Boomkat Product Review:
Head-melting archival discovery! Previously unreleased, this "lost" album of Derek Bailey sessions was recorded in 1982 in New York City with Charlie Morrow and a rotating cast of players including Glen Velez, Steve McCaffery, Carol E. Tunyman, Michael Snow and Patricia Burgess.
New York 1982 has been sitting in US sound artist and regular Derek Bailey collaborator Charlie Morrow's archive until it was rescued and refined by Recital to sculpt this tight six-track release. It documents the period of time when Bailey and Morrow put together a slew of live shows and studio sessions in and around New York City, with the first side concentrating on live performances and the second captured at The Record Plant, highlighting the crew's studio smarts. If you've come across Bailey before, you should know broadly what to expect, and his idiosyncratic free improv guitar style is laid out immediately on 'Sextet', met in its chaotic splatter by Morrow and McCaffery’s wordless vocal acrobatics. Michael Snow, Carol E. Tunyman and Patricia Burgess interact with the vibrating atmosphere by layering horn tones against the trio's skeletal quasi-structures.
'Duo' is shorter and more sparse, this time focusing more roundly on Bailey's crystalline, freeform patterning, accompanying it just with Glen Valez's spine-chilling frame drum percussion, that forms an odd symmetry; Valez's squeaks and pats appear to mimic Bailey's musical language impulsively, and the resulting fireworks are a joy to behold. The album is just as impressive when Bailey steps back for a moment: on 'Everyone', it's horns that play the central role, wavering consistently and in unison against the guitarist's barest metallic clangs. 'Trio' is the most open recording - one of the studio sessions that allows the room tone to form almost another instrument. It's here where Morrow's spittle-addled sound poetry is able to rise to the surface, bouncing acrobatically off Bailey's buzzing and chattering prangs.
The most generous recording is closing track 'Breath-Light Texture', a gentle plod of dissonant plucks and wobbly horns that, over almost 12-minutes, curves through reverberating dub atmospheres into an explosion of splattery free noise that will no doubt delight Bailey devotees.