Oren Ambarchi’s label Black Truffle reissues a genuine avant-landmark: the first album from AMM. AMMMUSIC landed in the 1960’s like a slab of alien matter, sounding almost entirely unlike anything else. Keith Rowe, Cornelius Cardew and the rest broke out of all the musical norms, and the world is still reeling to this day. Remastered and presented in a replica sleeve.
Vinyl LP £17.49 BF018LP
Remastered LP on Black Truffle.
Avant garde protean Oren Ambarchi slices through the dull swathe of experimental mediocrity to take us straight to the source of some of the most challenging music ever committed to tape with this first ever vinyl reissue of AMM’s 1966 debut album. I remember first listening to this startling record by the ‘Rolls Royce’ of free improv groups some years ago and being bowled over by the group’s ferocity and unflinching commitment to pushing and smearing sounds above and beyond all conventional notions of what is generally considered to be music.
Listening to the record again now, remastered in all its glory by Rashad Becker at D&M Berlin, it becomes clear that it is one of those rare landmark recordings that has lost none of its power to continually confound and thrill. And this despite the fact that AMM’s sound and approach has influenced so many strains across the spectrum of contemporary left-field music, from contemplative drone to feral noise and Zen-like minimalist improv to nihilistic skronk jazz chaos.
Through the course of the record’s two sprawling tracks, Keith Rowe, Cornelius Cardew, Lou Gare and Eddie Prevost seem to coalesce into a shrieking, buzzing, screeching, hissing, scrawling, scribbling mesh of intensely mercurial audio energy; side-stepping all semblance of rhythm, melody or harmony to instead freely explore vast wildernesses of the un-tempered sounds that lie beyond the pale of plain old music. The sound, with all its friction and depth of texture, manages to feel both primal and cerebral as well as ancient and modern; making it easy see why Sonic Boom described AMM’s sound as a kind of prehistoric psychedelia.
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