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Best of 2023

MEV (Musica Elettronica Viva)

The Sound Pool (LP)

Label: BYG Records

Format: LP

Genre: Experimental

In stock

Pioneers of live electronics, found sound and urban environment-as-instrument, Musica Elettronica Viva created suites that were as imaginary as imaginative.

"Formed in Rome in the late 60s, the ever shifting collective Musica Elettronica Viva included such luminaries as Fred Rzewski, Alvin Curran and Richard Teitelbaum among others, and aimed to conduct the most radical experiments in sound possible. Although the above were primarily composers they were greatly inspired by avant-garde jazz titans such as Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane and were intent on drawing on any sound source, from keyboards and drums to cans and plates of glass.

As this 1970 BYG recording, The Sound Pool emphatically proved, MEV crafted an intricate sonic architecture by playing synthesizers, horns and sundry objects, and engaging in audacious treatments of the audio ‘on the fly’. The prevailing boundary between acoustic and electronic worlds was blurred by a band that was not a band, using a range of instruments that were often not instruments. Furthermore, the constantly shifting, unpredictable nature of the personnel bucked convention.

Like a volcanic eruption and ensuing lava flow The Sound Pool is a masterful electronic music opus that retains all the heat and light of the kind of performance associated with a stellar improviser. Constantly changing shape and density the music veers provocatively between the distinctive curls and squelches of synthesizers and the crash and stomp of household or industrial objects that are amplified and manipulated to conjure all the imagery of a marathon piece of physical theatre.

Above all, true to Rzewski’s edict, MEV conveys unbridled freedom and spontaneity, or the sense of the collective voice and cumulative energy of the individuals growing into a potent new entity. Invigoration, propulsion, mutation. At times The Sound Pool unleashes a tidal wave of noise, which has the kind of tonal density achieved by Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz. What is enthralling is the amount of unidentifiable timbres relentlessly generated by the network of real and ‘imagined’ instruments.

“This re-mastered version of The Sound Pool confirms Musica Elettronica Viva as one of the most original artists of the late 20th century. The ensemble blurred the boundary between electrics and acoustics and conventional and unconventional instruments to create something that still sounds as if it is on the cusp of the present and the future.” - Kevin Le Gendre 

Cat. number: BYG 529326LP
Year: 2023