Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

Various Tracks
  1. Rammelzee & Jean-Michel Basquiat, Test pressing, " instrumental (version) 1 (extrait), 1983, 2'43"

from Happy New Ear, a collection of artists' recordings.

Gray - Early Works (c. 1980)
  1. A1 So Far So Real
  2. A2 Drum Mode
  3. B1 Wig
  4. B2 Eight Hour Religion
  5. B3 Figure It Out For Yourself
"Gray was the downtown "industrial sound" band started by Andy Warhol acolyte and avant-garde HipHop legend, Jean-Michel Basquiat. 'Early Works' is an astonishing collection of their first creations, reissued in a silk-screened sleeve bearing his distinctive crown motif (the same which adorns Ramelzee's classic 'Test Pressing' sleeve). Named after the medical bible, Gray's Anatomy, Basquiat, together with Michael Holman formed the group in 1979 and would later be joined by Shannon Dawson, Wayne Clifford, Nick Taylor and a young Vincent Gallo to operate at the core of New York's downtown scene, playing shows at the Mudd Club, CBGB's and Hurrahs amidst the likes of Talking Heads and Blondie. But Gray were quite a different proposition, playing ethereal, abrasive industrial "sound effects" music on scaffolding, synths and whatever machines they could lay hands on. One of the tracks here, the spectral, sloping, dread dubbed 'Drum Mode' has appeared on a number of compilations over the last decade, most notably on Gomma's seminal 'Anti NY' comp, but the rest are about as rare as a pube in the queen's soup. There's the echoic industro-dub collage of 'Wig' for starters, next to the ritualistic, Oriental workshop atmospheres of 'Eight Hour Religion' and a scratchy, lysergic episode of tape loops, free-psyche drums and textures in 'Figure It Out For Yourself', all assuredly ahead of their time. This music forms a vital chunk of art and music history and should be considered an absolutely essential purchase, we reckon." (Boomkat)

Fresh bootleg import, straight from the morning mail. Had to drop this last bit of goodness before I go off the grid for a few. See ya'll on the flipside of my cross-town move. 320 vinyl rip by yours truly. Enjoy...

"Since the our record is a labor of love, I'm sure that I speak for Gray when I say that we want to give people what a record says it is. That bootleg is not "Early Recordings" of Gray. So it is not truthful in what it claims to be. We reserve the right to truly let people hear "Early Recordings" if we choose to do that. That bootleg is a fake. So, thanks for siding with the artist's." -Wayne Clifford


Jean-Michel Basquiat in UbuWeb Film & Video