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William Burroughs

Break through in grey room

Label: Sub Rosa

Format: Vinyl LP

Genre: Sound Art

Out of stock

2016 repress; originally released in 2008. One of the most classic and in-demand titles in the Sub Rosa catalog -- mid-'60s cut-up tape machine recordings made by William S. Burroughs in hotels -- originally released on CD in 1987, reissued in 2001, released on vinyl in a gatefold sleeve. During the 1960s, Burroughs was in Europe and England. The Vietnam War, the cultural revolution, hippies and the acid gospel, the U.S. in tumult -- all these were dispatches to him. Living between Paris and London, his only excursions to America were in 1965, when he lived a year in New York at the Chelsea Hotel and 210 Centre Street, and revisited St. Louis and Palm Beach; and in 1968, when he covered the Democratic Convention in Chicago for Esquire in the company of Genet, Southern and Seaver. Burroughs had quit the States in 1953 exactly because he foresaw these police-state conditions. But now the wild boys were in the streets, in London and Paris too, and Burroughs was inspired to hope that the world could really change. In the creative world/switchboard of Paris' Beat Hotel, in London, in a house in the Arab Quarter of Tangier, he experimented with tape recordings -- under the tutelage of Brion Gysin -- hoping to cut the pre-recorded time line of present time, and, as he put it, "let the future leak out." It's impossible not to recognize the writer's sonorous voice -- a sonority also present within the silence of every text he wrote. An explosion of styles -- a blasting of borders -- the silence after a gunshot -- the overtaking of the fetishized word -- from the exploded painting, to the cut tape. Break Through In Grey Room includes various monologues, radio shortwaves, music, and countless cut-up tape from which emerges new structures of communication. Words gain power when losing the boundaries of semantics. Also included is some Joujouka music recorded by Burroughs while he was with Ornette Coleman in the hills of Morocco, circa 1973. Many of these tapes are as much Ian Sommerville's work as Burroughs, or even more so. Ian's technical background is a tribute to the early development of sound-and-light shows in London. Ian was a sorcerer's apprentice in creating recordings. This is an important sound document in the history of Burroughs as an innovator, as well as an archive of the genesis of literature in opposition during a time-period whose urgency is more relevant than ever.

Cat. number: SRV08 LP
Year: 2016

Gatefold LP

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