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William S. Burroughs

Break Through In Grey Room - 2023 Reissue

    Inspired by the original Industrial Records release of William S. Burroughs’s Nothing Here Now but the Recordings, Belgian record label Sub Rosa worked with Burroughs to release another album: Break Through In Grey Room. Originally compiled in 1986 by producer Bill Rich, the album features Burroughs's experimental recordings from 1961 to 1976, featuring field recordings by Burroughs of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, experimental collaborations with mathematician Ian Sommerville and painter/cut-up originator Brion Gysin.

    Break Through In Grey Room documents William S. Burroughs during his time in Europe and England, working with Ian Sommerville on recording with the 'cut-up' technique. Sommerville's technical background enabled him to contribute to the early development of sound-and-light shows in London, leading to work with gear provided by Paul McCartney in an apartment owned by Ringo Starr. Experimental in nature, the record is as much an exhibition of studio and composition technique as it is a document of underground culture at that time.


    Side A:
    1. K-9 Was In Combat With The Alien Mind-screens
    2. Origin And Theory Of The Tape Cut- Ups
    3. Recalling All Active Agents
    4. Silver Smoke Of Dreams

    Side B:
    1. Junky Relations
    2. Joujouka, Pt. 1
    3. Curse Go Back
    4. Present Time Exercises
    5. Joujouka, Pt. 2
    6. Working With The Popular Forces
    7. Interview With Mr. Martin
    8. Joujouka, Pt. 3
    9. Sound Piece
    10. Joujouka, Pt. 4
    11. Burroughs Called The Law

    William S. Burroughs

    Nothing Here Now But The Recordings - 2023 Reissue

      In 1980, Genesis P-Orridge and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson of (then-)Throbbing Gristle travelled to New York City to meet up at the fortified apartment, known as The Bunker, of famed beat writer and cultural pioneer William S. Burroughs and his executor James Grauerholz. Genesis and Sleazy started the daunting task of compiling the experimental sound works of Burroughs, which, up until that point, had never been widely heard.

      During those visits, Burroughs would play back his tape recorder experiments featuring his spoken word “cut-ups”, collaged field recordings from his travels and his flirtations with EVP recording techniques, pioneered by Latvian intellectual Konstantins Raudive. Over the following year, P-Orridge, Christopherson and Grauerholz spent countless hours compiling various edits, each collection showcasing Burroughs sensitive ear and experimental prowess for audio anomaly within technical limitations. In early 1981, Burroughs had relocated to Lawrence, KS to escape the violence and manias of New York City life. There, P-Orridge and Christopherson put the finishing touches on the record that would be known as Nothing Here Now but the Recordings.

      Released in Spring 1981, the album would end up as the final release on Industrial Records, brought about by the dissolution of Throbbing Gristle. It was quietly out of print until 1998, when John Giorno and the Giorno Poetry Systems included the album on a retrospective CD box set, which compiled the majority of Burroughs's seminal recordings. In 2015, Dais Records worked closely with the Estate of William S. Burroughs to finally re-release, for the first time in 36 years, a proper vinyl reissue of William S. Burroughs Nothing Here Now but the Recordings to celebrate the centennial anniversary of William S. Burroughs.


      Side A:
      1. Captain Clark Welcomes You Aboard
      2. The Saints Go Marching Through All The Popular Tunes
      3. Summer Will
      4. Outside The Pier Prowed Like Electric Turtles
      5. The Total Taste Is Here - News Cut-up
      6. Choral Section, Backwards
      7. We See The Future Through The Binoculars Of The People
      8. Just Checking Your Summer Recordings

      Side B:
      1. Creepy Letter - Cut-up At The Beat Hotel In Paris
      2. Inching - "Is This Machine Recording?
      3. Handkerchief Masks - News Cut- Up
      4. Word Falling – Photo Falling
      5. Throat Microphone Experiment
      6. It’s About Time To Identify Open Area
      5. Last Words Of Hassan Sabbah

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