A James Brown vocal cut-up morphs into a sonic punching ball, both ironic and cruel. Sword fight sounds from some Japanese cartoon are reduced to semaphoric and phoney gesticulations for several minutes. And that’s only the beginning of Reckless, a Joseph Nechvatal cassette from 1984. Yet, compared to his other cassettes, the music on Reckless is surprisingly uncluttered, even serene at times, as pauses and silences have been inserted and the music being based on one sample at a time. This is still a commentary of sorts on junk culture, Bollywood films, Japanese films, cartoons, etc. The B-side is something different altogether, basically the soundtrack from some Japanese erotic and/or snuff movie. I couldn’t decide if the woman we hear is being tortured or given pleasure, a mix of both I guess – and the label is called Sound of Pig, so you get the idea. The cover illustration is by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956), a British self-taught artist who made automatic drawings and turned entire alphabets into diagrams called sigils, or “monograms of thought”, says Wikipedia. Fulgur Limited publisher has a lot of info on Spare, including a music page called ‘This and That’.
01 Reckless – side 1 (14:15)
02 Reckless – side 2 (14:15)
Total time 28:30
Cassette released by Sound of Pig, SOP217, NY, 1984
Possibly, this film: