2018 etat09 Limited edition of 500 numbered copies. LP release by Superior Viaduct: Ètas-Unis on clear vinyl.
Cover image by John Duncan.
The inter-disciplinary maverick John Duncan emerged in 1970s Los Angeles as a confrontational performance artist and, as the decade progressed, aligned himself with the experimental-music collective Los Angeles Free Music Society. His sound art appeared on various self-released cassettes and alongside artists such as Jim Pomeroy and Yoshi Wada on the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art’s influential compilation Sound.
Duncan’s debut album, Organic, released in a tiny edition on the artist’s own AQM imprint in 1979 and distributed through LAFMS, collects some of his earliest and most absorbing noise experiments. Recorded live, Organic is composed of two sidelong pieces: “Broken Promise,” a patient, murky dirge featuring Duncan on tape and percussion, plus Michael Le Donne-Bhennet on bassoon; and “Gala,” a kinetic, durational percussion piece featuring Duncan alone. The meditations on texture and unpredictability, realized with unconventional and found sounds, anticipate his later work with shortwave radio.