Actor, filmmaker, publisher and poet Piero Heliczer (1937-1993) published his compilation ‘you coul hear the snow melting and falling into the deers mouth’ (printed ‘coul’ instead of ‘could’ on the cover of the book due to insufficient letters d in the typecase) through his own Dead Language Press in 1958 in Paris, where he had recently moved with his friend and fellow-poet Angus McLise. To be able to print his limited editions Heliczer would use whatever paper stock and letterpress typecase he could lay his hands on. In that sense alone Dead Language Press was a true underground press but, of course, in the first place through the publication of works by controversial artists and poets such as Jack Smith, Gregory Corso and Anselm Hollo. Before moving back to the US in 1962 Heliczer crossed The Channel to London, where he produced his first 8-mm film ‘The Autumn Feast’ together with Jeff Keen in 1961. The recording of Heliczer reading all the poems of ‘you coul hear the snow melting and falling into the deers mouth’ stems from these London days. It appears to be the only surviving recording of Heliczer reading poetry.
On the C-30 cassette that Bart De Paepe’s Sloow Tapes dedicated to this unique recording we hear Heliczer’s gentle and dreamy voice wander through his poems, now slowing down, then speeding up again, giving wings to the words and evoking fleeting visions in a seemingly detached manner: the angel smells of wood / don’t take any wooden strangers / the angel says / he smells of skirts / his waistcoat of otter fur / with heron beak buttons / it is chilly in the clear air / above the fog / the angel finally enters heaven
Only several copies of this beautiful cassette – which shows artwork by Heliczer on the sleeve – are available through Sea Urchin.
Two cassettes have been added to our choice of Pigface Records releases:
Lee Rockey – Sonic Explorer BRASS RING (Pigface 017)
Lee Rockey (1926-2002) was a swinging jazz drummer in the 1940s and 50s, who played with Herbie Mann and Neal Hefti among others. In the late 1960s – after he had moved from New York to Portland, Oregon – Rockey started playing a modified flat bridge violin, cello, oscillators, combined them with free drumming and used a Teac 2340 4-channel tape deck (as soon as those were available) to layer tracks in his own studio.
‘Brass Ring’ is one of the very rare finished and named compositions from that period. Smegma’s Ju Suk Reet Meate released this unique piece from the late 1970s on Pigface Records. All instruments are played by Lee Rockey on this intense, multi-layered composition of avant-garde electronics, free jazz, and psychedelia. Rockey takes you on a trip across constantly shifting planes while being bombarded by an array of electronic sounds. The ride ends with the contrasting ‘natural’ sounds of a spoken outro and a recording of backyard birds.
MSHR/The Tenses (Pigface 019)
This informal and improvised studio jam session of The Tenses (Ju Suk Reet Meate and Rock and Roll Jackie) and MSHR (Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper) was recorded in 2012 at Smegma’s studio in the Planet Purple Room, Portland. Ju Suk Reet Meate edited and mixed the recording and released it as Pigface 019 in 2013. MSHR’s sculptural use of electronic sounds and The Tenses’ deconstructionist and psychedelic approach of music blend perfectly into a strange, at times disconcerting but always otherworldly soundscape. Your machetes are no good in this colourful jungle. The only way out is to welcome the jaguar’s teeth into your skull.
This bilingual edition contains the transcript of an interview of Mike Kelley by Thomas Kellein, then director of Kunsthalle Basel, before an audience at Centre d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, 1992. The English conversation is printed in black, its German translation in red. Several landmark works and installations that Kelley put together in the late 1980s/early 1990s (e.g. Lumpenprole, Pay For Your Pleasure, From My Institution To Yours) are discussed and clarified in this meandering discussion, so are briefly Kelley’s performances: “Because my work started in conceptualism and was based on systems of logic, the best way of ending a work was to present it live, as theater”, explains Kelley, “The theater is the traditional way of presenting a false belief system live. At the end of a project, I would do a performance where I would perform the system of logic to the best of my abilities, to convince people that it was true. Then it was over, I could get rid of that system of beliefs and work on another one.”
Only one copy of this edition has been made available from the Sea Urchin archives.
Now available from the Sea Urchin Audio & Video catalogue: The Blorp Esette Gazette, Volume Two. On this compilation CD Ace Farren Ford and Ju Suk Reet Meate take you on an intense trip to the farthest corners of the musical landscape. The CD spans a period of almost 40 years (the oldest recording dates from 1976, the most recent from 2013) and unites all sorts of approaches to music into a wild, deconstructionist desert flower.
Textural Sounds is a label run from Portland, Oregon by Cody Brant. Among its releases on cassette and on SoundCloud are LAFMS related pieces and collaborations of John Wiese, Sissy Spacek, Smegma, and Cody’s own band Dead Channel.
Textural 002, now distributed by Sea Urchin, is a cassette capturing a radical performance of Joe & Joe (Joe Potts & Joseph Hammer) at The Smell, Los Angeles, 14 February, 2010, where they opened for Lasse Marhaug and John Wiese. “A dense fog of sound on sound on sound in the cavernous Smell” is what it says on the LAFMS website about this release. Yes. Be engulfed. Swallowed. Deeper. Magma.