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[CP 227 CD] Hatten; Voice Print

Creel Pone

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... in the great, yearlong idea-incubation session that preceded this extensive wave of 15th Anniversary C.P. titles (a new "Dot" a week is scheduled each week clear through the end of September) one of the Cabal members suggested we check out this entirely inscrutable, beguiling selection of rough-hewn tape-edits, metallic echoes, and barely whispered meta-textual spoken fragments as issued in 1971 by Samuel "Sarant Pansamurs" & Sims Rogers Amico via their then Philadelpia-based Middle Earth Books (from 1969 onwards they published works by Patti Smith, John Wieners, Robert Creeley, Gary Snyder, & Tom Pickard) whose manifesto speaks volumes about the then-current Zeitgeist:

In a blind act of love, hoping to reconcile private and public life, Middle Earth Books was born in a basement bookshop in 1969. Ideas surfaced; concepts equidistant from Tolkien and The Whole Earth Catalog. From an underground philosophical position, ”guerrilla warfare” could be waged on the dominant media culture. Somewhere behind the scenes was the motivation to bring visual and conceptual information together. Eclecticism/Juxtaposition/Pataphysics.

Conspicuously absent from the epoch-defining "Broken Music" catalog (in which this music & the edition itself would clearly find its audience) this ended up, of course, one of the greatest discoveries in recent times, opening up a huge wormhole.

Tom Hatton, a childhood friend of Amico's, began collaborating with Marcia Kocot in 1967 (their work is still on display at Larry Becker Contemporary in Philly) as "Hatton & Kocot". Together they produced chapbooks such as "Paper Dolls, Book One and Two" (1970) ("comprised of risqué collages in Richard Hamilton-like interiors"), staged & exhibited large-format photography, and worked with Amico on a 16mm film "Into Another One’s Skull" ("which recorded Tom Hatton’s Airplane Event"). It was during this time that Hatton wrote the "script" & recorded/executed "Voice Print"; originally used as the soundtrack to several films, the idea of pressing it to vinyl (in an elaborate gatefold with a striking "all black" interior, recreated here) only to be used to create a Marclay-esque "spike" of copies of the LP itself highlights its lifespan as an "Anti-Record", which belies the care & compassion that went into meticulously creating the impeccably folded sonic narrative of the embedded music.