Musica Elettronica Viva

Sound Pool

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This live recording by MEV, originally released in 1969, is about as far out as improvisation can go, so far out that many people would not consider the sounds on this disc to be music. It doesn't sound like anything remotely in the realms of improvised jazz or rock. Rather, it comes off like a large group of musicians and non-musicians (the back cover lists 16 people and the audience) making noises by banging on things while yelling, chanting, and screaming. Occasionally a trumpet or other horn blasts out some notes or drones over the din, or the shrill tweet of some kind of whistle or flute can be heard. At times it resembles a stampede of elephants, at others a primordial ritualistic experience. Sure, it might have been a lot more fun to have actually been there, but the album has a certain charm and a lot of energy in a strange avant-garde way. And, if anything, it's highly original.