Monday, February 8, 2010

The Blank Generation: Blank Tapes NYC 1975-1985

This first-time ever compilation of producer Bob Blank's work from his legendary Blank Tapes studios showcase a wildly diverse sonic menagerie - you got everything from underground disco like "Over Like a Fat Rat" and the Arthur Russell-helmed "Wax the Van" to Sun Ra's cosmic free-jazz to gritty no-wave skronk from Lydia Lunch and James Blood Ulmer. A collab from two venerable institutions, Strut records and, it's a glorious insight in the fast, cheap and out-of-control realm of underground music in New York City.

for more visit Strut Records, where accounts by Blank of his time behind the board are in abundance. for example, here's Bob talking about recording the disco classic "Go Bang!" with Arthur. It's a fine example of Arthur's application of the Zen precept "First Thought Best Thought" to music composition - they rolled tape as soon as the musicians sat down, although they thought they were merely jamming it out and warming up.

"First Thought Best Thought" underscores a valuable lesson in creativity - that will is the opposite of grace. It's a theme most exemplarily explored by Kleist's brilliant short text, "On the Marionett Theater" which stages a number of scenes that circle around the problem of the first thought. Like, for example, a handsome young man who notices the grace of his accidental pose in the mirror, and then struggles in vain to repeat it. If only Bob had the tape running.

No comments: