01 Pod King – A (3:35)
02 Pod King – B (4:50)
03 Pod King – C (2:58)
04 Pod King – D (7:45)
05 Pod King – E (3:50)
06 Pod King – F (1:45)
07 Pod King – G (3:30)
08 Uttered Thought Climatology (29:40)
John M. Bennett: voice, saxophone
Tom Furgas: Yamaha SY 55 keyboard
Dave Clark: keyboards, sampler (on #8)
Walter Drake: 12-string guitar, sampler (on #8)
Total time 58:00
Cassette released by Luna Bisonte Prods, Columbus, OH, 1992 (recorded 1990)
John M. Bennett (b1942) is a poet, visual poet and musician living in Columbus, Ohio. In 1974, he founded Luna Bisonte Prods, a small press releasing his own poetry and art, as well as other writers’ work. He has been publishing Lost and Found Times magazine since 1975. See his official website for more info. He now works as curator of the Avant Writing Collection at The Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus, OH. In 2002, he exhibited some specimens from this collection during a show called An American Avantgarde: Second Wave. The 84pp catalog is a perfect introduction to the world of visual poetry and is available here as a PDF file. An accomplished saxophonist himself, Bennett has teamed with numerous US avantgarde musicians since the 1970s, releasing dozens of cassettes and CDs with adventurous partners, lately with the Be Blank Consort, a quartet of sound poets including Scott Helmes, Carlos Luis, and Kathy Ernst, performing with occasional guests.
On the A side of this cassette, John M. Bennett pairs with Tom Furgas, aka ToFu – get it?, a cassette culture veteran from Youngstown, OH, who collaborated with many k7 stalwarts of the 1980s, including Zan Hoffman, Ken Clinger, John Oswald and Don Campau. On Pod King, Furgas creates endless patterns of contemporary music samples and preset sounds from his keyboard, mostly percussion and piano, with occasional weird electronic sounds. He adroitly parallels Bennett’s continuous yet angular declamation with like-minded semi-aleatory, abstract web of notes. On track #4 Pod King – D, a mournful, slow, free jazz number, Bennett switches to saxophone over an accompaniment of sparse, bass rumbles from the Yamaha SY 55.
The atmosphere is completely different on the flip side, thanks to ambiguous, hallucinatory sound effects by Dave Clark and Walter Drake, a duo from Denver, CO, who make improvised, ambient music from synth washes, samplers and acoustic guitar on sound effects. On Uttered Thought Climatology, Bennett’s voice sounds like an oracle from Ancient Times, uttering unfavorable auspices while performing bird divination. The fact this happens in front of a background of gorgeous, soothing ambient music is all the more mysterious. The guitar is only occasionally recognizable amid large doses of reverb and delay effects. Thought Climatology was actually the title of Clark & Drake’s first CD, released 1989 on their own Evolutionary Music label, itself a reissue of a previous cassette.
Thanks to John M. Bennett for permission to offer this here and on Ubu.