AMM Thread (renamed)

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Alastair
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AMM Thread (renamed)

Post by Alastair »

visa tapani wrote:Also, anyone care to recommend AMM liner notes in addition to AMMusic and The Crypt as I'm going to order a bunch of their records and this would probably influence my picks?
I'm a big fan of liner notes. I like having something to read when I'm listening, whether it's intense musicological analysis or Mike Nesmith's recipe for homebrew - a sideways look at where the musician is coming from is just as interesting as intellectual essays.

However, I think it's odd to make a decision over which albums of a particular artist to buy by which have the best (or most interesting) sleeve notes. Buy Newfoundland and The Inexhaustible Document. For the music.

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Post by fearandpanic »

It should be noted that the interesting parts in the notes to The Crypt, by Cardew, can be found among Cardew's own writnigs (collected in Cornelius Cardew - A Reader, published recently.) You (Visa T.) mentioned looking for other illuminating writing on Stockhausen and others; in which case you have another reason to get hold of the Cardew book: in it there are some excellent, imaginative early essays on Stockhausen's music. In particular I'd single out "Report on Stockhausen's 'Carr?'" and the more general "Notation--Interpretation" and "Unity of Musical Space."
Pip wrote:Buy Newfoundland and The Inexhaustible Document. For the music.
I agree with Pip. Buying music for or with the emphasis on the notes is obviously a really bad idea, even for a group like AMM that explictly brings its theoretical (musical and social) considerations to the forefront.

I second The Inexhaustible Document (for the music--the accompanying notes by Paige Mitchell are especially poor and unconvincing by AMM's standards).

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Post by visa tapani »

Pip wrote:I think it's odd to make a decision over which albums of a particular artist to buy by which have the best (or most interesting) sleeve notes.
Well, a lot of it is that I'm feeling less and less motivated to actually obtain records as a physical products - I'd be quite happy to have my music collection as either high quality mp3s or flacs. This leads me to favor cds where the packaging gives considerable extra value.

As for AMM, it seems they have so many stellar records out that deciding between them on purely musical standards gets pretty difficult. Just for the middle-period AMM, I've read praise for all of the following:

Generative Themes
Combine + Laminates + Treatise '84
The Inexhaustible Document
Newfoundland
Live in Allentown USA
Before Driving to the Chapel We Took Coffee...
Fine
Norwich
Laminal

If choosing between them by just musical quality nears arbitrary, I think it makes sense to allow the packaging to weight in in this case, no?

But thanks for the tips on Newfoundland and The Inexhaustible Document, I'll be sure to grab at least those two...

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Post by jon abbey »

visa tapani wrote:As for AMM, it seems they have so many stellar records out that deciding between them on purely musical standards gets pretty difficult. Just for the middle-period AMM, I've read praise for all of the following:

Generative Themes
Combine + Laminates + Treatise '84
The Inexhaustible Document
Newfoundland
Live in Allentown USA
Before Driving to the Chapel We Took Coffee...
Fine
Norwich
Laminal
I'd definitely drop Norwich from that list, and Laminal isn't totally consistent (the third disc is very weak for them, a set I also attended live). I'd go with Generative Themes, Allentown, and Fine personally.

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Post by Richard Pinnell »

Last year as a bit of fun I set a poll up at my blog asking people to vote for their favourite AMM albums. Not many votes (23) but the results were as follows:

Newfoundland-4
Before driving to the chapel...-4
"Other"-4
The Crypt-3
Laminal-2
AMMusic-2
Fine-2

I'm not sure what the "Other" votes were for.

Fine wins hands down for me.

Anyway back on topic, the liner notes to Laminal are a good, well most of them anyway. Tilbury's contribution there is a good read.

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Post by mudd »

isn't there an AMM thread we can bump?

m
edit: oops, apparently we left it on proboards.

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Post by jon abbey »

we can link to it at least:

http://ihatemusic.proboards24.com/index ... 1070034724" onclick= "window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post by user_4664 »

No love for AMM III-It Had Been An Ordinary Enough Day In Pueblo Colorado?
I tend to reach for this cd more often than the other 4 AMM cd's I own.Perhaps because some of the sound reminds me of free jazz.Note:- I have no Rowe solo cd's-I plan to get The Room-I've been told this is a good place to start.Any opinions/comments on The Room?

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Post by mudd »

so i was just rereading that thread, and found our discussion of the room to predate the album by some 3.5 years.

hrm.

also, i'm splintering off this thread.

m

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Post by jon abbey »

mudd wrote:so i was just rereading that thread, and found our discussion of the room to predate the album by some 3.5 years.
if you mean the nirav thing, that referred to 'a view from the window'. 'the room' didn't really exist as an idea until mid-2005ish, I believe. I talked to keith about his notes for that again this morning, he says he has a couple of pages done, so hopefully soon...

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Post by mudd »

yeah, but i was joking. obviously we weren't referring to the actual recording, but i wouldn't be surprised if some of the ideas that influenced the cover of 'a view from the window' contributed to the genesis of 'the room' as well.

m

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Post by jon abbey »

yeah, that's true, quite a bit of what keith does can be traced back pretty directly to cardew and his influence in keith's formative years.

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Post by Dohol »

walt wrote:No love for AMM III-It Had Been An Ordinary Enough Day In Pueblo Colorado?
I tend to reach for this cd more often than the other 4 AMM cd's I own.Perhaps because some of the sound reminds me of free jazz.Note:- I have no Rowe solo cd's-I plan to get The Room-I've been told this is a good place to start.Any opinions/comments on The Room?
The Room is magnificent.

AMM-III, well...It isn't really AMM is it? It sticks out like a sore thumb in their discography.


I really don't like it that much. Neither Rowe or Prevost are playing to their strengths. It is more of a "free jazz" thing but the only problem is others had done it better, earlier. .
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Post by user_4664 »

Maybe the reason I like AMM III and To Hear And Back Again is because it is on a tangent from the rest of AMM's work.
Perhaps if I had a more complete collection of AMM's cd' I'd feel differently about the two duo AMM recordings(I'm not including the Prevost/Tilbury duo records, I haven't heared them).

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Post by jon abbey »

walt wrote:Maybe the reason I like AMM III and To Hear And Back Again is because it is on a tangent from the rest of AMM's work.
Perhaps if I had a more complete collection of AMM's cd' I'd feel differently about the two duo AMM recordings(I'm not including the Prevost/Tilbury duo records, I haven't heared them).
I think it's more than a tangent, I don't think any of those four records are actually AMM. Keith says that one of the ground rules they agreed on in the early days was that AMM needed to have a minimum of three members to exist (interestingly, he believes that the ideal number is five, although that obviously hasn't been the case since the very early days), and I don't see why he wouldn't be telling the truth on this (I've never caught him in a lie or intentional misstatement about anything historical like that).

anyway, two other discs you might like if you like those two duo discs are Supersession (Rowe/Prevost with Evan Parker and Barry Guy, from 1984) or Rowe's duo with Evan Parker on Potlatch, Dark Rags. I'm not a big fan of either, but sounds like you might dig them.

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Post by user_4664 »

I have Supersession and I do dig it!.I dont have the other cd you mentioned.
I think I understand why some people(like you and Dohol) who are familiar with the complete AMM catalog(or most of them) would opine that the duo AMM's are not really AMM.I only have The Crypt, The Nameless Uncarved Block, Newfoundland and the two duo AMM's.All require deep listening by me but are well worth my effort.

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Post by Dan Warburton »

jon abbey wrote:Keith says that one of the ground rules they agreed on in the early days was that AMM needed to have a minimum of three members to exist
Didn't stop him teaming up as a duo with Cardew, or playing as a duo with Eddie (first time I saw them, at Mumford Theatre in Cambridge - 1982ish?- it was a Keith / Eddie duo. And it was wonderful).

Favourite AMM? Nah, I haven't spent the past three months trying in vain to avoid "Best Of" lists to be dragged into another one.

You need The Room though, Walt.
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Post by jon abbey »

Dan Warburton wrote:idn't stop him teaming up as a duo with Cardew, or playing as a duo with Eddie (first time I saw them, at Mumford Theatre in Cambridge - 1982ish?- it was a Keith / Eddie duo. And it was wonderful).
the Cardew duo was never billed as AMM, and I highly doubt that any duo with Eddie was, if Keith had anything to say about it, at least.

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Post by visa tapani »

From the thread Jon linked to this interesting bit caught my eye:
Al Jones wrote:I always try to steer people toward Stuart Broomer's written synopsis of most of their releases, a case of a fan speaking on the music from the outside rather than overloaded details (although those can be nice too) from within the circle:

http://www.matchlessrecordings.com/leaving_history.html" onclick= "window.open(this.href);return false;

Broomer really loves the music of AMM and it shows in his writing, so anyone genuinely interested in investigating their discography and its progress would do well to start here.
However, that URL doesn't seem to work for me. Anyone know if that writing is available somewhere else?

Anyway, I think I'll maybe start with

Generative Themes
The Inexhaustible Document
Newfoundland
Fine

and get the rest later. I guess it'd also make sense to investigate the early AMM a bit. What would be a good starting point there, AMMMusic, The Crypt or the first disc of Laminal?

It seems by the way that the liner notes of most of the AMM releases are available at the Matchless web page, which means that there's really no point in letting the liner notes' quality influence which AMM records I pick. At least the notes for AMMMusic and Laminal seem quite extensive...

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Post by hatta »

Here you go: Notes on AMM: Entering and Leaving History

My opinion on early AMM - get The Crypt. But that might be a pretty rough place to start. Laminal is actually not that bad of a way to go. It has a solid 60s AMM set and the first show with Tilbury as a regular member in 1982. That is one of my top three AMM recordings. The third disc is among the worst, but still the set is worth it for the first two discs. Personally I think Generative Themes is among the weaker of the trio AMM and would definitely recommend several over it. If I had to have a half dozen AMM discs this would be my selection:

The Crypt
Laminal
Combine+Laminates+Treatise '84
Inexhaustible Document
Newfoundland
Fine

This selection gives you two of the formative 60s concerts, the three best of the trio recordings (Great Hall, Newfoundland and Fine) and the best of the trio plus guest (Rohan de Saram on the Inexhaustible Document). Combine+Laminates+Treatise '84 Gives you a very nice Trio AMM and more interestingly the only recording of them playing Treatise. Cardew originally was interested in AMM as a vehicle for Treatise performance and while the quintet would certainly be different this trio performance of a few pages is a good taste. If you can expand to two more I'd reccomend:
AMMMusic and
Before Driving to the Chapel We Took Coffee with Rick and Jennifer Reed.

All of the Matchless liner notes can be read at the Matchless site so that really shouldn't be an issue. Get the AMM albums because it is stunning music and it sounds a lot better on disc!
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