This Italian-based collective of avant-garde composers formed in 1966 and was a laboratory for improvisation and live electronic experiments. The membership revolved throughout the decade but primarily featured Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Curran, Allen Bryant, Jon Phetteplace, Ivan Vandor, Giuseppe Chiari, and Richard Teitelbaum. The group's first major piece, "Spacecraft," was recorded in the same year, and is reissued here by avant-garde specialists Alga Marghen. Using amplified objects and electronically processed sound devices of their own making, the group performed long happenings of experimental sound and noise. Though less refined in their techniques, they bore similarities to the fellow Roman collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza and the British free improv collective AMM. "Patchwork Theory" was recorded at a reunion concert in Switzerland in 1990, and features Steve Lacy on saxophone. Packaged with photographs and essays by Fredrick Rzewski and some M.E.V. memories by Richard Teitelbaum, this is yet another fantastic release from Alga Marghen. This reissue is not to be confused with the French group of the same name with releases on Spalaxx.
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AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane