Published Jan 16, 2015Novelist, painter, junkie, psychic explorer: William S. Burroughs is arguably one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Not content to write about alternate realities, he and his co-conspirators — painter/cut-up inventor Brion Gysin and technician Ian Sommerville — set about trying to deconstruct reality itself with skillfully cut-up tape recordings.
Enter industrial music founders Genesis P-Orridge and Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle, who helped Burroughs organize and catalogue boxes of cut-up tape experiments. Excerpts were carefully selected for the final release on Gristle's Industrial Records label in 1981. This limited edition 14-track vinyl reissue celebrating Burroughs' centennial, Nothing Here Now But the Recordings, is an indispensable resource for adventurers wanting to explore a technique for the deautomization of consciousness. Newscasts, ads, distorted Arabic music, tape versions of scratching, sci-fi narrative, movie themes and Burroughs' unmistakable Midwestern croaking drawl are cut up, filtered, juxtaposed and permutated to dizzying effect.
The full-length version of his incendiary attack on corporation-government collusion, "Last Words of Hassan i Sabbah," finds Burroughs at his scathingly satirical best. This is an essential Burroughs document, not to be missed. (Dais Records)