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No Music Festival--1999

Nihilist Spasm Band
No Music Festival

The second edition of the No Music Festival was held in London, Ontario (home of the Nihilist Spasm Band) in April 1999. The three-day noise extravaganza was recorded and Entartete Kunst Recordings released a five-CD document of the event. That’s over six hours of material, accompanied by a 16-page booklet filled with photos and comments from the organizers and some of the participating players, which included that year Ken Vandermark, Fred Van Hove, Borbetomagus, Alan Licht, Michael Snow, Jim O’Rourke, and many more, along with the Nihilist Spasm Band (Bill Exley, Art Pratten, John Boyle, John Clement, Hugh McIntyre, and Murray Favro).

The No Music Festival was structured in two parts: evening showcases and late-night “interplays.” Excerpts from the showcases are found on the first three discs. The premiere duo of Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone) and free jazz legend Fred Van Hove (pipe organ) is a delight. Their 45-minute set is an occasion to hear both players in a very unusual setting, outside any reference to jazz. The organ had a very delicate sound that set the mood for a not too noisy and very enjoyable improv. Worth of note are the performances of Borbetomagus (this one will get rid of any wallpaper-scraping job), the pairing of guitarist Alan Licht and conceptual artist/pianist Michael Snow (heard here on Fender Rhodes), and the first ever performance of 14-year old Californian noise guitarist Jon Borges.

  1. No Music Festival--1999

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