Chris Cutler / Fred Frith / Thomas Dimuzio – GOLDEN STATE

RēR Megacorp

Issued in 1969 copies, 500 of them on translucent ochre vinyl and 150 including a “Special Edition” certificate signed by the artists (apparently there’s still a market for inanely maniac collectors – mine is number 54!), Golden State gathers live recordings spanning from 1999 to 2002, from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The four tracks – one occupies the entire first side – are given symbols as titles, not names, and the second segment on the B side also features Beth Custer on clarinets and voice. Truth be told, it’s a rather confounding release: Dimuzio’s sampling and electronics dominate for the large part of the course, essentially mixing sources from his own sonic database and splinters of Cutler and Frith’s interfacing, recombining the whole in a real-time hodgepodge that offers a few interesting moments but plenty of dead spots, made worse by the not exceptional clarity of a mix cluttered by the trio’s frequency amassment captured in medium-to-low fidelity. Frith inserts chordal shards and wildly fuzzy cries every once in a while, Cutler’s “electricity” and “processing” managing to rework the listener’s sense of balance even further during certain passages. A couple of tensely droning growths are definitely worth a serious listen, yet the lingering sensation is that of a record for completists only, a partially motivating document from a time and place you’re hardly likely to return to.


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