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Fredrik Nilsen's photos in New York Times

on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 13:54

LAFMS co-founder Fredrik Nilsen was the principal photographer for sculptor Ken Price's solo exhibition opening Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  The New York Times has published a short overview of the exhibit along with a gallery displaying a selection of Fredrik's photos.

Tom Recchion - Proscenium - new reviews

on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 13:41

The Wire

(click to read the review in this image posted online)

Note: if someone has a proper scan or can transcribe the full review, that would be much appreciated.

"Tom Recchion has been making weird and wonderful sounds since the 1970s as one of the leading figures in the Los Angeles Free Music Society. In a constant rotation of projects and bands, he cranked out ear-damaging skree, zonked tape collages, anti-musical comedies, and all sorts of other illogical strategies for making fucked-up sound. Compared to pretty much everything he's done previously, Proscenium - his first record in nearly seven years - is downright sensible; and one that fits neatly alongside all of the other releases from Elevator Bath, a label which specializes in rarified dronemuzik and oblique ambience (e.g. Keith Berry, Matt Shoemaker, Rick Reed and even our own Jim Haynes). The album began as the musical accompaniment to Janie Geiser's play "Invisible Glass" itself an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, with Recchion attempting to craft a moody atmosphere that slowly creeps into the audience's unconsciousness. Strange melodies emerge through a shimmering hum at the onset of the record, sounding like an underwater version of Aphex Twins' Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Recchion smudges everything beyond recognition, although the thrumming of a piano does seem to peek from behind the veil of his aqueous mystery. Dense applications of reverb are common throughout, as is a strange echoing ripple that has a funhouse, helter-skelter vibe - probably the only commonality with anything from LAMFS! Whatever melodic phrases Recchion might have started out with have blurred into oceanic swells of nocturnal droning that by the end of side two morphs into an algae bloom of dread. The tracks on the seven inch are somewhat different from what's found on the lp, with a Dada-inspired splatter of haptic rhythms on one side; and a slow-crawling calliope slashed with sporadic gasps of noise on the other. While the seven inch follows Recchion anti-aesthetic through LAFMS, the ambient horror of the lp tracks are the true prize of the set. Think Basinski. Think Koner. Think Nurse With Wound. And, then you're getting close to where Recchion might be coming from."
"If attention-grabbing sounds are the quintessence of our living as sympathetic listeners, there are 67 minutes of legitimate bliss waiting for the 500 fortunate owners of this stunning limited edition, which contains four tracks on a LP, two on a 7-inch and a card to download a high-quality mp3 version of the album. The latter is what was used for the writeup, given the chance of listening without breaks and my ever-mounting hate for vinyl noise ruining the enthralment brought forth by superb electronica.
Proscenium takes its origin from a commission by filmmaker and puppeteer Janie Geiser: Recchion conceived these soundscapes for a play called Invisible Glass, defining them a “sound world for the viewer” centred around a set of shifting atmospheres.
“The Mesmerized Chair” and “Entrance Music No.2” comprise perhaps the work’s more introvert shades. Adjectives like “subaqueous” and “stifled” instantly spring to mind, the frequencies oscillating between “swelling” and “chubby”. Trying to understand the derivation of the acoustic materials becomes a case of pitiable anal-retentiveness, though one can get a vague impression of what will be revealed (so to speak) later on. Deliberate melodic movement and buried forms of life are detectable underneath the droning undercurrents and the malleable substances: those who utter “ambient” are going to be hit on the palms with a stick.
Then we have a sort of slow-as-molasses “orchestral” gradualness in the suggestively declining “Entrance Music No.1”, and an episode of disjointedly rambla-sampladelia in “Exit Music No.1”, whose vocal fragmentariness is enriched by those very typical crackles and pops I was willing to escape from at the beginning, and that here represent a fundamental ingredient instead. The additional shorter pieces “The Haunted Laboratory” and “Lean Your Eye Into The Picture” are not mere fillers. Both broaden and improve the sensation of misshapen otherworldliness and pregnant inscrutability transmitted by the entire program.
Tom Recchion’s universe is not made of easy smiles and low-budget Buddhas. But the strange creatures we seem to perceive as the real animators behind this accumulation of bubbling grief are so nice-looking that a friendship should not be difficult to start."
"Elevator Bath is one of those labels, like Helen Scarsdale for example, whose curatorial diligence I never fail to appreciate and to which I consistently find myself drawn. "Proscenium" marks Tom Recchion's first new solo output in six years (!) and is a subtle and immersive listening experience recommended for fans of Keith Berry, Christoph Heemann and Nurse with Wound. Recchion must be admired for his acute sense of pace and atmosphere. Indeed, the sonics contained on this album are every bit as refined as one would expect from a composer with such a distinguished and longstanding resume. Chiming, filtered tones and deep low end make up the majority of the palette here, coiling, ebbing and weaving in and out, augmented occasionally by lulling static and what sound like meticulously obfuscated field recordings. The closer, "Lean Your Eye Into the Picture," provides a stark contrast to the rest of the six pieces on the album, with stuttering, alien sounds forming a web of surreal sound collage. It's a beautiful and strange track and perhaps the album's strongest. Ultimately, "Proscenium" is indeed a focused and refined affair, and listeners fond of the aforementioned labels/artists would do well to give it a thorough listen."
"Today is my attempt to catch up on a few great releases that we’ve been sent and, for one reason or another, haven’t covered. Tom Recchion’s “Proscenium”, released by Elevator Bath, is a beautiful piece of ambient/drone that was originally created for Janie Geiser’s play, “Invisible Glass”. Recchion is a bona fide experimental music mainstay, co-creating the Los Angeles Free Music Society, among a myriad of other accolades.
"Sometime loop-maker & one of the founders of the freewheeling Los Angeles Free Music Society Recchion makes a drone that keeps fading away. Elusive rounded tones that wash creepily in & out of perceptibility."


Tiny Mix Tapes piece on Tom's new record

on Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:28

"...Recchion has always been in the real loop since the 70s..."  Read the rest of the article here.  Purchase the album here.

New items from Ace Farren Ford and Tom Recchion added to LAFMS store

on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 15:55

Four rare poetry chapbooks and a super limited art edition 7" are offered by Ace Farren Ford and Tom Recchion's amazing new LP, Proscenium--his first in over six years!-- are now available in the LAFMS store.

Rick Potts turntable installation July 27-29

on Wed, 07/18/2012 - 20:37

Rick Potts joins nine other artists in creating a world of sound in six tiny rooms…

“Open a door see what's inside. Discover experiments in sonic performances behind each door.” The installation will feature Rick’s prepared turntables, a sight to see (and hear)! Sponsored by NewTown.

The free exhibition runs three days only, July 27, 28 & 29. Check locations for each date below:

Friday, July 27, Noon to 7:00PM 
4414 E. York Blvd. (near Eagle Rock Blvd)
Albert Ortega
Joe Cantrell
Clay Chaplin
Kio Griffith & Michael Vlatkovich
Heather Lockie
Rick Potts

Saturday, July 28, 3:30PM to 9:00PM
4414 E. York Blvd. (near Eagle Rock Blvd)
Joe Cantrell
Clay Chaplin
Kio Griffith & Michael Vlatkovich
Albert Ortega
Rick Potts
Karen Frimkess Wolff

Sunday, July 29, 1:00PM to 8:00PM 615 S. Westlake Avenue (MacArthur Park Adjacent)
Abyss of Fathomless Light & Jonas Reinhart
Joe Cantrell
Clay Chaplin
Tom Peters
Rick Potts
Karen Frimkess Wolff

The Tenses will play Tusk Fest, Oct 2012

on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 16:10

The Tenses, Oblivia and Ju Suk Reet Meate, will play the UK's TUSK Festival Oct. 5-7 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.  They will be joined by FUSHITSUSHA, GATE, PELT, GRAHAM LAMBKIN & JASON LESCALLEET, HIEROGLYPHIC BEING, HILD SOFIE TAFJORD, PART WILD HORSES MANE ON BOTH SIDES, and MORE ARTISTS TBC.  For more information, refer to the festival website.


LAFMS participates in Osaka, Japan art show

on Tue, 06/26/2012 - 17:57


Important news from our friend Takuya Sakaguchi, who has organized the LAFMS participation in this exciting art show:

ART OSAKA 2012 runs from 6th to 8th of July.

FUKUGAN GALLERY will use two hotel rooms in ART OSAKA 2012.

One room is used for exhibition of LAFMS and another is for Ikuo Taketani (Vermilion Sands, ex Hanatarash/Boredoms).

The LAFMS exhibition includes physical works created by Rick Potts, Joe Potts, Fredrik Nilsen, Vetza, Ace Farren Ford, Oblivia and Ju Suk Reet Meate.

Film works created by Jonathon Rosen, John Duncan, Michael Intriere and Doug Henry are also exhibited.

And Steve Thomsen was invited to the exhibition and he supplied physical works (booklets, posters, sculpture, painting).

Another surprise is the musical presentation from Kazuya Ishigami where he has created "The Rodney Forest Shimaizumi" using meterials sent from Oblivia, Ju Suk and Tom Recchion.

Contents of exhibition are summarized as follows:

Rick Potts : Drawings

Joe Potts : Artist trading cards

Fredrik Nilsen : Historical photographs of LAFMS

Ace Farren Ford : Collages

Oblivia : Collages

Ju Suk Reet Meate : Drawings

Vetza : Collaborative drawing with her daughters Maya and Ama

Steve Thomsen : Paintings, Robot statues, Posters, Booklets

Jonathon Rosen : Films

Michael Intriere : Films

John Duncan : Films

Doug Henry : Films

Kazuya Ishigami : Musical performance entitled "The Rodney Forest Shimaizumi" using materials sent from Oblivia, Ju Suk Reet Meate and Tom Recchion.

Some of exhibited materials are for sale as related CDs, CD-Rs, cassettes and T-shirts.


FUKUGAN GALLERY is the gracious sponsor of the LAFMS and has supported the group since 2007, and recently oraganized the first Rick Potts solo Japanese exhibition last autumn.

LAFMS store summer holiday

on Tue, 06/26/2012 - 00:19

The LAFMS website store will be closed for vacation between June 26 and July 15.  If you want to inquire about items, place items on hold, or have other questions, please feel free to contact us at

Ace Farren Ford solo show opens July 7

on Wed, 06/20/2012 - 15:14

ACE FARREN FORD SHOW - "Random Selections - 30 Collages"

OPENING RECEPTION - Saturday July 7 - 3:00 PM with a short set by John Weise
On display through Tuesday, 31 July 2012 in the Mike Kelley Gallery at Beyond Baroque
Open Friday 11 am - 6 pm, Saturday & others by appointment 
ACE FARREN FORD has spent more than 40 of his 55 years being, what he Calls, an Artificial Artist. A founding member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society and original member of the noise group Smegma, he has appeared on countless lps and cds globally, many featuring his visual art as well. He has published several books of poems, and continues to draw, paint, and in the last decade, has developed a technique for collage, which is both very personal and totally random. A selection of these was recently shown at the Box in downtown's Art District for LAFMS: Beyond the Valley of the Lowest Form of Music. 
Beyond Baroque
681 Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291

Michael LeDonne-Bhennet passes

on Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:49

Michael LeDonne-Bhennet passed away.  Mike played in the BDR Ensemble with John Duncan and Tom Recchion, as well as Stillife with Dennis Duck, Michael Jon Fink, Tom Recchion and Chas Smith.

John Duncan: 
"Michael LeDonne-Bhennet, a.k.a. Mike Bennet, is gone. After a 20+ year hiatus, he got in contact again last year only to disappear again, as he tended to do. A cut-paste from Chas Smith: 'back in the late 80's, he just disappeared and ended up teaching in the public school system. The last time I had seen him was at a party... and he showed up covered with tattoos, a Mohawk and a pony tail braid that went down his back. He looked fucking scary. Then nothing for over 20 years. A couple years ago, there's knock on my front door and it's Bennett, he wants to go for lunch and we ended up laughing for about 3 hrs. He was looking for work and we kept in touch with e-mail, then 6 months ago he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With that cancer, you're usually gone in 3, he lasted 6 and was still upbeat last week.' "I learned so much from this man, hope he was aware at least a little of how much. Much of the first music I ever made was together with him and Tom Recchion. When he wasn't actually part of it, he encouraged it. Or didn't. Chas says his ashes are to be released at sea, without ceremony. Mike talked about this decades ago, pointing to the ring in his ear as the way to pay for the service." 

Tom Recchion:
"Mike was great indeed. A rapid intellect and seeker. We would talk about music and art for hours as you do when you're young and have that time. The BDR Ensemble (Bhennet/Duncan/Recchion) is for me some of the best sound work I was ever part of. The Station Event had magic moments musically and kinetically with the ether and electricity of the city. A brilliant idea of John's to have Mike and I cloistered in the KPFK studios unable to hear him where he was taking calls of people phoning in commenting or participating in what Mike and I were playing. John couldn't hear what we were playing ... the group was united and divided. The only person who heard the entire mix that went out to the air was the engineer and the people tuning in to the program. The callers ranged from people loving the alchemy of what was happening to people clearly disturbed by it all or poking fun. One such caller ran to a phone booth and asked if he could play along, him not being able to hear us. He contributed drones on his harmonica just as Mike and I were moving in that direction. Another caller expressed his displeasure of the event and John calmly asked him why he stayed on listening, the old man clearly flustered by the action accused us of being Hippie Communists trying to take over the God-damn world. This was eerie and one of the most satisfying music encounters of my life. Mike and I played together in Stillife, and several times after that, until he disappeared and it all became legend. He was a formidable presence and very gentle. I could go on and on. I'm grateful to him for being part of it all."