Boomkat Product Review:
A historic collection of cut-up tape works by William S. Burroughs aided and abetted by Ian Sommerville and Brion Gysin. First compiled and released in 1986, but documenting recordings made and cut-up during the mid-'60s in hotel rooms of Paris, New York, London, Tangiers, it stands as testament to Burroughs pioneering work striving to "cut the pre-recorded time line of present time, and let the future leak through", by splicing and dicing recordings of monologues, radio waves, and Morroccan joujouka music until they're utterly deconstructed and take on a whole new meaning.
"Inspired by the original Industrial Records release of William S. Burroughs’s Nothing Here Now but the Recordings, Belgian record label Sub Rosa worked with Burroughs to release another album: Break Through In Grey Room. Originally compiled in 1986 by producer Bill Rich, the album features Burroughs's experimental recordings from 1961 to 1976, featuring field recordings by Burroughs of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, experimental collaborations with mathematician Ian Sommerville and painter/cut-up originator Brion Gysin.
Break Through In Grey Room documents William S. Burroughs during his time in Europe and England, working with Ian Sommerville on recording with the 'cut-up' technique. Sommerville's technical background enabled him to contribute to the early development of sound-and-light shows in London, leading to work with gear provided by Paul McCartney in an apartment owned by Ringo Starr. Experimental in nature, the record is as much an exhibition of studio and composition technique as it is a document of underground culture at that time.
For the 2023 reissue, Dais Records has collaborated with the Estate of William S. Burroughs on reissuing the album on vinyl and compact disc, fully remastered by mastering engineer Josh Bonati."