Boomkat Product Review:
Super rare set of pioneering cut-up text/sound recordings from Burroughs from the piomneering Paradigm Discs, leasing his late ‘60s spoken word accompaniment to the book ‘Ali’s Smile' with a set of spoken word/interview edits on the flip.
‘Ali’s Smile’ was originally published in 1971 in edition of 99 copies alongside a hardback book of the text by Unicorn Bookshop in Brighton, to whom Burroughs bequeathed the recordings as a way to pay off a fine incurred from a guilty verdict in an obscenity trial. Legend has it that a large number of the vinyl copies were left on a radiator and thus made unplayable, with the remaining handfuls dispersed to libraries and private collections. Half a century later, the recording is now available in slightly altered form, featuring Burroughs regaling a wild tale involving nods to Scientology and genitals being burned off with a blowtorch, for example, while the B-side features 1963 recordings of the his answers to questions posed by a freelance journalist, as well as material he was then working on, and which just predated publication of the Nova Express trilogy - hailed one of the C.20th greatest sci-fi works.
The 2nd Burroughs release on Paradigm Discs after the 2016 publication of ‘Curse Go Back’, it’s one of the lesser messed up examples of his cut-up tekkers, but contains seeds of what would become definitive, boundary-pushing examples of the last century’s advances in art, literature, sound - deeply and irrevocably influencing everyone from Genesis P-Orridge to People Like Us and his admirers ranging from Bowie to Ballard and Ian Curtis.