Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) formed in the mid-1970s as a loose-knit experimental music collective and multimedia publishing vehicle. Founded by teenage Le Forte Four members Chip Chapman, Joe Potts and Rick Potts and soon joined by Tom Recchion of Doo-Dooettes, LAFMS incorporated free improvisation, modular synthesizers, tape music, sampling, musique concrète, homemade instruments, noise, mail art and avant-rock in permissive and anarchic sessions at the Raymond Building and Poo-Bah Record Shop in old Pasadena. Inspired by The Residents, LAFMS self-released records and periodicals, organized performances and connected with fellow outsiders via post in the years before punk. Their uninhibited, egalitarian ideal of music-making and DIY distribution would influence generations of underground artists.
In 1977, LAFMS released Blorp Esette, one of several compilations tracking the collective's growth and wild-eyed experimentation. Ace Farren Ford, an early LAFMS recruit from the Poo-Bah circle, produced the album and solicited cover artwork by Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart). Ford appears in various configurations alongside members of Smegma, Le Forte Four and "unknown artist" (as the credit for more than one piece reads). The Residents, showing their affinity with LAFMS, contributed "Whoopy Snorp" for their first non-Ralph Records release. Blorp Esette shows the artists grasping for new, non-idiomatic voicings and collaborative modes, anticipating LAFMS affiliates and offshoots such as Airway, Human Hands and Monitor. A second volume would come out in 1980, featuring Ford's punk band The Child Molesters. If you're looking for the missing link between mid-'70s art practice and outsider music, then look no further.