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Three Christs Of Ypsilanti

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble

Three Christs Of Ypsilanti

LP $13.00


SB 131 

As part of the 25th anniversary of the Butte County Free Music Society, Three Christs of Ypsilanti follows Induced Musical Spasticity 4xLP (BUFMS, 2009) and roughly coincides with The Bren't Lewiis Ensemble's At the North Pole, Easter Day, 1982 (upcoming on What The...?) and, if the master tapes rescue succeeds, the soundtrack to Esther's Brother Is Missing by Maria Estevez. Recording and performing primarily in the mid- to late 1980s, with sporadic efforts in the early 1990s, this barely organized enclave based in rural Northern California ingests and disgorges outsider free music a la Smegma and other bent LAFMS trippers, the UK's A Band, 5 Starcle Men, and the sort of visionaries currently promoted by labels such as Chocolate Monk, Destijl, and Ultra Eczema. Members of the Bren't Lewiis Ensemble later migrated to Vomit Launch, Glands of External Secretion, The Idiot, Needles, Serious Prblmz, and Bananafish magazine. 
Each side of Three Christs of Ypsilanti is dominated by tracks whose lengths meander into double digits. On Side A, "Take It Out and Kill It" is a murky glance at mortification via caninicide, with its ancillary fleas, cockroaches, and especially worms. This is the only large group recording on the album, and as such whirls around in conflicting directions in a manner that one backwater critic long ago described as "schizophrenic muzak." A completely different version of this track was previously released on the Maggie Is a Dot cassette in 1984. 
On Side B, "Dark Surprise," a 1986 recording from the crossroads of DIY autism and darkened psychedelia, is previously unreleased (the first playback of the master tape didn't happen until 2008). In contrast to the group's usual embrace of any and all kitchen sinks at hand, the recording was made solely with electric guitars, voice, and prerecorded audio frottage. 
Book-ending both sides are shorter tracks (average length: two minutes); these four excerpts from an after-hours, no-audience guerilla action were recorded in a multistory, split-level university student union, using hurled cafeteria cutlery, defective boomboxes and answering machines blaring prerecorded tape, the public piano, and a variety of unidentified flailing objects. All were previously released on the Mary Jane cassette in 1983. 
"[As] secretive as a posse've Masons bidding in a goat auction ... a weird, befuddlin storm comin' outta the night ... tryin' to charm you into the muddy arms of the undertow." 
--Roland Woodbe, Siltblog

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