Sunday, February 5, 2012

Robert Hollis·Christopher Swartz
"Rebels in Eden"

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Robert Hollis·Christopher Swartz
11 X 2
LP
(Perimeter Records, 1988)

Ever see an odd-looking record, or perhaps records, in almost every store in town, only to ignore them? That's what I did with the albums of Robert Hollis·Christopher Swartz. I used to see them in the local bins all over the place. All three had similar covers: stark white background, Robert Hollis·Christopher Swartz written at the same spot at the top in Microgramma D Bold Extended, a picture in the middle, and the title in the bottom in the same font, only much more huger. The only significant difference was the first, Iso, had a drawing rather than a photograph and used red ink in addition to black. Oh, and 11 X 2 had nothing printed on the back (more on that later).

A few months ago, I came across a cheap used copy of Iso and decided to give it a shot. It turned out to be very cool. The music was mostly instrumental and played on a variety of homemade instruments. A few pieces had vocals, but they were more recitative than singative. After several spins of Iso, I went on a mission to find the others. It took several months, but I finally found copies at local (and semi-local) stores of Music for Homebuilt Instruments and 11 X 2 for around $5 each, as opposed to prices I found on-line that were sometimes in the triple digit range!

Today's piece comes from side two of 11 X 2 and features Robert on the 2 String Guitar (Bottleneck) and Wood Slit Drums, while Christopher twangs the Birimibau. The album comes with a folio jam-packed with photos and technical diagrams of the instruments played (all homebuilt by Christopher), along with all sorts of ephemera, like info on building instruments, recording studio invoices, tax forms, etc.

Remember I mentioned the back cover being blank? Well, there's a plan for that, per the last insert in the folio. There was never a fourth album, though, so I left the back cover of mine blank, in solidarity.

1 biased opinion:

Fabio Piazzo said...

hey...can you find me some copis...??
I looking for many years
fabio ( Nord Italy...)
electric@inwind.it