Boomkat Product Review:
’35 S. Raymond 1976’ contains riveting, previously-unheard improv recordings made just before and after the historic first concert by Los Angeles Free Music Society, held on the 4th floor of their titular, run-down building in Pasadena, L.A.
Documenting an evening in late January, 1976, in the studio-turned performance and party space shared by Harold Schoreder and Tom Recchion, ’35 S. Raymond 1976’ was salvaged from two separate archival tapes, made before and after concerts by LAFMS bands, Le Forte Four, Doo-Dooettes, and Ace & Duce.
The recordings each consist of three “tracks”, if you want to call them so, of pre- and après-gig improvisations by the bands’ varying members in mutating configuration, feeding off a collective energy that would become an important locus of West Coast experimentation for decades to come.
On the first side we hear them earlier in the evening, twisting inspiration from Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa’s avant-rock, along with jazzy flights of fancy and a lysergic primitivism, into colours blatzes of splayed breaks, keening folk discord and quizzically quieter passages of woodwind that just reminded us of the recently uncovered Luc Ferrari improv side.
The 2nd side spies them later in the evening, perhaps a bit sozzled but more attuned to odder frequencies, as they rove from pranging organ and shards of guitar noise thru increasingly lysergic gestures to passages of swampy, head-melting oddness, culminating a soup of metallic clang.
Ultimately the results demonstrate an inherent connection with what Derek Bailey was doing with deconstructed blues, and what COUM Transmission were doing with psychedelic noise, some thousands of miles away in the UK at the same time, basically arriving at similarly bold new conclusions after the psychedelic scene had burned itself out in iffy riffs and pharmaceutical excess, and exploring a vitally transcendent, DIY alternative to scenes hemmed in by convention.