Thursday, February 16, 2017

Borbetomagus / Shaking Ray Levis 10"

Dennis Palmer, the unpredictable synthesizer player of the free improvisation duo Shaking Ray Levis, passed away four years ago last night. In his honor, I played this 10" picture disc - a collaboration between the Shaking Rays (drummer Bob Stagner is the other half of that ensemble) and the noise improv trio Borbetomagus. The latter band consists of Don Dietrich and Jim Sauter on saxophones and Don Miller on guitar - although the sounds that they produce are so raw and distorted that it's difficult to tell which sounds are coming from which instrument. In addition to his musical contributions, Dennis, who was an accomplished visual artist, provided the artwork.

The Levis show their flexibility here - they perhaps lean more toward Borbetomagus' style than vice versa. In any case, these noise improvisations are as well-shaped as they are intense.

The picture disc was a limited edition of 1000 - mine in number 632. Once that edition was sold out,  Agaric Records (Borbetomagus' label) put out a black vinyl version with the artwork on the sleeve. I also have that version, which is pictured below.

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