Avant / Experimental

Music for weirdos, and people who fancy themselves smart.

Cable Car Soundscapes

This is the kind of record that brings joy to my life and reminds me of why I got into collecting oddball records in the first place. It’s a local bay area lp from the early 80’s of a guy who, just as the name implies, recorded the sounds of cable cars. Side A is […]

Sonde – En Concert

From the liner notes: “Live concert improvisations. Some of the pieces are played on new sound sources designed and constructed by members of the group. Others user traditional sources in a new context. Occasional use of electronic sound modification techniques” So basically, a buncha Canadians running around and making like Taj Mahal Travellers, AMM, et […]

Albin and Rebekah Zak – Sphinx

Here’s an obscure private press release from 1978 on Gabriel Records. This record consists of four long tracks with Albin on acoustic guitar and Rebekah on piano. The whole lp has a moody, introspective vibe to it. They even do a cover of “lonely woman” by Ornette Coleman. I think their quote from the liner […]

Cecil Leuter – Les Sons Electroniques

Consider the contents of this record the “left-overs” of the Pop Electronique session that Leuter is so famous for. There’s very little song structure to any of the tracks on here, it’s mainly just wild analog keys and effects throughout the entire thing. Audio coming soon.

Alvin Curran – Fiori Chiari

This 1979 record was the fourth release of six on the Italian Ananda label, co-founded in 1976 by Alvin Curran, Roberto Laneri and Giacinto Sclesi. The record contains two environmental sound pieces that reminded me of a more natural or free-improv take on the types of ideas and atmospheres also heard on Brian Eno’s ‘On […]

Karen Ervin: Percussionist

Pretty amazing lp on a tiny label called “Wim” outta Los Angeles. Robert Kraft conducts, but the album is credited to Ervin as she is the featured soloist on all tracks. The whole lp is quite good as an Avant Garde Percussion record, but the tracks that really set this apart are two spoken word […]

Jean Dubuffet – Musical Experiences

Released on Ilhan Mimaroglu’s pet record label Finnadar in 1973, this is renowned visual artist Jean Dubuffet’s chance to clank, saw and blow his way around a huge variety of acoustic instruments. He also uses tape manipulation extensively – well either that or he’s worked out how to play sax honks, prepared piano and assorted […]

Morgan Fisher – Miniatures

In 1980, Mott The Hoople Keyboardist and Londoner Morgan Fisher solicited musical contributions from 50 musicians that he admired…

Live At Pangaea One

Don’t know the group’s name on this one as it isn’t listed anywhere. Here’s the lineup though, John Gruntfest, Weldon McCarty, Richard Festinger and Joseph Sabella. This is a wayout avant jazz record, to give you an idea here’s some instuments played on this album: tin cans, log drum, oil drum, bell and gong tree, […]

Nino Nardini – Musique Pour Le Futur

Nino Nardini (great name isn’t it?) recorded “Musique Pour Le Futur” for the Crea Sound library imprint in 1970. This record is not at all like this composer’s better known funky exotica outings. Instead of sleazing it up, Nino is bleeping away in the Forbidden Planet / egghead labcoat electronics idiom here. When he gets […]

Gary Kail – Zurich 1916 (Creative Nihilism)

A very personal musique concrete tour-de-force subtitled “Creative Nihilism – Studies in musique concrete 1979-1983” (Iridescence 1984), Gary Kail’s magnum opus brings to mind the recordings of the LAFMS and other bedroom tape-splicers of the pre-digital era. The first record consists of Gary’s solo explorations, while the second one contains collaborations of his with other […]

Ennio Morricone – April Orchestra Vol. 1

If you’re reading this site you’ve probably at least heard of Ennio Morricone, without a doubt the most well-known Italian soundtrack composer. You may not be aware of the fact that he also did a few not-available-to-the-public library records during the height of his career (or maybe you are. sorry.) Poligoni sounds like Donald Duck […]

Craig Kupka – Modern Dance Vol.1

This lp was my introduction to Kupka, and it’s still my favorite of his records. First heard it on a mix Anthony Pearson sent me (god, I hate it when people name drop like that) and it really blew my mind. The following are Anthony’s notes on the track.. I met this guy recently and […]