Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Leroy Stevens : Favorite Recorded Scream

Artist Leroy Stevens asked Manhattan record store personnel to name their favourite scream on record, then compiled their responses into a three-and-a-half-minute piece, placing the screams in the order in which he received them.
The B side of his 500-edition twelve-inch release Favorite Recorded Scream (Small World LS001) features each of the seventy-four screams individually, separated by ten seconds of silence. The screams' sources are named, along with the staff members who selected them. Some crop up several times - for instance those on The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again (four) and Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song (three). The Stooges' T.V. Eye receives three votes, and Wylde Ratttz' cover version from the Velvet Goldmine movie is included too. Ari Up's classic lengthy effort on The Slits' Shoplifting appears (chosen by Mikey IQ Jones), and is probably my personal favourite along with one by Art Bears' Dagmar Krause and an amazer from Bunker Hill's incredible The Girl Can't Dance. There's quite a bit of rock/metal, from artists otherwise absent from my collection (e.g. Kiss); whilst a few screams come from classical sources - Bartok; Richard Strauss; Puccini. Rahsaan Roland Kirk is present too, as are the great Dennis Alcapone; Gal Costa; De La Soul; the inevitable James Brown and Plastic Ono Band; Buddy Holly; Michael Jackson; The Sonics (Psycho); The Undisputed Truth; and Black Flag and Minor Threat. The theme being screaming, Mr. Jay Hawkins is represented twice, by I Put A Spell On You and his infamous Constipation Blues. No sign of his British counterpart Lord Sutch, alas.
Several names are completely new to me : Asif; At The Gates; Katie Cercone (http://www.zhibit.org/cercone); Kroumata Ensemble (Swedish percussionists whose repertoire includes works by John Cage, Lou Harrison, György Ligeti and Steve Reich); Meshuggah; Nicky Rap And Scratch Go Rambo; Ralph Nielsen And The Chancellors (their most famous track is - appropriately - Scream); Prurient; Sevendust; Tragedy Freturing Craig C; Wylde Ratttz (who turn out to have been a supergroup comprised of members of The Stooges, Sonic Youth, Gumball, Mudhoney and The Minutemen); and Geino Yamashirogumi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geinoh_Yamashirogumi).
A locked groove for each scream would have been fantastic, had Stevens thought to do it, but, I imagine that this would have proved prohibitively expensive.
A map indicating the location of each record store is included with the record.

Link : http://leroystevens.info/index.php?/projects/favorite-recorded-scream.
New York Times article : http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/arts/music/18scream.html.

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