Robert Hollis/Christopher Swartz ‘ISO’

Robert Hollis/Christopher Swartz 'ISO' front cover'ISO' side one'ISO' side twoRobert Hollis/Christopher Swartz 'ISO' back cover

01 Clockwork (4:02)
02 Since The Begining Of Time (5:16)
03 Shining (4:42)
04 Faith And Reason (2:27)
05 Pedestrian (5:00)
06 The Greeting (5:00)
07 Crosstalk (3:48)
08 Lagoon (4:52)
09 Riot (3:25)
10 Out Of The Fog (3:54)

Total time 42:15
LP released by Perimeter Records, P-001, Atlanta, GA, 1986

Perimeter Records was founded by Chris Swartz and Robert Hollis in 1986. Between 1987-1993, they released annual free promotional Christmas cassettes documenting the Atlanta underground scene, as well as compilations like the 1987 ‘Nine Underground’ LP, the latter including Swans’ singer Jarboe. Most of the material published by Perimeter was apparently recorded by Doug Hughes’ Solar Wind studio in Atlanta. The duo of Chris Swartz and Robert Hollis released 3 full-length LPs in the 1980s (see discography below). Both men were trained drummers and were known locally as instrument builders. Swartz designed the instruments, some made out of PVC, like this WNYC show demonstrates with an excerpt from their 2nd LP (mp3 here, from46:45 on). Self-build instruments were probably more apparent on Music for Homebuilt Instruments, than on ISO, their first release. The latter is still infused by New Wave-y keyboards and 2-notes bass lines, though the duo cleverly stays clear from easy songwriting – vocals are recited/read, not sung, for instance. Most (but not all) percussion is played by Swartz, while synths are played by Hollis. The use of library and documentary recordings add depth to some compositions. The last 3 tracks particularly stand out on this album: #8 ‘Lagoon’ has soft and mysterious maracas and wind chimes on a background of waves breaking on a shore. #9 ‘Riot’ superposes drums, synth and demonstration recordings, not unlike Heiner Goebbel/Alfred Harth’s famous ‘Berlin, Q-Damm 12.4.81’. The last track, ‘Out of the Fog’, is a mystical conclusion with drums a la Ummagumma and long-held synth notes. Chris Swartz also played drums with King Kill 33, Pineal Ventana or Broken Symmetry, amongst others. I wish I could find a copy of Music for Homebuilt Instruments one day.


Chris Swartz and Robert Hollis discography:

  • ISO (LP), Perimeter Records, 1986
  • Music for Homebuilt Instruments (LP), Perimeter Records, date?
  • 11 x 2 (LP), Perimeter Records, date?

2 Responses to “Robert Hollis/Christopher Swartz ‘ISO’”

  1. 1 Robert Hollis March 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    This is Robert Hollis and I still have sealed copies of Music for Homebuilt Instruments. Contact me and I’ll get you a copy.

  2. 2 gianni July 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    hello Mr. Hollis,
    I’d like to contact you in order to buy your releases.
    Can I have your emai address?

    thank you

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