Avant / Experimental

Music for weirdos, and people who fancy themselves smart.

The Entourage Music And Theatre Ensemble

From the back cover: A brilliant first album by a totally original group performing their own compositions in an experimental – spiritualistic environment. A synergism of instrumental sound (including saxophone, keyboards, percussion, viola, recorder, guitar, drums, and thumb piano, etc.) The Entourage Music and Theatre Ensemble is a collective reflecting techniques found in Noh Theatre, […]

Bobby Naughton Units – Understanding

This release came out in 1972 on Otic records. It’s one of those records I always revisit and hear something new and fresh everytime. The album is split into half originals and half Carla Bley songs. Naughton gets down on the vibes, piano and clavinet, Mario Pavone is on bass and nice clarinet interplay by […]

Russ Vines and the Contemporary Music Ensemble – Gemini

I have no clue what Russ was aiming for when he put this out. A majority of this record is tepid jazz, the track “zippy’s night out” gets pretty funky but then goes downhill. Here’s a soundclip of one of the spacy electronic tracks on the record – “Gemini 1”

Music for Electronic & Older Instruments

Impressive “tape music” record on the Composers Recordings Inc. label with sounds dating from the early to mid 1960’s. The first side is credited to Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky, co-founders of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. The b-side features Mel Powell, former director of electronic music at Yale University. The record begins with the […]

Les Bardanes – Vers l’homme, Gospel Night N.4

Right people, like with my last post, if you want the sound clip you have to patiently plug into my webpage and hear mix 1 at http://dr.lloyd.free.fr/ I have this propensity I can’t shake for sonic and sensual overload and I totally recognise that one of my biggest faults is overuse of the tape echo function on […]

Gravity Adjusters Expansion Band – One

This 1973 LP on the Los Angeles Nocturne label has something a lot of recordings of group improvisations tend to lack – ambience and atmospherics. The liner notes sum up the group’s approach: “The GAEB had its beginnings in the late 60’s. It emerged as a music ensemble simultaneously with the experimental sculptural instrumental creations […]

Walt Rockman – Pollution

I now have a new pick for favorite library record cover ever. It’ll probably change in a few months but wow is this great. “Pollution” comes from the German SONOTON label and features some excellent electronic drone action. The record is mainly electronic, aside from two very kraut-rock / motorik percussion tracks, “Pollution Drums” and […]

Jo Kondo – Recordings

One thing is for sure: at no point during the making of this record was Jo Kondo told that he needed ‘more cowbell’. His 20 minute trance suite ‘Under The Umbrella’ is performed by an ensemble of 25 musicians, all but one of them armed with nothing but that most erotic of instruments – the […]

El Rodeo / USC 1970-71 Audio Yearbook

Here’s a cool record. Side one consists of an audio collage covering a year in the life at the University of Southern California. Some of it is predictable — marching bands, football games, stuff like that. But then you’ve got clashes between student protesters and administrators, a glee club type song (“we will have these […]

Jim Nollman: Playing Music With Animals

Put aside whatever bias you might have against inter-species communication for a few minutes and give Jim Nollman a try. Sure, I know your cat doesn’t listen when you scream, “Stop clawing the god damn furniture, you horrible fiend!!!” – but, have you ever tried jamming with the little fella on, say, a Viheula? Didn’t […]

Al Washi: Epitaph for an Ego

Some people might already be familiar with this from my previous discussions of it, but there are still heads to be turned and this album is rather ripe for Waxidermic attention. This record cloaks itself in a thick smoke of mystery: no record label or date and it is even kind of unclear who the […]

Carlos Farinas – Aguas Territoriales

The side long piece Aguas territoriales has a very cool concept that is executed perfectly. We start off with the sound of dripping water. Every minute or so the Cuban composer Carlos Farinas adds another electronic effect to it, progressively rendering it unrecognizable untill it sounds as the score for some scifi flick. Halfway into […]

Lorq Damon – Journey To The Land Of Forgotten Dreams

An obscure concept LP of analog synthesizer pieces, apparently recorded in 1972 and released in 1974 by the mysterious Lorq Damon of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to the information on the insert, ‘the collection is about the dream world and astral projection’ and the listener is encouraged to lie in a darkened room and listen to […]

Musiques De L’O.N.F. – Music of the N.F.B.

What makes this double-LP from 1977 special is it perhaps the earliest appearance of backing tracks to many of the avant-garde films in Canada. They were composed and sequenced (if you can call it that)using the earliest synthesizers and/or tape manipulation techniques. The compositions date from 1951 (!) – 1972, early in the game indeed. […]


This LP was produced for an ‘exhibition of sound sculpture, instrument building, and acoustically tuned spaces’ that took place at the Los Angeles Institute Of Contemporary Art July 14-August 31, 1979. It contains twenty six pieces of music and environmental sound from Yoshi Wada, Bill Fontana, Joan La Barbara, Terry Fox, Christina Kubisch, Tom Recchion […]

The Order Of Orpheus

A 1977 record channeling ‘A trip through the planes from the throne of god’, this is not your typical blissed-out private press new age trip. Instead it’s a far more interesting mix of acoustic 1970’s new age music with improvisational group playing that reminds me of AMM or Harry Partch at times, with the end […]

Romolo Grano – Musica Elettronica 1

“A new dimension in sound — electronically tested in sound labratory.” This sentence, which is seen on the front cover, the back cover, and the label of the record itself successfully emphasizes what this LP is all about. Tons of analog drones, hums, bloops, delays. You know, all that good, test-your-patience-type stuff you hear on […]

Ilhan Mimaroglu – Music For Jean Dubuffet’s Coucou Bazar (Finnadar 1973)

Dear Mr. Schnipper, Please consider this review for future re-publication in your zine (the pay here at Waxidermy is awful and I could use the extra $): Back when I was a kid in the UK, there was a commercial for the instant mashed potatoes brand “Smash”. It showed small kitchen appliance robot dudes who […]

New American Music Vol. 1

Here’s the first of four volumes in Folkways’ New American Music series. You know it’s new American music because the Eagle on the cover is playing a harp. Eagles mean America, harps mean music and new means new. But this record is actually 30 years old, so I guess in this case new means old. […]

Tod Dockstader: Quatermass

One of the four rare Dockstader lp’s on Owl from the 60’s. Haven’t heard the other 3, but this is supposedly the best. It is pretty darn great! Unlike many Avant Garde artists of his era, Dockstader was not really a composer – his background was in sound engineering – and his music very much […]

Jacques Lasry – Chronophagie (The Time Eaters)

Subtitled ‘The Hypnotic music of the sculptures that sound.’ and released on the touchstone ‘Music Of Our Time’ series on Columbia, this LP is interesting not so much for Jacques Lasry’s compositions, but for the fact that the music was composed for and played on the Baschet Brothers’ Structures Sonores. As the Baschet brother not […]

Freddie Hubbard/Ilhan Mimaroglu: Song of Songmy

Crazy record that probably scared Freddie Hubbard fans with it’s extreme Avant Garde-ness. Yet, does not seem to be super well known among Avant Garde enthusiasts – probably because it’s credited to Hubbard and was released on Atlantic. But, this is every bit as ruthlessly experimental as anything I’ve heard on any fringe Classical label. […]

Gerry Olds Trio – here goes

No date on this one, but my assumption is that Gerry released this in the early seventies. This is a double lp, most of this record is really nice standard jazz trio stuff. They do a really dark version of Gershwin’s “summertime” that’s just begging for Rza from the Wu Tang to work wonders with. […]

Various Artists – Electronic Music

Outstanding set of early electronics on the ever-popular Folkways label. It’s hard to imagine the nerdish looking dudes pictured in the included booklet would be the ones producing these totally bizarre sound structures. The first song, “Dripsody,” makes you aware of the kind of experimentation the folks at the University of Toronto’s Electronic Music Studio […]

Robert Rutman/U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble: Bitter Suites

This is a recording of a concert by Robert Rutman and his steel cello’s recorded sometime in the late 70’s at a New York Art Gallery. If you are unfamiliar with the Steel Cello Ensemble, it’s basically a few people playing large sheets of metal which produce totally amazing, spooky, droning outer-space sounds. Very much […]