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hfayekay on 04/30/2014 at 02:45PM
A pure example of the textural free-jazz inspired sound from the thick of the new wave scene of the 70s & early 80s, Idio-Savant trumpeter Paul Watson described their process being "…like a trance like state or automatic type of playing." (Milwaukee Journal, Dec.1988) Their emotionally driven, form-defying yet maturely crafted improvisations were further lauded by such institutions as the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Cadence Magazine, & Jazz Digest. A few musical configurations later, a version of Idio dubbed "Orthotonics" successfully experimented with steering the stochastic sound into a more melodic direction, complete with post-punky intellectually warped lyrics like "Too Hot to Trotsky."
The FMA is happy to annouce 3 albums from Idio-Savant: Shakers in a Tantrum Landscape ('79), The Alpha Audio Sessions ('79), & Trans-Idio ('81) & 3 more from Orthotonics: Accessible as Gravity ('83), Wake Up You Must Remember ('84), & Luminous Bipeds ('86) now available for your listening & downloading pleasure! PLUS! You would be remiss to forego the wealth of information & graphics in the bonus biographical PDFs provided for both bands bands here (Idio) & here (Ortho).
Stay tuned for more gems from the ARTIFACTS/yclept vault coming to the FMA in the near future!
blxl on 06/21/2013 at 04:15PM
The newly released Artifacts/yclept 2-disc compilation Necroscopix (1970-1981) is a simple documentary survey of a very particular time and place; a sliver of a local culture — made in imitation of, or perhaps as a salute to the work of musicologist, Dick Spottswood, one of our heroes. The best stories can’t be told in this amount of space, but here’s an outline.
“...in Richmond, or in any Southern city for that matter, you do see types now and then which depart from the norm. The South is full of eccentric characters; it still fosters individuality. And the most individualistic are of course from the land, from the out of the way places.”
— Henry Miller,
“The Air-Conditioned Nightmare” (1945)
The oddest of us were, to be sure, not from the Big City, but while many here came from places like Boones Mill, Roanoke, Martinsville, Clarksville and Culpeper in Virginia, and Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, nearly half came from the D.C. suburbs, all converging on the urban scene around the art school at Virginia Commonwealth University in the late 1960’s.
And, if the South is indeed full of “eccentric characters,” what is art school, if not a universally potent magnet for creative misfits? There isn’t a person on these two discs who ever intended to be what the Japanese call a “salary man,” and though most succeeded in that intention, some inevitably succumbed, while more than a few died resisting in their own way (see the list, please) — and others just disappeared.
Richmond is less than 100 miles from Our Nation’s Capital, which in pre-digital days was still worlds away from the major centers of the Counter Culture on the West Coast and in NYC, and that remove forced us to interpret and synthesize a take on the zeitgeist that was uniquely our own.