a l b u m . N o t e s

this page: DEBUT EP plunderphonic Rubáiyát spectre parade

- a transcript of the plunderphonics EP sleeve and liner.

rrr (recommended rotation rates): The normal speed at which to play this record is standard 45rpm but it is intrinsic to the nature of Pretender and Spring that they may be auditioned at a variety of speeds; experimentation will reveal, respectively the nuance of gender transformation, and the simple correspondences of the veiled registers.

Spring, an excerpt from Sacre Rien, comprising several studies in reproducing and trompe l'orielle techniques, from computer conducted versions of the original instrumentation, to time-aligned analog transpositions. Spring uses a double speed (relative to 45 r.p.m. reproduction) rendition as the structural clock beginning at bar 66 (trs en dehors) leading into the 'Adolescent Girls' section (tempo gusto) up until bar 137 and then continuing at quadruple tempo thru the 'Abduction' to 'Spring Rounds' (tranquillo) ending at bar 320 which plays out in four overlapping octave speeds.

essential equipment & musicians for revisions:

Spring: Telarc compact disc #80054;
3speed 2track analog tape recorder;
2 wild-synched 8tracks.
Pretender: RCA 7" phonograph record # PB-13756-B;
Lenco-Bogen B-75 variable speed record player;
hi-speed bin loop duplicator.
Pocket: Sheffield Lab/Nakamichi audio cassette #RA-4000;
analog 2 track; razor blades & splicing tape.
Dont!: RCA compact disc #6382-2-R;
2x8tracks; microphone; Akai S-900; Bill Frisell guitars;
Marvin Green basses; Greg Kozak brushes; Michael Snow pianos.

Source 'Rite'performed by the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel as recorded by Robert Woods and Jack Renner, 14May1980.

Revisions recorded & edited @ Mystery Laboratory by John Oswald.

Research division director John Oswald.

Public relations director Geo.Ray Brain.

Assistance Holly Small.

Jacket design, typography & program notes by John Oswald.

Tiger Lady figurita by Byron Werner.
Lunar photo from the National Space Science Data Center (USA) through the World Data Center A for Rockets and Satellites.

Recording made possible through the assistance of the Canada Council.

s shareright Mystery Laboratory 1988.

'A work is 'created' when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time; where a work is prepared over a period of time, the portion of it that has been fixed at any particular time constitutes the work as of that time, and where the work has been prepared in different versions, each version constitutes a separate work.' from the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act: 17 USC 101

Mystery Laboratory box 7 Station P Toronto M5S 2S6

Neither this record nor its audible contents are to be bought or sold. All forms of copying are permitted and encouraged.


Pretender (based on 'The Great Pretender' written by Buck Ram) features the opportunity for a dramatic gender change, suggesting a hypothesis concerning the singer, Ms.Parton, perhaps worthy of headlines in the National Enquirer. The first inklings of this story came from fans of Ms.Parton's earlier hit single 'Jolene'. As many consumers have inadvertently discovered, especially since the reemergence of 12' 45rpm records of which this present disc is a peculiar subset, it is not uncommon to find oneself playing 45rpm sides at the LP standard speed of 331/3. In this transposed tempo 'Jolene' reveals the singer to be a handsome tenor. Additional layers of homosexual longing , convoluted mnages trois and double identities are revealed in a vortex of androgyny as one switches, verse to verse, between the two standard playback speeds.

Pretender takes a leisurely tour of the intermediate areas of Ms. Parton's masculinity. This decelerando reveals, complete with suggestive lyrics, an unaltered transition between the 'Dolly Parton' the public usually hears and the normally hidden voice, pitched a fourth lower. To many ears this supposed trick effect reveals the mellifluous male voice to be the more natural sounding of the two. Astute star gazers have perceived the physical transformation, via plastic surgery, hair transplants and such, that make many of today's media figures into narrow/bosomy, blemish-free caricatures and super-real ideals. Is it possible that Ms. Parton's remarkable voice is actually the Alvinized* result of some unsung virile ghost lieder crooning these songs at elegiac tempos which are then gender polarized to fit the tits? Speed and sex are again revealed as components intrinsic to the business of music. *chipmunked


'Beyond what was seen on the stage was the wilderness emanating from the pit and the audience went mad,' Thus, in 'The Rite that Shook the World' did Harvey Phillips depict the premiere performance of 'Le Sacre du Printemps' on Thursday, May 29th, 1913. In the 75 years of numerous performances and reproductions since (several dozen committed to record) this 'wilderness' has become populated by tranquilizing familiarity, and by progressively less of the eruptive work which Stravinsky finished under duress of a splitting toothache.

How would the ears of the present hear the Rite with its 1913 intensity? Life has quickened and so has the multiple reproduction on this record. Through an unaltered but accelerated structure are woven various reiterations of the original orthodox orchestral recording, in speeds covering a compass of factor four, from four times as slow to four times as fast. Slower parts are at times compacted in order to register simultaneously with faster ones. The 'Adolescent Girls' and 'Abduction' scenes have thereby been reduced in duration from 6 minutes to 2, a gesture towards writer J.G.Ballard's future in which ultrasonic short playing 900rpm records compress the appreciation a 3 hour Wagnerian opera into a couple of minutes*.

Spring somewhat retrogressively remains entirely in the audible spectrum.

*An experiment @ Mystery Lab has produced a compressions recognizably of the overture to Wagner's 'Lohengrin', reducing its 20 minute duration to 60 seconds.


Pocket , the basic Basie tune ('Corner Pocket') as performed by Harry James and His Big Band, as recorded by the direct-to-vinyl fetishists at Sheffield Labs, here hits an extraterrestrial fan. The track was originally constructed for Discosphere, an exposition of various examples of alien graffiti related to common, generic forms of human music, in this case orchestrated jazz. In Pocket the music is perceived by a model species of being which has a conspicuous tendency to stick with any opportunity for ostinato, in a looping fashion, ad infinitum, but otherwise has a contrasting pervasive random access relationship to time which results in the Burroughsesque cut-up nature (a sort of 'Porner Cocket') of its attempts to collate events into groups of similarities, here primarily timbre density and simple arithmetical probability. The results of this perceptual interaction are in effect listener imposed improvisations; any particular recording (here simulated) of the creature's response features a different combination of the components which define the form; each version unique but recognizably the piece at hand.

Back on earth, we are left with these uncharted correspondences, performed by an infinitely tight ensemble which, in accordance with Duke Ellington's definition, are imbued with meaning.


The recording of Pop music has traversed at least four major technical and stylistic epochs since Elvis sang this paean (written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoler) to prevention on September 6th, 1957. Dont! refers to two: the Spectorian Wall of Sound of the early sixties, and autonomous multitrack overdubbing, which reigned from the late sixties to the dawn of sonic automation. Prior to the ready availability of multitrack Phil Spector filled his little symphonies with engorged packs of instrumentalists, 4 pianos, 6 basses, 8 sets of sleigh bells, similar to the giant concert hall organisms which churn out Beethoven and Stravinsky.

The thickening of 'Don't' began on September 6th of 1987 (with a piano overlay by Bobby Wiseman which, along with appropriations from Cecil Taylor and Gyrgy Ligeti, has been suppressed in the present mix). Later Bill Frisell provided multiple additions, snaking around Scotty Moore's original guitar part. Each track was recorded with reference only to a slightly altered version of the basic Elvis track, so the composite has the 'sensitive dependence' which creates patterns about the 'strange attractor' (Bill) in any chaotic environment. Next came Marvin Green on bass fiddle (four layers make his composite bass, in addition to Bill Black's 1957 part). Greg Kozak has added brushes and Mike Snow the final pianos. The Jordanaires' backing vocals were lifted, transposed and reinserted throughout, completing the divisi of the original instrumentation.

This sort of chorusing of the individual and oblivious part-making is common to multitrack production. The seminal 'bed' tracks are innocent of the nuance or even the eventual existence of the final overdubs. A complex deafness pervades.

this page: debut EP PLUNDERPHONIC Rubáiyát spectre parade

1.beatles 2.dab 3.way 4.replica 5.white 6.dont 7.pretender 8.black
9.brown 10.fab 11.u1 12.prelude 13.net 14.birth 15.pocket 16.mirror
17.mist 18.ten4 19.tune 20.spring 21.7th 22.u2 23.aria 24.rainbow
These tracks are available for download thanks to an anonymous & remote plunderphile. The album has been zipped into a 80Mb ZIP file containing MP3s of the original tracks. Before downloading the following linked file, please observe this quote from the album cover, "ALL COPYING LENDING PUBLIC PERFORMANCE AND BROADCAST OF THIS DISC PERMITTED. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO EXISTING RECORDINGS IS UNLIKELY TO BE COINCIDENTAL. THIS DISC IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR SALE. MADE IN CANADA - ADAAD".

PXalbum.zip 80 MB

: commentary on tracks featured on the debut PLUNDERPHONIC CD by Geo.Ray Brain, public relations, Mystery Lab

This is the finale from "A day in the life", created by Beatles and technicians simultaneously hitting an E major chord onto 12 virtual pianos and a harmonium. It's being transposed and built up into even bigger chords on a sampler and we've mixed the initial bit from "A hard days night" into the 4th reiteration. top

2. DAB :
After sliding into recognition this Michael Jackson cut follows the format of a video game - as it progresses the levels of complexity and abstraction increase. This is probably the most complicated piece on the album. top

3. WAY :
is a schizo-stereo audio palindrome. It simultaneously goes from its end to its beginning and its beginning to the end. The coda is a little vignette made up of "Strawberry fields" from a longer version that John Oswald created years ago. With tracks 1 and 14 we've given credit to the individual Beatle most responsible, rather than to the group. top

is a new arrangement constructed of solo parts from several songs from a Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band album. The separation was done with a Mystery Lab Solo-izer. top

5. WHITE :
Bing Crosby sounds a little pink on our version of the best-selling single of all time. We've separated him from the chorus and let his tendency to wallow in melisma (melodic elaboration on a syllable) run amok. The 2nd half of this cut features an unprecedented collaboration between African Pygmies and a tango orchestra. top

6. DONT :
Elvis Presley's new back-up band consists of the hottest studio musicians of the 90's for this reworked ballad recording from the 50's.top

Over the course of this song Dolly Parton gets an aural sex change. Check out the last verse in which she gets to sing a duet with himself. Meanwhile, the arrangement goes from infinitely fast to infinitely slow. top

8. BLACK :
Part one of James Brown's Greatest Bits. There's a guest appearance by Prince.top

9. BROWN :
J.B. soon takes control of this Public Enemy accredited cut and shows who's the Supreme Justice of Superbad. With guest appearances by Charlie Parker, Matt Dillon and a bevy of minor appropriators. top

The African Pygmies are back, this time playing with schlock virtuoso Dick Hyman.top

This untitled cut is the theme from the 50's TV series Andy of Mayberry, slowed down a lot. It sounds like a whistling whale but it's played on an Emulator. Sort of an "Alien Andy". top

Imagine a whole orchestra hidden inside a piano. When Franz Liszt hits a key one of the musicians inside gets a signal to play that note on whatever their instrument is. top

13. NET :
Oswald says he liked the way the Metallica ensemble was recorded, but that the drum arrangements were inadequate, so here's a new improved version.top

14. BIRTH :
is a sampled portion of the Beatle tune "Birthday" played by 4 improvising computers.top

15. POCKET :
If William Burroughs wrote arrangements for big band they might sound like this.top

16. MIRROR :
is a jazz quartet or quintet that never existed. None of these musicians has the slightest idea what the others are playing. To some people free jazz always sounds like that. top

17. MIST :
2 musical factions, one led by Ry Cooder, the other by Lew Davies, battle it out over this arrangement of a Bix Biederbecke tune.top

18. TEN4 :
Anton Webern's music doesn't often get heard, especially as played on toy piano, ship horns and a guitar bowed by a sword.top

19. TUNE :
Both real and phoney orchestras tune up for the classical music portion of the disc. Under all the clouds of instruments you can just hear Verdi's melody.top

20. SPRING :
The first part of this Stravinsky number is played by a big orchestral sampler conducted by a computer. The 2nd part is played by, in effect, 4 record players synchronized at different speeds from slow to very fast. top

21. 7TH :
Beethoven is revamped and updated so this sounds like blockbuster minimalism by the patternists. top

22. UNTITLED 2 :
Another untitled cut, with unforgettable melodies performed on identical music boxes. top

23. ARIA :
A computer listens to Glenn Gould playing some Bach, then tells another computer loaded with the sounds of Gould's piano, how to play what it heard.top

Judy Garland's theme is played in a dozen harmonic layers. Eventually only the slow, low ones are left.top

25. [UNLISTED] :






this page: deput EP plunderphonic Rubáiyát spectre parade

[Elektrax CD] liner notes: Plunderphonic Rubáiyát

All tracks rearranged and reproduced by John Oswald.

All sources, unless otherwise indicated, are available on the Rubáiyát.

All sources have been faithfully transferred from commercially available compact discs and phonograph records, or from digital dubs of the stereo master tapes. No use has been made of multitrack source tapes, studio outtakes, or of any material that isn' t or hasn't been commercially available.
Applicable rights of the electroquoted tracks are retained.
Copies don't sound as good.

O'Hell, 2Net, Anon, Vane, and Mother were realized by John Oswald

executive production credits

thanks: David Bither, Bob Krasnow, Bob Hurwitz, Lenny Kaye, Albert Lee, JoAnn Kaeding, Carla Capietto & Valerie Vickers at Elektra/Nonesuch/Asylum. also: Holly Small, Christopher Butterfield, Bob Wiseman, Mendelson Joe, Clive Allen & John Zorn.

selektrax 1. The Doors:


source: "Hello, I Love You" (The Doors)
w/ hits from: "Light My Fire"
"Love Her Madly"
"Love Me Two Times"
"Break On Thru"
"Touch Me"
"Five to One"
"People Are Strange"
"Roadhouse Blues"
"L.A. Woman"
"Strange Days"
"The End"
"When the Music's Over"
"Waiting For The Sun"
from: The Best of the Doors (Elektra CD 9 60345-2)
2. Metallica:

sources: "Net" from the CD Plunderphonic (1989, out of print; remaining copies destroyed by recording industry piracy police).
"Net" is a survey of portions of all tracks from the Metallica LP And Justice For All (Elektra CD 60812, 1989)
"Stone Cold Crazy" (author?) the Queen & Metallica versions.
3. Tim Buckley:

source: "Anonymous Proposition" (Tim Buckley)
from: the LP Lorca (Elektra 74074, 1970, out of print)
w/ atmospheres from:
The Doors: "Riders on the Storm"
Tim Buckley: Happy Sad (Elektra CD 74045)
4. Carly Simon &
   Faster Pussycat:

sources: "You're So Vain" (Carly Simon)

5. MC5:

source: the MC5 LP Kick Out the Jams (Elektra 74042, 1969)

Some additional tracks were partially prepared. Listeners may wish try some of these recipes in the privacy of their own home entertainment systems:

1. A minute-long abridgement, reduced to minimal redundancy, of Paul Butterfield's "Born In Chicago" slowed down from the equivalent of 45 rpm to 33 1/3 rpm (an option no longer readily abailable to listeners in this age of CDs) resulting in a 'bl acker' sound at a more leisurely tempo; while at the same time a sense of the song rushes by.

2. Two mixes, both combining the Television and Kronos String Quartet versions of "Marquee Moon", one of which sounds like Television with strings, while the other is more along the lines of Kronos with rock band.

3. Field recording of the New Seekers singing "I'd Like to...[etc.]" in various locales and situations including: over the public address system at a major league baseball game and for the mostly Japanese passersby at the Osaka World's Fair; on a blaster in an aviary and in a canyon; a passing version through a 600 watt automotive system.

4. A melismatic and choralized tracking of Joni Mitchell singing "Both Sides Now" using the stylistic models of the Beach Boys' "Heroes and Villains" and Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot Lunaire".

5. Elimination of the snare drum from a few verses of Jackson Brown's "These Days" in preparation for grafting with the 10,000 Maniacs cover. This sort of simulation of a remix, in this case achieved by the precise editing of the beat, could be more easily effected if songs were released in multitrack, interactive versions. A 4, 6 or 8 track mix-programmable K7 or CD player would opportune multiple choices, for instance, vocal-eliminated instrumental versions, extending the preferences a listen er can apply using traditional balance and tone controls.

6. Suggested duets from the Rubáiyát package: Teddy Pendergrass & Bread Ernie Isley & the Cars the two very similar versions of "7 & 7 is" by Billy Bragg & Love John Zorn & the Stooges "Love Wars" between the Womacks & the Beautiful South

Play them anyway you like !

this page: deput EP plunderphonic Rubáiyát SPECTRE parade

The camera's shutter blinks and a moment of the visual world is frozen on film. Still, there is no audible equivalent to the snapshot in the time it takes to sound. Sound takes time. Recordings of Kronos fill Spectre. Successive moments happen often at once. In concert the musicians add a final overdub to a string orchestra of a thousand and one reflections. This wall of sound of veils of vibration of ghosts of events of past and futu re continuously present is a virtually extended moment. An occasional freeze marks a moment's gesture. The title refers to an international crime cartel featured in several of the novels of Ian Fleming, as well as to a certain kingpin of accumulative acoustics, in league with Lucier, Tenney, Ligeti, Dolden, Xenakis, and Wilson.

this page: deput EP plunderphonic Rubáiyát spectre PARADE

PARADE (1986) by John Oswald, with reference to Erik Satie's Parade (1917), to accompany a choreography by Jennifer Mascall.

keyboard arrangements:		John Oswald, Paul Plimley
guitars: 			Alex Varty
sax sample programming:		Henry Kaiser
alto sax:			John Oswald
baby:				Cora Risdall
recording of live instruments:	Doug J.Brown

produced by John Oswald @ the Western Front Lodge & EDAM dance sound studios, Vancouver with the financial assistance of the music section of the Canada Council. Post production @ Mystery Laboratory, Toronto

Parade is one of those notorious Ballets Russes productions from the 2nd decade of this century. A jaunty score by Erik Satie, including project engineer Jean Cocteau's additions of the sounds of typewriters, gunshots, sirens, & a wheel of fortune, accomp anied the choreography of Leonide Massine. A new version of the 1917 dance,commissioned by the Expo'86 World's Fair in Vancouver, although neither a reconstruction, nor even a ballet, retains elements of character & plot gleaned from the original.

The curtain opens on a stage carpeted in fog, human legs protruding from which support horizontal, hovering figures. A magician enters with his hands on fire. The opening tableau becomes animated: for the next 12 minutes a score of dancers & acrobats, spi n, flip, fly & sustain a rapid succession of geometric progressions, gymnastic interactions, & sleight of hand vignettes.

The choreography, by Jennifer Mascall, is independent of whatever movement Massine may have created. Dance, which, unlike music is rarely notated, is free to exist in vague interpretations of its past accomplishments.

Satie's music, on the other hand, is available, faithfully reproduced in concert performances & recordings. Some versions have gone so far as to modernize the sound effects.

The basis for the present derivation is a cube factor increase in the playback speed of existing recorded versions. Left intact the 16 minute score would thereby be reduced to 4, but it has been further embellished by interpretations, reflections, & some sympathetic incongruities - fragmented & reassembled in pursuit of a discursive choreographic process.

The result is a tape. The 2 live musicians incorporated for performance have since been recorded to make a final composite, in this slightly abridged version. The opening bars are a direct quote of the Satie, & everything goes from there.

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