Since 1979 Pigface Records has had a dual mission: reflecting Smegma’s personal, L.A. centric freak aesthetic and revelling in aspects of the current and past Portland scene. After the initial burst of vinyl and cassettes (1979-86) there was a 25 year or so break. Pigface Records has been reinvented by founder Ju Suk Reet Meate as a cassette label to carry on this work into the future.
BOOK BEAT /
THE END IS HERE
Artist and musician Cary Loren is one of the founding members of the influential artists’ band Destroy All Monsters, and as such worked with artists and musicians like Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Niagara and Ron Asheton. Later projects include The Nightcrawlerz (with Barry Roth) and Monster Island. Cary runs The Bookbeat, an independent book store, in Oak Park, Michigan and publishes books and CDs that are firmly rooted in Detroit’s radical and psychedelic counterculture.
MIKE KELLEY's COMPOUND ANNEX
Artist, performer, musician, critic and provocateur Mike Kelley co-founded Destroy All Monsters while still an arts student in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After he moved to California he built a reputation as a performer, provocateur, and uncompromising critic. Kelley’s cutting and witty artistic output covers a broad field: sculpture, performance, drawings, writings, video, and audio-experiments, which he released on his label Compound Annex until his death in 2012.
Dissatisfied with the limited availability on vinyl or tape of good artists’ recordings, Jan van Toorn founded his own cassette label Slowscan in 1983 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. In the first 10 years of its existence Slowscan produced 10 important releases, the highlight of which was an 8-cassette Fluxus Anthology box set that met with international acclaim. After having been dormant for a number of years Slowscan made a restart as a vinyl label in 2000. Since then the label has released important and rare recordings of artists and electronic music, such as Liam O’Gallagher, Le Forte Four, Richard Maxfield and John Perreault.
Belgian artist Ludo Mich (1945) has walked and trespassed the line between life and art since the early 1960s. Ludo was trained as an artist in his hometown Antwerp, where he was part of the vibrant and international art scene of the 1960s and 1970s. Influenced by sources as varied as dadaism, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, Dutch Provos, Fluxus and Situationist International, Ludo developed into a anarchic and subversive performance artist and a gifted filmmaker. With a keen eye for new developments in the technical field, he also emerged a pioneering artist in modern media such as video, holography and electronic music.
Moloko+ is an independent label and press run by Ralf Friel from Schönebeck, Germany. Rooted in the East-German and Berlin experimental scenes, Moloko+ has published German radical poets and authors such as Jürgen Ploog, Gottfried Benn, Jörg Fauser Georg Heym and Wolf Pehlke, often combined with illustrations by like-minded visual artists and often designed by Robert Schalinski, one of the founders of Berlin’s experimental collective Column One. Column One is also represented on Moloko’s label, together with eternal rebel Rex Joswig’s band Herbst In Peking and many others. Moloko+ sharpens you up. Ultra.
NO BASEMENT IS DEEP ENOUGH
No Basement Is Deep Enough is a Serbo-Belgian cassette label run by Ignace de Bruyn and Milja Radovanovic. The label explores the fringes of music, art and poetry and focuses on obscure recordings of what they call ‘the semantic prisoners of the false prophets of the cultural hegemony’. No Basement Is Deep Enough packages their cassettes as wild, at times outrageous, art objects and releases them in limited hand made numbers.
Sloow Tapes is an independent cassette and vinyl label that has been run from Stekene, Belgium by Bart De Paepe since 2005. Over the years Sloow Tapes has released in small editions an impressive amount of recordings of psychedelic music and poetry readings of interest. Lately Sloow Tapes has started publishing poetry broadsides as well.
ACE FARREN FORD
Ace Farren Ford (Los Angeles, 1957) began writing poetry at the age of 10. He is considered to be a founding member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society and has recorded and released experimental and improvisational music since 1976, founding his Ace & Duce Record label in 1978. Ford has performed with various music ensembles, like The Child Molesters, Rancid Vat, the Mystery Band, Ace & Duce, EXP and Smegma (which he first joined in 1974). Ford lives in Los Angeles and works as a tattoo artist in Hollywood.
Nico Vascellari (1976) is a versatile artist from Italy: the media he uses vary from performance and sculpture to video, sound, and collage. His work is often connected to subcultural activism. In the past few year his installations and performances involved collaborations with musicians such as John Wiese, Z’EV, and Burial Hex. With Carlos Casas he runs the label VON Archives from Vittorio Veneto, Italy. Nico is a member of the bands WW, With Love, and Ninos Du Brasil.
JOHN SINCLAIR CDs
John Sinclair and his wife Leni founded the multimedia Detroit Artists’ Workshop in 1964. The anarchist and psychedelic collective radicalised after continuous police harrassment and merged into the White Panther Party after the Detroit riots of 1967. The White Panther Party grew into one of the most radical exponents of the counterculture. In 1969 Sinclair was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for having sold two joints to an undercover FBI agent, but was released two years later after the John Sinclair Freedom Rally (with Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, a/o).
Sun Ra was one of the most innovative Afro-American composers and thinkers of the twentieth century. In the course of his career as a jazz muscian and a mystic he developed his Astro-Black Mythology, a colourful artistic concept which combines Afrocentrism and Afrofuturism. Sun Ra thought of himself as an angel from Saturn whose spiritual music formed a “blueprint for a better world” and offered the listener a glimpse of infinity.