Entries tagged with “Edwin Prévost”.


The Nameless Uncarved Block

March 2010 I acquired a bootleg of an AMM performance from March 31st, 1990, from the Taktlos Festival in Zurich Switzerland.   AMM at this show was Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare and John Tilbury which of course is the same lineup on the Matchless release The Nameless Uncarved Block.  Looking at the linked page for this album we see that it was “Recorded at concerts given in Zurich and Basel organised by the Taklos[sic] Festival, Switzerland, April 1990.” A cursory listen to the two recordings reveal that the Matchless release contains the entirety of this bootleg (the Zurich show) plus additional material presumably from the Basel show. The purpose of this series is to examine the unreleased AMM material and while this exists as a bootleg it is beyond the pervue of this project. It is worth considering boots of released material where there are significant variance in sound or editing or those with additional material. For instance the final AMM show (May 1st, 2004) which I had a bootleg of prior to its official release is about five minutes longer then the official release and it is worth considering the complete performance.  So there isn’t too much to say about this one, beyond go pick up the album! While I’m not really a fan of Gare’s work on this one, it does have my favorite title of any AMM release. Anyway a brief analysis of the recording quality and comparing the two releases follows.

A recording of the performance seemingly offers the possibility of “documentary” recovery, allowing a consciously analytical response to the sounds and the developing structure. Even as it refigures the past, however, the recording indicates its remoteness. -Ed Baxter(2)

The bootleg begins with odd stuttered chords from the piano, over which Gare, in quite a tonal mode, layers lower register lines, which become increasingly melodic.   Tilbury’s piano then shifts to a jazzier mode and as Prévost begins to tap out a fragmented tattoo on the toms it almost sounds like a jazzy ballad. Only after some time does Rowe come in offering a counterpoint, that shears away from what was previously quite uninteresting. Gare mostly sticks in this more tonal vein, though more fragmented at times as the rest of AMM explore their own language. It weaves between these extremes, neither really giving ground. And yet its not quite as interesting as that contrast makes it sound, it is not as if Rowe tuned in a free jazz sax solo on the radio and let it run in opposition. Gare is too reactive to the group in that sort of call and response style of jazz and not the laminal nature of AMMMusicThe Nameless Uncarved Block on the other hand begins with a skittery laminal sound of tinkled ivories,  bowed metal and real subtle un-sax like squeaks from Gare. The first track, Sedimentary, is not contained within this bootleg and most likely is from the Basel shows. The second track, Igneous, seems to begin at around 6’15” minutes into the bootleg, cutting away that ballad-like section. The mix is quite different as well, the drums a lot more buried in the official release and this low, almost bass-like, playing from Rowe a little more present. In fact the mix and the audio quality is so different that it is worth hearing this bootleg as a demonstration of how different this can be. A good example is around 8’30” in the boot 3’15” in Igneous there is a louder more “freak-out” type section that clearly from the boot is a lot more intense than in the recording, whether that was done in post or just a different microphone placement or what have you is hard to say.  Igneous runs for 37 minutes  and then there is a final track, Metamorphic, which is 7’21” long. This is track is contained in the final track on the Zurich bootleg from approximately 3′ in until the end. Interestingly on the boot there seems to be about 15″ cut from the end but then there is applause. All told the bootleg has maybe 8-9 minutes that aren’t part of The Nameless Uncarved Block.  The differences in the recording are the most interesting to me, it sounds as if the boot is an audience recording, though a very nice one, with audience conversation clearly audible during several quiet sections (and possibly why that little bit was edited out at the end). But clearly the person recording this was closer to Gare as he is a lot more up front in the mix and interestingly this recording seems to capture a slight different aspect of Rowe’s playing — less of the subtitles but more of the rumble if that makes any sense.

This recording is interesting in that it makes explicit how different a recording can be based on how it is done, where it is done, not to mention editing and any other post processing work. Even at a live show ones position in the audience makes a huge difference. Of course this aspect is only of limited interest and won’t bring me back to it after this initial period of listening. Personally though if I was interested in hearing this concert I’d stick to the official release, it has better balance between the members. This being the complete performance certainly gives it a documentary interest,  but personally I’m not much of a fan of Gare’s more tonal playing with AMM and The Nameless Uncarved Block never gets much play to begin with.

References
1) The Nameless Uncarved Block, Matchless Recordings, 1990
2) Liner notes from The Nameless Uncarved Block, Ed Baxter,  1990

There has been some question as to the AMM lineup at various points in their history.  It is a complicated issue considering that the group has been around for nearly fifty years now and has constantly changed its membership over the years.  Additionally there have been plenty of guests, members at large and collaborative performances to further complicate the issue. Over the course of my reviews of the various bootlegs floating around I have made various assumptions w/r/t to the line up on a particular recording, some of which have conflicted with the information circulating with the sources.  In general the information that comes with the sources is highly suspect – they simply use information that is highly generalized or from sources that are not particularly accurate (the AMM page on Wikipedia is fairly useless for instance).  My process is to always start with principle sources, amend it with secondary sources and then to finally rely on the evidence of my ears. Based on this process I have complied the following timeline of AMM’s membership, all of which is verified via the sources cited.

AMM Timeline

Proto-AMM

Early 1965
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare(1)

AMM

Mid 1965
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Lawrence Sheaff (1, 5)

1966 to mid-1967
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Lawrence Sheaff, Cornelius Cardew (1, 2)

Cardew officially joins in January(2; p. 254)

Mid-1967 to April 1968
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Cornelius Cardew (1, 2, 8)

Lawrence Sheaff leaves group a few months after recording AMMMusic (8, 5, 1; p185) probably April 20th 1967

April 1968 to 1969
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Cornelius Cardew, Christian Wolff, Christopher Hobbs (1, 2, 5)

Christopher Hobbs joins April 1968 (2; p. 304)
Christian Wollf’s Sabbatical Year(1; p.185, 2; p.304)
John Tilbury filling in for Cardew at times
(1; p.185)

1969 to May 1971
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Cornelius Cardew, Christopher Hobbs (1, 2, 5)

Hobbs leaves the group in May 1971(2, p.650)

May 1971 to March 1972
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Cornelius Cardew (1, 2; p.650)

March 26th 1972 – final AMM show(2; p. 651)

AMM: double duos

March 1972 to January 1973

The occasional double AMM:  Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare and Cornelius Cardew, Keith Rowe(1, 2; p. 651)

AMM II

mid-1972 to 1975
Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare (1, 2, 3)

AMM

Summer 1976
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, Lou Gare, Cornelius Cardew(1; p.186, 2l p.816)

Unrecorded, no performances, practices only, which apparently didn’t work out.

AMM III

1977 to 1979
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost (1, 2, 3)

(1979/80:  Supersession: Evan Parker/Keith Rowe/Barry Guy/Edwin Prévost)

AMM

late 1980 to 1986
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, John Tilbury  (1, 3)

1986 to 1994
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, John Tilbury, Rohan de Saram (1, 3)

1989(?) to 1992
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, John Tilbury, Rohan de Saram, Lou Gare(4)

1994 to mid-2004
Keith Rowe, Edwin Prévost, John Tilbury

May 1st 2004:  Final AMM show

AMM IV

2005 to present
Edwin Prévost, John Tilbury

Explanations

Beginnings
The sixties are of course the most contentious, being a long time ago and featuring the largest amount of changes. Cardew joining, Sheaff leaving in 1967, Hobbs and Wolff joining and then the fracture in the 70s. Tilbury’s Cardew bio goes a long way to providing specific dates for some events though others remain somewhat vague (no specific date for Sheaff leaving the group for instance just “April 1967, though his last concert with the group is mentioned, as being at the Commonwealth Institute which the Factsheet(5) lists only one in April on the 20th.

1968 to 1970
The information that I begin with for AMM from 1968 to their breakup in 1972 is primarily sourced from Prévost’s article AMM 1965/1994 — a brief and mostly chronological historical summary published in No Sound is Innocent(4) :

In 1968 American composer Christian Wolff joined the ensemble for the duration of his sabbatical year in Britain. Also during this time Christopher Hobbs, a percussionist and composition student of Cardew’s, at the Royal Academy of Music, regularly performed with AMM. John Tilbury occasionally participated when Cardew was not present.

From the early 1970s until the fracture of AMM in 1972 the ensemble remained the quartet: Cardew, Gare, Prévost and Rowe.” (4, p.185)

1969 is a question: was Christian Wolff’s “sabbatical year” – was it a school year, so Autumn 1968 to Summer 1969? Or was it literally 1968?  Additionally by saying that Hobbs played “during this time” does Prévost mean exclusively during Wolff’s time? Considering that Hobbs is part of the group for The Crypt sessions (12th June, 1968) but not Wolff I’d say this is the case.  This is further backed up by the fact that Hobbs was part of the group ion December 1969 when they played in Denmark as released as part of the Laminal box set. Thus I think that that sentence is too compress, it seems that Hobbs was a part of AMM from 1968/1969 presumably starting around the time that Wolff did. Alas there are no AMM recordings floating around with Christian Wolff , leaving this as one of the most egregious missing eras in the historical record. In the various bootlegs floating around It seems to be generally assumed that Hobbs is still part of group in 1970 and there has been some question as to why I don’t always follow this assumption. Again it is the above quote that by “early 1970 the ensemble remained the quartet”.  Clearly Hobbs left at this point but what exactly qualifies as the “early 70s”? Of the two bootlegs that I have in question from this period (Jan. and Feb. 1970) it sounds like there are two percussionists in the January recording and only one on the February recording. Thus I make the cutoff here.

1970s
In the 70s the originally group came to an end but several interesting events occurred. First off due to prior commitments the group had a tour and a festival in the Netherlands. With irreconcilable differences between the Rowe/Cardew and Gare/Prévost camps they played as the double duos. Gare/Prévost presumably playing as they would in AMM II but the Cardew/Rowe duo is completely unheard at this point. The record indicates that they were more in the traditionally abstract AMM realm (as opposed to Gare/Prévost’s more ‘free jazz’ sound) and would often play over tapes of the Peking Opera and other such revolutionary sound musics). AMM II would be the other major event of the mid 70s, this was the continuing duo of Gare and Prévost, who constantly got billed as AMM so they rolled with it. At the end of the 70s when the duo of Rowe and Prévost formed they used AMM III a the moniker indicated that the Gare/Prévost duo was AMM II, which I’ve used throughout.

The most strange and interesting things though occurred in 1976 when Rowe made an attempt to get the quartet back together again. There was a concert on April 1st of that year that Rowe refers to as a “hidden” AMM concert that included himself, Cardew and Prévost plus flautist John Wesley-Barker and double-bassist Marcio Mattos(2; p. 816). This event has been heretofore unknown only revealed in Tilbury’s massive Cardew biography.  The other event, more well known, was a series of practices in June of 1976 of the quarter of Gare, Cardew, Prévost and Rowe(2; p.816).  These apparently didn’t work out and Tilbury cites Gare as feeling that Cardew didn’t have the level of commitment necessary and abandoned the attempt.

1980s
This is basically the question of Rohan de Saram. He was definitely considered part of the group, but he clearly was the one with the most demanding schedule (being a member of the Arditti String Quartet at this time) and thus there are cases of the trio AMM as well as a quartet with Lou Gare.  There also are various lineups with the clarinettist Ian Mitchell (quartet and quintet with de Saram) but I tend to think of those as more guest spots as I would the occasional shows with Evan Parker.

1989 to 1992
The early 90s quintet AMM was something I only stumbled upon during the course of this review process. I have a bootleg from 1987 from this quintet and in the course of my research I found this line in the updated CD liner notes accompanying the CD release of The Crypt:

“And the band goes on: for to date we have still not recorded the current quintet line-up of de Saram, Gare, Prévost, Rowe and Tilbury.” – Edwin Prévost, Februrary 1992(5)

This version never would be recorded and it seemed that Gare left again soon after. De Saram would soon follow though there would be the occasional gig through at least 1994.

AMM IV
After Rowe left AMM in 2005, Tilbury and Prévost made the controversial decision to continue on as AMM as a duo. I refer to this as AMM IV as per Rowe’s definition that AMM should be at least trio with himself and Prévost at the core.  It is interesting to note that AMM IV now often plays with other musicians but they are always listed as “AMM+” indicating that these are all guest spots. These guests have included Sachiko M, Christian Wolff and John Butcher among others (see the comments for more info).

References

1) Edwin Prévost, No Sound is Innocent, Copula, 1995
2) John Tilbury, Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished, Copula, 2008
3) Notes on AMM: Entering and Leaving History Stuart Broomer, CODA Magazine no. 290. 2000
4) Edwin Prévost, The Crypt Liner notes, 1992 (Matchless)
5) AMM FactsheetThe Crypt Liner Notes (not online), Matchless Recordings 1992
6) The AMM page at the European Free Improvisation Home
7) Meta Machine Music, Rob Young, The Wire Issue #132 (February 1995)
8) Edwin Prévost, AMMMusic Liner Notes (originally published in RER Quarterly vol.2 no.2, Nov. 1988)

“Sometimes the waiting before you enter, or contribute a sound, is because you’re seriously having to think about how and whether and why, what you should contribute at any given moment. You’re listening all the time to everything, and it’s a question of how can I enhance or contradict this, or change this, all those kinds of questions, which with us have to be instantly resolved or partially resolved – often they’re not. On a bad night there might be an accumulation of problems which might en up unresolved at the end.”
– John Tilbury(1)

When last we checked in with AMM bootlegs they were reconvening as a musical unit and seemingly working out just what that would be. The next bootleg that I have been able to find was from seven years on and thus a lot of development was missed.  In 1980 John Tilbury was added to the group as a member primarily playing piano.  Then in 1986 Rohan de Saram, a classical ‘cello player, was added to the group. Throughout the late ’80s Lou Gare flirted with the group and apparently rejoined the group to form a quintet again: “…for to date we have still not recorded the current quintet line-up of de Saram, Gare, Prévost, Rowe and Tilbury”(2).  They never would record that lineup though there are one disc each featuring de Saram and Gare along with the core trio. However this bootleg appears to be that quintet and thus serves as a document of that short lived lineup.

AMM – London 1 March 1987

Begins with cello and horn honking from Rohan de Saram and (most likely) Lou Gare. Individual piano notes are struck and allowed to dye out. Into this sparse territory comes a grinding roar that I can only assume is from Rowe’s electronics, bowed guitar perhaps distorted beyond recognition. Some heavy percussion begins. Really noisy for this period of AMM. This backs down a bit in volume, a few sax runs come in and some drum kit work. This kind of turns into a Free Jazz freakout after a bit, even relentless noise from Rowe can’t obscure wailing tenor and a serious drum explosion. Tilbury is either buried in the mix or laying out. I’ve never been much of a fan of Gare’s playing with AMM after the ’60s group and this is pretty clear example of why. He isn’t playing  AMMMusic he’s playing free improv. The piano becomes more obvious with pounded chords and glissandos, as does a skittering sound from de Saram, that was there all along under the strang und durm.  Gare at last gives it a rest for a bit and it is just mechanical sounds from Rowe, the scittery bowing of de Saram and clanks from Prévost. A nice segment reminds you that its still AMM. A lot less dense even with a decent amount of activity feels like a reaction to the blowout a moment ago.

Gare comes back in as Rohan drastically cuts back his wash of bowing. Short tones from the sax, Eddie picks up this metallic pounding and Rohan again does his scratchy bowing but much higher and quieter. The tones increase, the density rises, Prévost now working the cymbals.  A low bowed drone from de Saram as Gare works the upper register and almost everyone else drops out. A spattering of notes from Tibury and the occasional single drum beat from Prévost. Rowe seems to have retreated from all this activity. It winds down a bit until its just Gare wailing to himself. A discordant chord from Tilbury and a strained wailing sound, perhaps a bowed cymbal or rubbed drum head to contrast with Gare’s “solo”.  At last Gare backs off and this enters much more spacious territory. A twangy wiry sound, percussive rattles and a low grinding hum come in and out along with a bit of audience coughing. A nice good bit of this, subdued crashes, a bell the sound of a pipe rolling on a cement floor, a crushing low bowed scrape on the cello (must be a contact mic on that cello), and other minute sounds. A great section in what’s so far been a not very AMM sounding set.

A low bowing comes in, continuous and providing a base in witch clanks of percussion, and short single tones from the sax rise above. They continue on in this erratic messed drone for a while, eventually this oscillating high pitched feed back comes in and persists along with this non rhythmic bowing and rubbed percussion. There are a couple of tones from a bell and it cuts off.

“Obviously AMM in the late eighties is not breaking new ground, and we content ourselves (as do some of our contemporaries) with the fact that much that we innovated has been incorporated into the common domain.” – AMMMusic Liner Notes(3)

This quote from Prévost is interesting in that I think most people would not disagree if he had specified “AMM in the late nineties“. However in context to the ’60s AMM it is mostly true. In the 60s they were exploring territory that had heretofore been uncharted. The break in the ’70s more or less signaled an end to those explorations. When the reformed the group in the ’80s I think there was a different goal entirely.  The parameters of AMMMusic had been set in the 60s and the later groups were applying them in a variety of contexts. They were still questioning but it was no longer the nature of music itself instead they were interested in contexts and absorption. Can we bring in a non improvising classical musician, can the music absorb tonal saxaphonics, how far can it be pared down, or distorted and still be AMMMusic.

References

1)  Notes on AMM: Entering and Leaving History Stuart Broomer, CODA Magazine no. 290. 2000
2) The Crypt liner notes by Eddie Prévost,1992 (Matchless Recordings)
3) AMMMusic liner notes by Eddie Prévost,1988 (ReR MegaCorp/Matchless)
4) Meta Machine Music, Rob Young, The Wire #132 (February 1995)
5) Keith Rowe interview by Dan Warburton at Paris Transatlantic
6) Edwin Prévost, No Sound is Innocent, Copula, 1995

“Tonight though is the first time that Eddie Prévost and  Keith Rowe have performed in public as a duo and they have chosen to improvise a piece that can be interpreted as an account, sometimes ironic, always affectionate, of their musical journey during the past dozen years. It begins very much in the style of AMM, with incidentally Keith Rowe playing two guitars, one of them a prepared guitar with a motor that enables it to produce the drone that you’ll hear in the background during the early part of the performance..  But the improvisation concludes by moving closer to the sort of music that both performers are playing nowadays. Eddie Prévost and Keith Rowe and Radioactivity. ” – Charles Fox from his introduction to the performance on his “Jazz In Britain” BBC radio programme.

Since we last left AMM there has been a number of transitions, transformations and reassessments. In a nutshell during a tour in Holland the group split into two duos made up of Keith Rowe and Cornelius Cardew and Eddie Prévost and Lou Gare. Cardew and Rowe went on to the Peoples Liberation Music and Prévost and Gare did a number of shows and a couple of albums as AMM. This would be AMM II.  Steve Lake nicely sums this all up in his liner notes to For It had been an ordinary enough day in Pueblo Colorado:

“AMM’s first lifespan had come to an end in 1972, when the quartet of Prévost, Rowe, Lou Gare and Cornelius Cardew split in half. Prevost and saxophonist Gare went on to play a gently melodic free improvisation under the AMM banner through the early seventies (this being, effectively, AMM Two: refer to the album “To Hear And Back Again“) while Cardew and Rowe laboured – I think that’s the appropriate word – in a “political rock” group called People’s Liberation Music.” -Steve Lake(2)

AMM II, of which I have no bootlegs of (but see To Hear and Back Again and Live at the Roundhouse), was much more free jazz then AMMMusic though it occasionally drifts into that territory.Prévost continued further down this route with his own groups the Eddie Prévost Band and the Eddie Prévost trio formed in the mid 70s. During this time Rowe moved from the political sing-a-longs of the PLM to the rock fusion of Amalgam. The ideology that had fractured the group seemed to abate and in the late 70s moves were made to reunite the previous incarnation of Prévost, Gare, Rowe and Cardew. As Martin Davidson put it in his liner notes for To Hear and Back Again:

“In 1976, Cardew and Rowe rejoined AMM for some rehearsals that were not very successful. This time it was Cardew and Gare that left, leaving Prévost and Rowe to form the second AMM duo”. -Martin Davidson(1)

After this attempt (which if any recordings were made someone should leak them!) to reform the core group what was left was founding members Rowe and Prévost. Keith Rowe: “I’d looked into the chasm and seen what the alternative was; it gave me an even stronger belief in the AMM process.” (4) Their first public performance as a duo was in late April 1979 on Charles Fox’s Jazz In Britain show  at the BBC.  Shortly thereafter they would be asked to record a studio album in Germany which would become It had been an ordinary enough day in Pueblo Colorado and not too long after that John Tilbury was asked to join the group.

Radio Activity, performed at the BBC on April 23rd, 1979
The piece begins with rumbling guitar and scraped metal in an approximation of early AMM. This is probably the prepared guitar with its motor as it grumbles and grinds its way around the guitar mostly likely hindered by Rowes hand. Prévost’s scraping reaches a frantic intensity and then abruptly stops long enough for him to switch to bowing cymbals or metal. The motorized guitar now running on its own laying in a low drone Rowe plays sustained single notes, bent via the whammy bar interspersed with the occasional plucked note. A good brooding quality develops here but it is shortly shattered by Prévost on the kit in an almost jazz rock style.  Rowe’s guitar begins to turn increasingly rock like as well though avoiding much of the obvious structures and clichés. He alternates between two notes for a long period in an almost minimalism applied to rock riffs style which he finally breaks out with what is pretty much a guitar freak-out.  From this he holds a single tone for as long as possible with clichés rubbing drumheads and throwing in the occasional fill.

From this point on the AMM retrospective seems to have been mostly complete.  The droning guitar has mostly faded to the background providing an almost bass line.  Rowes guitar is utilized in a squiggly fashion throwing out notes and riffs as Eddie manically works the skins and occasionally blows a police whistle.  This perhaps could be a bit of the energy and anarchy of the Scratch Orchestra, the police whistle certainly being a touchstone.  Though the density is different it certainly captures some of the energy of those performances. As Prévost continues with the fills Rowe turns from this to some effected playing that has an almost vocal quality – an attempt at capturing Gare’s tone perhaps? This builds into frantic scrabbling at the strings as Prévost works the kit, staying with the drums, toms and snares mostly with little cymbal work. After reaching a fever pitch this backs off and becomes quiet, with Rowe dropping in short sustained squeals and Prévost soft little fills, cymbal grabs and a bit of hi-hat work.

This soft bit with the most space so far doesn’t last too long as Rowe again begins frantic riffing, first at very low volume and then slowly building up.  Prévost abandons his quieter cymbal work to return to the skins working the tom and kick drums mainly. Distorted guitar from Rowe now, a fractured melody sort of anthemic (PLM perhaps?) but it doesn’t last and devolves into crushed little motifs.  Prévost briefly drops out as Rowe delivers an effected little solo, almost a bit Hendrix like with tones ringing in the space of delay. The drums come back full force as Rowe begins to move to higher energy little jabs of sound. A brief melodic bit almost sounding like the “Batman theme” before turning to super staccato playing as Prévost keeps time with the cymbals throwing in the occasional fill. Rowe’s playing becomes really rhythmic with this technique and Prévost mirrors that rhythm giving this an almost disco feel. At this point I’d say we went from the Free jazz of Prévost’s groups to the fusion of Amalgam where it concludes. The ending is quite nice with Rowe breaking down this rhythm into short and more clipped bits and Prévost faltering and then stopping leaving just the choked tones from the guitar for a few more iterations till it too abruptly ceases.

This piece is described by Charles Fox as “…a piece that can be interpreted as an account, sometimes ironic, always affectionate, of their musical journey during the past dozen years.”.   These dozen years span the formation of AMM and its constant reassessments, performance of  composed works and intense sonic experiments. The anarchic explorations of the Scratch Orchestra. The duo AMM of Gare and Prévost, the political songs of Rowe and Cardew, the free jazz of the Eddie Prévost Band/Trio and the rock fusion of Amalgam. As also noted by Fox this required Rowe to have two guitars one played by a motor to help capture the more continuous droning of early AMM. As would be a hallmark of this brief incarnation of AMM Rowe moves from this style into the more rock freak-out guitar solos of Amalgam. In a way there is a pretty direct line from AMM II to III with the free blowing Gare replaced by the guitar equivalent.  Except when they are trying to be, it doesn’t have much of an AMM feel which possibly explains why this incarnation didn’t last.

It is worth noting that Radio Activity, described here as an improvisation, which seems to have an internal direction of trying to capture their history of performance also is the first track on It had been an ordinary enough day in Pueblo Colorado. Rowe’s motor driven second guitar, Prévost’s scrapped metal and the titular radio capture begin this piece giving it the same feel and structure of the above radio bootleg. In the same way it moves from this pseudo early AMM sound toward more free jazzy areas.  So it seems that this became a piece of sorts for this duo, improvised for sure but with a loose structure.

—-
References

1) AMM II To Hear and Back Again liner notes by Martin Davidson 1993 (Matchless Recordings)
2) AMM II Live at the Roundhouse liner notes by Eddie  Prevost and Eric Lanzilotta 2003 (Anomolous Records)
3) AMM III It had been an ordinary enough day in Pueblo Colorado liner notes by Steve Lake 1979 (ECM/JAPO)
4) Meta Machine Music, Rob Young, The Wire Issue #132 (February 1995)
5) Edwin Prévost, No Sound is Innocent, Copula, 1995
6)  The AMM page at the European Free Improvisation Home