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Generative Themes (1982-83)

Label: Matchless Recordings

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

In stock

The title of this disc, Generative Themes, could be taken as a capsule description of the nature of AMM's music: creating a sound and following it to see where it takes one, generating new sounds along the way, choosing which of these to follow and, as if ambling through a wooded glade or an abandoned building, aurally mapping the territory with precision and poetry. This recording was made relatively shortly after the addition of pianist John Tilbury to the group, resulting in the core band that would come to represent the "mature" version of AMM; his presence is felt clearly and strikingly from the outset. The buzzing clangs and muted gonglike sounds of his prepared piano do much to create the meditative feel that permeates a large portion of this album. The first two sections especially have a wondrous, timeless quality as Keith Rowe sets up soft but industrially repetitive lines on his tabletop guitar for Prevost to quietly scurry over with dry, percussive rustles. Describing the bewildering array of sounds produced during an AMM performance is perhaps useless, but special mention must be made of Rowe's amazing ability to reach into the ether and pull in radio broadcasts that manage to mesh perfectly with what is occurring at precisely that instant. While AMM has maintained an admirably consistent level of quality in its releases, Generative Themes is both one of the group's best albums and one of its most approachable (though still extremely challenging) for the new listener. Previously issued on LP, the CD version includes an additional, and superb, extract from a live concert from Zagreb in 1983. (AMG)
Cat. number: MRCD 06
Year: 2010

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