Friday, May 30, 2008

Nihilist Spasm Band, NO RECORD

Allied Record Corporation, 1968; reissued by Cortical Foundation; availability uncertain

6 tracks, 49:58

Don't let the cheery cover fool you. Improv with attitude is what this group is all about. Formed in 1965, the Nihilist Spasm Band was an early example of noise music, as well as a fierce free improv troupe. Armed with an arsenal of mostly homemade instruments, they created some extremely aggressive music. Titles like "Destroy The Nations" give you an idea (there's also "Destroy The Nations Again"!). On these tracks, improvised raspy vocals add to the atmosphere, calling for the destruction of all nations. Whether it's serious or not is up to the listener. The other tracks are mostly instrumental, and compare favorably to the likes of AMM and Musica Elettronica Viva. However, NSB has far more energy than those groups, and creates a frantic atmosphere. The six tracks are quite lengthy and never stay in one place for long. This is a true classic from an original ensemble. Highly recommended!

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