John Sinclair is known as the founder of the Detroit Artists Workshop and the White Panther Party, manager of The MC5, producer of the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festivals and of records by artists from Deacon John to Sun Ra, political prisoner and opponent of the marijuana laws since 1965, radio broadcaster at WDET and WWOZ and originator of the live coverage of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, pioneer of podcasting and proprietor of his own internet radio station Radio Free Amsterdam for the past ten years.
But first and always John Sinclair is a poet and journalist with half a century’s experience in poetry and music. His adaptations of the blues and jazz idioms to verse forms with musical accompaniment are groundbreaking, and he’s already produced more than 20 albums of these expert and scholarly verse pieces set to music. ‘It’s All Good’ collects 25 of Sinclair’s poems and 25 prose writings from his books of poetry plus excerpts from his underground classic Guitar Army and features on Jack Kerouac, Dr. John, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, Irma Thomas, and the Wild Indians of Mardi Gras.
The book ‘It’s All Good‘ is accompanied by a free MP3 album download of Sinclair’s poetry & music collaborations corresponding to the poems in the book and featuring accompaniment by Wayne Kramer, Jeff Grand, Mark Ritsema, Charles Moore, Lyman Woodard ,Tom Worrell, Afrissippi , Ed Moss & the Society Jazz Orchestra and others.
All copies signed and inscribed ‘With love’ by the author.
Slowscan vol. 33 is a re-issue on vinyl of a cassette that was released on Reflection Press in 1972. Reflection Press was run from Stuttgart from 1968 to 1988 by Fluxus artist Albrecht/d (1944-2013), whose press was an extension of his practice as an action, happening and mail artist. Albrecht/d staged his first Aktionen/Happenings in 1966 and founded Reflection Press in 1968. Between 1967 and 1972 he organised and took part in projects with leading Fluxus artists, such as Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik and Allan Kaprow. One of those improvisational projects was released on cassette on Reflection Press in 1972 under the title ‘Die Abartigen – Den Satz Von Herrn Neuendorf Wiederholen’. A ‘Zufallskomposition’ by Nam June Paik was also included on the edition, a standard Philips SQ-C60 cassette which had ‘AbarT von küNsTlern’ stamped on its label.
The German word ‘abart’ brings to mind the infamous Nazi label ‘entartete kunst’. The terms ‘Abart’ and ‘Abartigen’ had been used by German art dealer Hans Neuendorf in an article to discredit certain artists of the German avantgarde, Wolf Vostell in particular. Albrecht/d and friends took Neuendorf’s derogatory remarks, deconstructed them and threw them back into Neuendorf’s face as a Fluxus sound collage. Neuendorf’s remarks were reworked – usually by telephone – by Kaprow, Paik, Vostell, Hendricks, Toche, Sarée and albrecht/d and were released on cassette as Reflection Press # 25 in 1972. A signed copy of this release is in Jan van Toorn’s collection. Through Van Toorn’s own Slowscan label this rare anti-establishment document has now been made available on vinyl in a handsome and limited edition of 200 copies.
Following the example of William Burroughs, Jürgen Ploog used a portable tape recorder to record, edit and cut up material, which he collected during his transcontinental flights between 1971 and 1976. The material on the LP ‘Tapes von unterwegs 1971-1976‘ that the German labels Moloko + and 90% Wasser released in 2015 is a selection of Ploog’s hallucinatory tape cut-ups by Robert Schalinski. The LP has Ploog’s ‘Partitur des Unterwegs’ (2015) printed on the outer and inner sleeve to complete this cut-up adventure into the crevices and manholes of language.
The Sea Urchin chapbook ‘Up Flutters Rot’ brings together three of Georg Trakl’s finest later poems in new English translations. ’Sleep’ and ‘On the marsh’ were both published in 1914 and ‘Amen’ (one of Trakl’s ‘Rosary Songs’) one year earlier, in 1913.
The poems have been laser printed on 200 gr paper in the colours brown, red and blue and are combined with a b/w illustration by Ben Schot. The flyleaf of this handsome edition is Japanese hemp paper and the cover (with hand drawn title and illustration) is 300 gr Saunders Waterford watercolour paper. A brown yarn pamphlet stitch binds the papers. ‘Up Flutters Rot’ takes you to the heights and depths of Trakl’s brilliant, nervous and intoxicated mind.
Chopin in Majorca was recorded at The Velvet Tongue Studios in Johannesburg 1989. In those studios South African poet Sinclair Beiles is heard reading his one-man play, a poetic counterpart of George Sand’s ‘Un hiver à Majorque’, in which the author (whose real name was Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin) relates the disastrous winter that she and her lover Frédéric Chopin spent on the island in 1838-1839. In an effort to counterbalance George Sand’s self-centred account, Beiles’ tries to picture in his play what the winter on Majorca must have looked like from Chopin’s point of view. ‘Chopin in Majorca’ is one of Beiles’ beautiful and endearing failures. Don’t miss it. A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond, as Captain Beefheart would say.
The Sloow Tapes cassette comes with reproductions of artwork by Sinclair Beiles and of photos by his friend Gerard Bellaart of Cold Turkey Press. The cassette was released in an edition of only 100 copies.