Artist: Brion Gysin
Label: Sloow Tapes, Stekene, Belgium
Box set of two C-60 cassettes
Limited edition of 100
Released on Bart De Paepe’s Sloow Tapes label from Belgium and available from Sea Urchin: Brion Gysin – Back In No Time, a reissue of a box set which originally appeared in the Staaltape Documentatie Series in 1988. One cassette contains an interview of Gysin by Dutch artist and poet Harry Hoogstraten at Schiphol airport, 21 June 1981, and the other The Master Musicians of Joujouka, recorded live in France.
British/Canadian artist and writer Brion Gysin (1916-1986) moved to Paris in the 1930s where he briefly joined the Surrealist Movement until having the honour of being expelled by André Breton. After World War II he moved to Tangier where, in 1954, he opened ‘1001 Nights Restaurant’ with his friend Mohammed Hamri, to whom he had been introduced by Paul Bowles. Hamri’s uncle was the leader of the Master Musicians of Joujouka and through Hamri Gysin got acquainted with the music of this group. In his turn Gysin introduced Burroughs (and later Brian Jones) to Joujouka music. Like Paul Bowles and William Burroughs Gysin traced this Sufi trance music to the ancient Rites of Pan. Gysin and Hamri invited the musicians to play in their Tangier restaurant throughout the 1950s to a largely Western audience. After having lost the restaurant Gysin returned to Paris in 1958, where he took lodgings at the Beat Hotel with William Burroughs and helped develop the cut-up technique and the dream machine. Gysin stayed in Paris to work on his art and writings until his death in 1986.
Interview of Brion Gysin on various subjects and people: Harry Hoogstraten. Cover photo of Gysin preparing a hashish pipe at Ins & Outs Press, Amsterdam in the early 1980s: Eddie Woods. Inside photo taken in Amsterdam, 1979 by Harry Hoogstraten. Art by Brion Gysin. Last available copy.