” from split LP with Secret Boyfriend (Hot Releases, 2010)
15:21. Fossils – “Four” from A Common Confusion (Bug Incision, 2009)
20:02. Dog Lady – Part 1 of A Desperate Bath (Boudoir, 2018)
22:27. The Sperm – “Jazz Jazz” from Shh! Heinäsirkat (O, 1970)
31:08. Morphogenesis – “Improvisation 1.9.88” from Prochronisms (Pogus Productions, 1989)
36:26. Parlours – “Estragon Rows the Viscous Night” from Who Will Listen to Aches That Everyone Has (Penultimate Press, 2018)