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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Brion Gysin

By John Kuhlman
Published March 16, 2007

One Night @ The 1001
Sub Rosa SR142

UNITED KINGDOM

Brion Gysin’s protean slipperiness as an artist and psychonaut means that whenever and wherever his archival material emerges, it will invariably be a mixed bag, and this is certainly the case with this recent two-CD release. The first disc, ostensibly recordings made by local musicians at the “1001 Nights” restaurant, should be one of the holy grails of Beat numinosity, broadcast from the beating heart of Interzone. But those expecting to hear the white-hot roaring of the pipes of Jajouka, calling the purple-assed baboons down from the mountains to run amok among the privileged clientele, will be disappointed. The Jajouka musicians are here, but playing unexceptional, lo-fi pieces, all suspiciously free of ambient restaurant chatter. The second disc collects spoken word texts (accompanied by quiet electronics) supposedly written by Gysin, but sounding more like extracts from the works of William Burroughs. Interesting, but necessary only to Beat and Gysin completists.