Boomkat Product Review:
Avant-garde poetry from mid-‘70s Canada, full of extended vocal techniques. First ever vinyl reissue - original copies trade for high double figures if you can find one
“The Four Horsemen was a sound poetry group of Canadian poets composed of bpNichol, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, and Steve McCaffery. They started performing in 1970 and quickly moved from radical improvisation to the use of a notational system, with an effort to develop a scoring method adequate to the group's dynamic and visceral sound show. The four-piece soon became a living workshop with regular weekly rehearsals leading to the best refined group-conceived and group-written compositions.
The third volume in a series of sound poetry coordinated by Luca Garino, Nada Canadada, nine outbursts of controlled madness dedicated to the memory of Hugo Ball is indeed one of the highest examples of poetry as product of a community. "The number of words we still use in our poetry comes as somewhat of a surprise to us, especially in the light of this album. Strictly speaking we cannot call what we do sound poetry if by it is meant that poetry which has its basis in non-verbal, vocal, and sub-vocal elements of sound. Nor are we into the electronic ramifications of sound in any sense beyond doing a record. We are in fact reluctant to pin the aesthetic continuum on which we operate to the first wall available. Still, perhaps the best name for what we do is what it always has been: poetry". --Rafael Barreto-Rivera.”