Boomkat Product Review:
Fearless avant garde anti-art action by key Fluxus member Milan Knízak, setting his canonical pedagogical text ‘Aktual University’ (1967) to a shattered noise backdrop, and resetting it according his “broken” methodology with mind-bending results
A deep dive into the Czech avant garde, ‘Actual Univerzita’ renders the work of illustrious Fluxus member (Director Fluxus East) and noted pedagogue Milan Knízak through his own voice and the “fraction music” action of Prague-based ensemble Opening Performance Orchestra - highly regarded for their exploration of paths ploughed by the c.20th avant garde and Japanese noise music.
Make no mistake it’s not an easy listen, but it is a fucking thrilling one, let me tell ya. The first piece features Knízak’s titular text written in 1967 - ten short lectures limning the character of the uni in terms of On Conflict, On Dreams, On Revolutions, On Love, On Belief, On Art, etc - given context and placed into fierce application by Opening Performance Orchestra at Movement-Sound-Space festival in Opava, 2019, where they bed his plaintive recital in industrial clangour, and bookend it with an introduction of nerve-shredding smashed glass (or crockery) and howling outro of demonic atonality.
On the other hand, ‘Broken Suite’ is a “studio remix” of the preceding madness, drawing on his “broken” method to realise a sweltering, omnidirectional mass of fragments and quotations from Knízak’s compositions, conceived over the past 50 years. The result will make NWW and Merzbow fiends weep with pleasure as its monstrous flux comes to resemble an orchestra tuning up in the depths of Beelzebub’s workshop. It takes on a very uncanny nature in 2022 when considering that Knízak’s work was a direct response to, and extension of, his political stance against the communist regime.
Life-affirming gear. Gird thy loins with history.