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william s. burroughs -
nothing here now but the recordings

(industrial records ir0016, p+c 1981)

complied by genesis p-orridge at the burroughs archives in lawrence. under the title "from the archives of WS burroughs 'nothing here now but the recordings'", the album was cut in January 1981. co-producers were james grauerholz and peter christopherson. engineer was james grauerholz. sleeve design and photo were by peter christopherson. sleeve notes were by genesis p-orridge. this was the last release on industrial records.

contents include:

side one (22:07)

1. 1965 or thereabouts. everyone on board was killed when the plane crashed en route from the midwest to san francisco. several days later there was a big air crash at clark airbase in manila in the philipines. once the pilot of a plane burroughs took from tangier to gibraltar was named captain clark.

2. the saints go marching through all the popular tunes (early 1960s)

3. summer will (early 1960s)

4. outside the pier prowed like electric turtles (early 1960s)

5. the total taste is here - news cut-up (early 1960s)

6. choral section - backwards (circa 1965) - simply a tape of the hallelujah chorus played backwards.

7. we see the future through the binoculars of the people (circa 1978) - text of a lecture given by WSB to the kerouac school of disembodied poetics, naropa institute, boulder, colorado in summer 1976. originally entitled "it belongs to the cucumbers". cut-up with phrases from the book "breakthrough - voices from the dead" by konstantin raudive with which the lecture dealt. the cut-up was made in 1978 in boulder on a borrowed taperecorder. basically raudive deals with the phenomena of intelligible phrases spoken in different languages by often identifiable people appearing on blank tape run through a machine at high record level in an otherwise silent environment. in other words no apparent input.

8. just checking your summer recordings (early 1960s) - the tune is "brother can't you spare a dime?"

side two (22:41)

1. creepy letter - cut-up at the beat hotel in paris (circa 1959) - earliest surviving cut-up tape. recorded during a conversation between brion gysin (the person who originally conceived the cut-up technique), gregory corso, WSB and probably sinclair beiles (unconfirmed). this tape was made in the beat hotel, 9 rue gît-le-coeur, paris in 1959. a letter from london dealing with film business connected to antony balch is spontaneously cut-up after an incantation to "se what it really says".

2. inching - "is this machine recording?" (circa 1965) - inching technique involved manually pulling the recorder whilst recording, or while re-recording, inch by inch. "I.S. is ian sommerville."

3. handkerchief masks - news cut-up (early 1960s) - examples of the cut-up technique applied to radio and TV news broadcasts are included as demonstrations not as finished works in themselves. the theory is that the future "leaks through" that the real message can be revealed. here is a US president on trial for perjury before a grand jury over 10 years before watergate.

4. word falling - photo falling (early 1960s) - ian sommerville operated the echo on this track which uses text from "nova express".

5. throat microphone experiment (circa 1965) - these were experiments carried out holding a microphone against the throat whilst talking in the hope of recording sub-vocal speech. burroughs himself notes that whilst he has no doubt that sub-vocal speech occurs, the equipment he used then and the microphones accessible to us even now fail to register this on tape. "all we got were some interesting noises."

6. it's about time to identify oven area (early 1960s)

7. last words of hassan sabbah (1960-61) - hassan sabbah "the old man of the mountain" was the leader of a fanatical fraternity in the eleventh century A.D. that lent its name, the "hashasheen" to the concept of assassination. his base was a castle on mount alamut in northern persia. this text by WSB is an expansion of a section in "nova express" written and read onto tape in the empress hotel, london 1960-1961. this hotel has since been demolished. the tape was intended to illustrate a condition of advanced paranoia. brion gysin has visited mount alamut, now a ruin.

william s.burroughs - break through in grey room (sub rosa sr08)
anthology of noise & electronic music/1921-2001 (sub rosa sr160)

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