Le Forte Four - Bikini Tennis Shoes LP


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Label: États-Unis

The origins of Le Forte Four are those of the Los Angeles Free Music Society itself. Chip Chapman joined forces with Rick Potts (and shortly thereafter Tom and Joe Potts), taking up the LAFMS name in 1974. Ultimately baptizing themselves Le Forte Four, they began threading imagined lines between John Cage and The Residents, Cecil Taylor and Henry Cow – generating sounds completely unlike any of these and anything since.

The inaugural release on the eponymous LAFMS imprint with only 200 copies pressed originally, Bikini Tennis Shoes is a staggering piece of anti-music that remains as refreshingly ground-clearing today as it was when it first appeared in 1975. Its 40 minutes (parceled out across nearly as many tracks) chart forays into free improvisation, Buchla misuse, filtered noise, begrudging and damaged melodic sorties (from the Star-Spangled Banner to Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring") and healthy doses of basement pablum.

Le Forte Four emerged out of the lethargic American '70s as a locus where, in their own words, "gamelans and ragas merged with serial and chance compositions finally melting together with instructional records and Beatles bootlegs." A wildly eclectic rummaging of postwar culture and 20th century sound, Le Forte Four's Bikini Tennis Shoes preempts punk's outsider ethos and DIY autodidactism.

Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.

Track Listing:

  1. Ka-Bella-Cha-Cha
  2. Some Problem With The Cord Or Something
  3. Ka-Bella-Binsky-Bungo (Excerpt)
  4. Good Worker
  5. Aye Ma Ma (I'm Amok)
  6. Meanwhile Back At The Tulip Boat, Stinky And Gus Make Warplanes
  7. Your Living Constitution (Dies)
  8. Before Docking In Space
  9. Candy Wrapper Blues
  10. A Little Sloppy Still
  11. Bikini Tennis Shoes (One Pair)
  12. Joe's Nose Solo
  13. Song Of The Electric Drill
  14. I Can't Even Think
  15. On The Dawning Of A Giant Face
  16. Joe's Dead/Bozo's Marriage/Twinkle
  17. What Do You Do, Radiator?
  18. The Grocery Store Is My Heaven
  19. Fade It Out
  20. The Pope Speaks
  21. Crank Up The Kids
  22. Bongo Madness
  23. Ka-Bella Reprise (An Excerpt In 5 Movements)
  24. Steven, Steven
  25. Sonnet
  26. Ballad De Forte Four
  27. It's Raining Bongos
  28. They Are Asleep
  29. Music Hall Bootleg (Excerpt)
  30. Painting The Roses Red
  31. Enough Fun
  32. That Feedback Again