Missed Encounters   Analysis Groove   Degeneration   Heliocentric Committee 
 PÜLSÅR SRH7Ø9Ø   The Delirious Rock   Rocktastic Revolution   Robert F. Williams 
 Lucifer Sam Division   Trade Union   Bloc Concret 
 Fat Funky Person   The Echoing Green   Hair Pie Resistance 
 Bloc Concret 
 (Marcel Duchamp, Bonzo Dog Band, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Pierre Schaeffer, Destroy All Monsters) 
Audio recorders using magnetic tape were developed for propaganda purposes by the Nazi regime in Germany. During and after World War II the German technology was seized, copied, and improved by the Allies, in particular in the US. It's ironical that these propaganda machines found their way into the artistic field, where they have always had a somewhat subversive, anti-propagandistic function. Inserting elements of 'the real' into art had already been a subversive strategy developed by the dadaists and futurists (with Marcel Duchamp's readymades as most famous examples), but with the arrival of the magnetic tape recorder a wide range of possibilities of recording, inserting and manipulating reality opened. The international conspiracy 'bloc concret' owes its existence and influence to these powers of the magnetic tape recorder.

In France Pierre Schaeffer had already developed his theory and practice of 'Musique concrète' before he started working with tape recorders in 1951. His first composition, Etude aux Chemins de Fer was broadcast in 1948 and was accomplished by means of turntables and lock-grooved records. In his use of naturally produced sounds and as founder of 'Musique concrète' Schaeffer was inspired by Russolo and the radical Futurist manifestoes. The piece included here is a revised version of Objets exposés from 1959.
The English Bonzo Dog Band was an artists' band in the late sixties-early seventies with a Dada stance. Frontmen Vivian Stanshall and Neil Innes were part of the Do Not Adjust Your Set team, which also included Michael Palin and Terry Jones, and which is generally considered to have paved the way for Monty Python's Flying Circus. For the track We Are Normal Vivian Stanshall recorded people and sounds in the street in 1968 wearing nothing but huge, filthy underwear and a papier-maché rabbit's head. Sound effects and editing did the rest on this psychedelically distorted vision of normality and reality.

To The Beatles' influential White Album from 1968 John Lennon added the experimental track Revolution 9, much to the dislike of Paul McCartney. Influenced by Fluxus artist Yoko Ono, Lennon mixed sounds of daily life, private recordings, studio sound effects, and music into a long sound collage which stands apart from The Beatles' other works. Many messages have been read in this track, not in the least by Charles Manson, who regarded The Beatles as angels who sent messages about the approaching Apocalypse through their White Album, and the track Revolution 9 as a reference to the ninth chapter of the biblical Book of Revelations. We all know how that ended.

In the first half of the seventies Destroy All Monsters were an experimental artists' band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, consisting of Cary Loren, Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw and Niagara. Destroy All Monsters have proved a pivotal collective and reunite every now and then for projects and recordings.The track Mom's and Dad's Pussy was not released until 1994 on the 3 CD box Destroy All Monsters, 1974-1976, and was included in the soundtrack of the film Gummo by Harmony Kormine in 1997. Mike Kelley mixed the recordings that Cary Loren made of his delinquent nephews, members of a dysfunctional family that had moved from South Carolina to Detroit in the early seventies.
Bloc Concret
(Marcel Duchamp, Bonzo Dog Band, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Pierre Schaeffer, Destroy All Monsters)
The soundtrack is a mix of Marcel Duchamp talking to George Heard Hamilton (1959), part of We Are Normal by the Bonzo Dog Band (1968), part of Revolution 9 by The Beatles (1968), part of Objets exposés by Pierre Schaeffer (1959, revised 1971), and Mom's & Dad's Pussy by Destroy All Monster (1970s).

  • Marcel Duchamp - The Creative Act, Sub Rosa, Aural Documents SR57
  • Bonzo Dog Band - The Doughnut in Granny's Greenhouse or The Bestiality of Bonzo Dog Band, EMI, CZ 196
  • The Beatles' White Album, Emi, CD-PCS 7067
  • Pierre Schaeffer - L'Oeuvre musicale, Musidisc 292572
  • Destroy All Monsters - Destroy All Monsters, 1974-1976. 3 CD box set, released by Ecstatic Peace/Father Yod; 1994
  • A website dedicated to the Bonzo Dog Band: http://www.iankitching.me.uk/music/bonzos/

    Vivian Stanshall website: http://www.gingergeezer.net/

    A site dedicated to Marcel Duchamp: http://www.understandingduchamp.com/

    A John Lennon tribute: http://www.legend-johnlennon.com/

    An interview with Pierre Schaeffer: http://www.cicv.fr/association/shaeffer_interview.html

    A Manifesto of Ignorance; Destroy All Monsters by Cary Loren: http://www.furious.com/perfect/dam.html
     Missed Encounters   Analysis Groove   Degeneration   Heliocentric Committee 
     PÜLSÅR SRH7Ø9Ø   The Delirious Rock   Rocktastic Revolution   Robert F. Williams 
     Lucifer Sam Division   Trade Union   Bloc Concret 
     Fat Funky Person   The Echoing Green   Hair Pie Resistance