Danger High Voltage is a single-disc introduction to Ictus Records' 30th Anniversary compilation, a 12-CD set drawn from Andrea Centazzo's extraordinary musical archives. Centazzo, a creative percussionist, producer, and composer, founded the label in 1976 with his wife Carla Lugli. Their intention was to create "a forum for musicians that the institutionalized market refused." They succeeded in establishing Italy's first record label devoted exclusively to the distribution of "music on the cutting edge of improvisation." Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy was the first artist to be featured on Ictus, and he is heard on three of the 12 tracks in this collection. Other heroes of modern creative music heard on Danger High Voltage are Evan Parker, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, Eugene Chadbourne, and John Zorn. "Doctor Faustus" was recorded live at the Alassio Jazz Festival in 1982. It is performed by Centazzo's 16-piece Mitteleuropa Orchestra. This sampler covers a lot of geographical ground, including Innsbruck, Austria, California, New York, and various locations throughout Italy. Two of the selections post-date the label's dissolution in 1984; "Drop Two" is a duet with guitarist Derek Bailey dating from 1997, and "Back to the Future No.1," featuring pianist Anthony Coleman and guitarist Marco Cappelli, was recorded live at TONIC in New York City in April 2005. It was part of a surge of creative activity which signaled the label's resurgence in 2006. Since 2010, Centazzo has released an unprecedented number of progressive, artistically evolved recordings on Ictus. It continues to live up to its original slogan: "The creative label for creative music." The word "ictus" has many definitions. Musically and poetically it refers to a recurrent stroke, stress, or beat. A term of great significance to a drummer, Ictus is also the name of a composition by Carla Bley and a contemporary chamber ensemble based in Belgium.
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