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Brain Sound

An Attempt To Record Coincidence

Nero's Neptune

Pictured in all its tantalizing, eye-popping glory in Hans Pokora's 1001 Record Collector Dreams, this hellishly rare Austrian avant-garde LP from 1972 is nothing short of astonishing. There are no instruments, but rather varying configurations of solo, duo and ensemble vocal improvisations, presumably informed by the aforementioned (and nearly impenetrable) code (or “charts”). Although this might be seen as part of an interesting continuum, this unique and prescient music will stun even the most astute followers of outsider art. Describe it, you say? Sweet Jesus! “Shape note singing for acidheads,” perhaps? From an avant-classical perspective, one might mention late ‘60s Penderecki as a possible reference point (along with Ligeti, or perhaps even Nono). In improvised music, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble’s larger workshop groups similarly feature masses of vocal sounds; comparisons with Alan Watts’ This Is It are as plausible as they are inevitable. Ultimately, though, nothing will quite prepare you for this LP. In fact, when an original copy landed at Nero’s Neptune headquarters, one notorious "outsider" label chief/collector extraordinaire's peni-meter became so perilously engorged that he nearly burst with envy, casting ridiculous offers of rare wax and unmentionable “favors” our way whilst begging to let him take over. In other words, we strongly recommend purchasing this limited reissue while you can and securing appropriate spiritual condiments for the trip. After all, you CAN be anyone this time around.

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