Spiral #04 – August 1989

Spiral #4 front cover
Spiral #04 tracklist
Muzak

This issue of Spiral, Willem De Ridder and Andrew MacKenzie‘s monthly, subscription only, cassette magazine, is a puzzling and thought-provoking mix of anti-nuclear sound document, hypnosis séances inducing memories of someone else’s past life, and. . . Muzak. For most people, including John Cage and Raymond Murray Schafer, Muzak or Elevator Music, was the most boring music ever conceived, to the point of threatening one’s sanity, according to Murray Schafer. I suspect Willem De Ridder was interested in the crowd control dimension of Muzak, in the way a media can insidiously infiltrate the dayly life of millions of people. A serious media researcher like De Ridder could definitely not under-estimate Muzak. Track #2 is a British broadcast feature based on several examples of Past Life Regression experiments conducted through hypnosis (inspired by Madame Blavatski), including an Irishman reminiscing about a time he did not experience, namely Ireland in 1900. Nuclear Canister is an aural document from a train crash test that took place in Great Britain in 1984, and supposed to demonstrate the security of British Rail’s radioactive freight transportation. A video of the experiment has been uploaded by British Railways TV channel. The sound document on the cassette has engine noises, speaker announcements and ambient sounds, not unlike the Runaway Train LP from Ash International. The interview De Ridder conducted with Los Angeles teenager Danielle is a disturbing listen. She’s been into gangs, LSD, PCB and so much more. Probably done while De Ridder was living in the US. Scary in itself, but the abrupt transition to Muzak syrup-y violins is all the more shocking. The Gimmick track that ends the tape sounds like Gurdjieff at the piano. Thanks to anonymous reader for the rip.
See also: Spiral #1 >, 2 > and 3 >.

01 Muzak (2:50)
02 Past Life Regression Radio Broadcast (25:20)
03 Nuclear Canister Sound document (18:02)
04 Danielle Interview (37:35)
05 The Muzak Corporation Muzak (3:01)
06 Spiral Information Service Gimmick (2:06)

Total time 90mns
Cassette released by Spiral Information Service, Amsterdam, 1989

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