2xLP with booklet / MP3 Download Edition of 700
OUT OF PRINT
Splendid, expanded reissue of this monster album, which most people know from its placement on the NWW List. Stapleton even went so far as to name a track (“Fashioned to a Device Behind a Tree”) after a mis-hearing of one of Flee Past’s’ many memorable lines.
The music has its roots in Hampshire College’s Electronic Music Studio in the early 1970s. While taking a class on Electronic Composition, Robert Carey was smitten by the potentialities lurking inside piles of reel-to-reel tape. Presented with a stack of such stuff, mostly recorded off of television, he began an epic stumble into the universe of musique concret. Carey refashioned banal spoken material into bizarre, hilarious and shockingly musical suites that you could listen to for sheer yucks or revelatory juxtapositions. Influenced by Gysin/Burroughs/Somerville’s cut-up techniques, as much as Zappa’s 1960s editing flair, Carey (rechristened Orchid Spangiafora by some wise-ass music professors) created new savage aural realities that you could almost dance to.
The original album was released by Twin/Tone Records in 1979, at the behest of the Suicide Commandos’ Chris Osgood (who’d been Carey’s roommate at Hamsphire). It didn’t make too much of a splash, but managed to sneak into a lot of important ears nonetheless. And it remains one of the few records that I can put on in the 21st Century and still have people ask, “What the hell is that?”
Now you can do the same.
– Byron Coley, 2013