BLUETOY [May 1985] – REPETITIVE RHYTHMS FOR A PLANET THAT DOESN’T KNOW ANY BETTER was the third of three related albums released by Christopher Simmons, comprising the last of the style of composing/recording/playing introduced on his two earlier works, OSCILLATIONS UNKNOWN and REINVENTING THE WHEEL WITHOUT A THIRD EYE, recorded in 1984 and released on cassette in 1985. This was his fourth formal commercial release of electronic instrumental music on his own label.
As with his prior two albums in this style, Simmons created tracks by setting up simple sequences on a couple of his devices which had rudimentary built-in sequencers (e.g., Sequential Pro-One, and Prophet 600), synced to a drum machine, and then “noodling” leads and melodies on top while recording. This improv was recorded over several hours, and then the “best” of the versions was then saved to a master tape. Once there was enough material, that became the finished album.
Friend and collaborator Rick Kleffel appeared on two tracks on this album, replicating the mostly improv recording format.
BLUETOY (Christopher Laird Simmons)
“Repetitive Rhythms For A Planet That Doesn’t Know Any Better”
• 60 minutes, cassette format release. S.U. Productions.
• Original SKU #SUP8405B normal bias; #SUP8405C chrome cassette.
Repetition One … 4:49
Exodus and Chase I … 6:58
Privilege of Rank … 3:42
Exhibition At A Picture … 5:58
Repetition Two … 6:35
Chock Out … 3:36
Intermission … : 10
Exodus and Capture … 9:20
Repetition Three … 4:27
March of The Mantas … 3:04
SpiderWeb (FlyDance) … 2:19
Reckless Journey … 4:55
All music was composed, performed, mixed and recorded live by Christopher Simmons except for “Reckless Journey” which was mixed by and recorded / composed / performed with Rick Kleffel. Rick also appears in the background of “Repetition Three” on the glidesound.
All music was recorded Dec. ’84, except last 4 tracks on Side B, which were recorded June/July ’84. No multi-track recorders were used in the production of this music. It Is all created and performed “live.” (Although, proper credit must be given to the somewhat limited sequencers that were used for some songs.)
All material is Copr. ℗ © 1984 by Christopher Laird Simmons [except last track, Side B, ℗ © ’84 Rick Kleffel & Christopher SimmonsJ.
Equipment used includes LinnDrum, Sequential Circuits Inc (SCI) Drumtraks, SCI Prophet 600 synthesizer, Korg Poly 800, SCI Pro One, SCI Model 64, Realistic 6×2 mixer, Boss chorus, Pioneer CT7R cassette deck. KOSS headphones.
CAMERA OBSCURA #4 (FANZINE) – 1985
BLUETOY – (S.U. Productions, P.O. Box 7000-822, Redondo Beach, Ca. 90277 [*]) “Repetitive Rhythms for a Planet that D::>esn’t Know !my Better” is the logical extension of Chris Simmons’ Bluetoy project. As such, it shows marked maturity and improved chops (neither of which was lacking, in the first place); it also continues his practice of perfonning his stuff “live” (that is, no multi-tracking or overdubs). It also continues to piss me off how he does it all so well. Listening to the cuts, you’d think he’d have to multi record the little beggers. No such luck. Chris thinks on his feet, or, on his hands, if you like, so that each canposition is not really the result of endless repetition in a final form, but the newest incarnation of thought in a particular groove. The percussive (electronic) unclerpinnings capture the body and set it on its own wavelength, while the multiple rrelody lines set the mind and imagination free. As his promo literature states, this stuff is cerebrally in a class with the Berlin school. In issue #2, I mentioned an upcaming project with local synthesist extraordinaire, Rick Kleffel – unfortunately, this has yet to come about. On “Repetitive …”, though, there is a tune with them playing together, which is xlnt. I have heard tapes of these guys doing just mindblowing stuff, and have been harassing Chris like a thoughtless asshole ever since. Hopefully, he will one day release this stuff; Rick and Chris canplement each other like few musicians I have ever heard – Tangerine Dream would fear for their collective life if this stuff ever got out. Meantime, his solo stuff (this is the 4th in a series) will satisfy most any purist. Extremely well recorded. $6.00 for a C60.
[*] Important note: Christopher Simmons and Neotrope Records retired our PO Box in 2016.
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All material is Copr. © 1984-1985 by Christopher Laird Simmons