Amnon Raviv – Mirror LP
Paradigm Discs present a reissue of Amnon Raviv‘s Mirror, originally released in Israel in 1983 and only available in a handmade edition of just 50 copies. As such, this edition is the first widely available issue of this LP, giving it a chance to reach an audience beyond the 50 hardened collectors who got to hear this strange experimental record back in the ’80s. There’s nothing else quite like it from that era, let alone from Israel, although it does have some parallels with earlier avant-garde/outsider music from the US and Europe. It may well be the strangest, as well as one of the most obscure records to come out of Israel. The instruments used are flamenco and acoustic guitar, flute, violin and sax. Some of the playing is free form and some is complex notation, but all the tracks contain collages of effects and noisy field recordings which often dominate the picture — bubbling water, a chicken farm, feedback, transistor radio, metal percussion, vacuum cleaner, etc. There are some comparisons to be made with Anal Magic and Rev Dwight Frizzell‘s Beyond The Black Crack from 1976, also reissued on Paradigm (PD 006CD/LP). Mirror has a similar wild and fried atmosphere sitting amidst the open sonic spaces, coupled with some skilled instrumental playing. A notable difference with the Frizzell album is that Frizell’s pieces are always titled — the six pieces here are all untitled. Amnon Raviv is still active as a musician, but he also holds a PhD in medical clowning and his main work these days is as a medical clown, incorporating smiles and laughter as a therapy to help recovering patients on Tel Aviv’s cancer wards. This edition comes with new artwork showing Raviv working as a performance artist on the streets of Amsterdam in 1984. Includes 12×12″ insert which replicates the original artwork from one of the 50 unique sleeves and contains liner notes by the artist that give insights into the concept behind this album; edition of 500 (numbered).