Robert Horton ‘This bug’s for you’



(Note: track #14 is missing in the tracklisting above)

Before a serious illness forced him to slow down his activities at the end of the 1980s, Robert Horton had been very active in the San Francisco Aera music scene. In 1979, he founded The Appliances, one of SF’s first punk bands, along Jello Biafra and Subterranean label post-punk movement.

In 1983, he formed Plateau Ensemble with Hal Hughes and Mike Shannon [see previous post ‘Into a deeper unknown’ k7, 1979 >] who where joined by a variable team of local musicians to perform live improvised music, mixing real or invented instruments with keyboards, championing special tunings. Over the years (1983-1987) Plateau Ensemble included members from the Jon Hassell Group, ROVA Saxophone Quartet, KU KU KU, Glorious Din, Glands Of External Secretion, Gamelan Seka Jaya, etc.

Throughout the 1980s, Robert Horton released many tapes in the US and abroad. This one was self released (as far as I can tell) and features the typical collective of Plateau members appearing as guests on a number of tracks, along multi-instrumentalist Horton on (a lot of) various instruments. Always varied and colorful, the music ranges from avant jazz a la Frank Zappa, repetitve keyboard tunes, elements of ethnic music, string quartet, live instrument and synth duets. Some of Henry Kaiser’s records sound a bit like this – also a musician from California. Robert Horton had a come back in the late 1990s and is now releasing a lot of CDs of improv-drone music, solo or in collaboration.

Plateau was my just intonation drone group with Hal Hughes and Michael Shannon. In the late 80s I used sampler to create dream bands. Some parts would also be played live. I was trying to get a ‘computer primitive’ sound.
[from interview]

. . . . . . . . . .

01 CelloSeed (3:54)
02 Dissolve Into Space (3:39)
03 Yo Diddley (2:44)
04 Time Lapse (2:27)
05 Periodic Slip (2:39)
06 Where We Swam (Along The Railroad Tracks) (2:10)
07 Two Armed Spiral (4:32)
08 March Of The Red Beatles (3:14)
09 Goodbye Porkpie Hat (2:10)
10 Nexus (5:11)
11 Solar Burn (3:42)
12 Hot Beat (5:37)
13 Donkey Tails (4:00)
14 Earth Carnival (2:20)
15 Film Score 2 (3:51)
16 Clownfish (2:27)
17 Frank’s Boogie (3:13)
18 Freezing And Melting On Rope (3:48)
19 Plateau Ensemble Aman (8:11)
20 The Sea Is The Window (10:25)
21 Organum (3:10)
22 Absences (2:23)
23 Blue Horizon (3:51)
Total time: 90mn+
Released ca 1987.


8 Responses to “Robert Horton ‘This bug’s for you’”

  1. 1 bravojuju January 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    so many good things here I don’t even know where to start.

  2. 2 continuo January 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Hello, Mister Jardim! Well… help yourself, everything is yours. You might also consider visiting more often to keep up with the posts here.

  3. 3 jardim March 8, 2008 at 5:57 am

    this album is great fun.

  4. 4 constantin August 15, 2008 at 10:53 am

    if that’s not a rarity, i’m donald duck. Thanks !!!

  5. 5 continuo August 17, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks Constantin. I’m downloading some Przewalski’s Horses from your website right now. Very curious about the artwork and photos.

  6. 6 constantin September 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Oh, great to hear this ! Hope you’ll appreciate it…

  7. 7 robert horton September 15, 2008 at 4:25 am

    wow where the hell did you find this?
    i think i only have one copy left.


  8. 8 continuo September 15, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Believe it or not, Robert, there was a french distributor for this in the early 1990s (be it Organic Tapes or Eretic Tapes, I don’t remember). This stilll sound interesting today, as well as the Mike Shannon self releases.

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