Album Review

Knizak, Milan – “Broken Music” – [Sub Rosa Us]

Naysayer   11/11/2015   12-inch, A Library

The gods continually descend upon us handing forth these amazing albums to review. And it happened again with Milan Knizak’s “Broken Music”. Brief background so you get his drift: born in Czechoslovakia in 1940; early interests in all things art; attending many different schools for art, philosophy, mathematics but not finishing; doing political actions on the streets; creation and participation in happenings and environments; watched and arrested by the Czech government; involvement in Fluxus; connections with Plastic People of the Universe.
“Broken Music” is a document of his process started in 1965 of breaking records and reconstructing them, scratching them, putting tape on them, painting them, digging holes in them and on and on. Fasciniated by altering the sound of albums and eventually destroying them to recreate a new composition, Knizak’s process is as interesting and satisfying as listening to the final product. Cracks become new rhythmic beats. Scratches add a necessary aural quality. Tempos change and the flow of the piece becomes disorienting, cacophonous and disturbing. It is truly beautiful. The grandfather of turntablism, predating Marclay, Yoshihide, eRikim and others.
He is currently the general director of the National Gallery in Prague.

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