This incarnation of AMM had been in existence almost 20 years at the time of this recording, and while they had produced a great deal of the most luminously beautiful music of that period, it's just possible that a bit of routine had crept into their work. Tunes Without Measure or End stays largely within that quieter end of the sonic spectrum that they had intently explored since the '80s, and though it's by no means a bad recording, it lacks the sharpness and sense of surprise of their best works. Keith Rowe, the driving creative force in the trio, seems reluctant to press his colleagues or challenge any hint of complacency, and Tilbury and Prevost are all too willing at times to fall back on tried-and-true free improv recipes. Certainly, a mediocre session by these three is worth more than excellent recordings by most, but longtime fans of the band may pick up on a sense of sameness verging on lethargy. It's even possible (and interesting) to get the idea that Rowe is being willfully obtuse, throwing roadblocks in the form of brutal nuggets of guitar noise into the easy path chosen by the others. The disc is definitely worth hearing by listeners wishing to have a full picture of this amazing band, but newcomers are better advised to begin with almost any other recording. The tracks listed below are arbitrary divisions of what is a single, unbroken piece.
Tunes Without Measure or End Review
by Brian Olewnick