Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT - "Pretty Totally" - Tape - 2001

    Before I got into punk, Fred Astaire and weirdo performance art held my interest. I was 11 years old. It was weird. When I discovered punk a little later, I felt like I had found my place in this world, but something was missing from it. Sure, there were people with mohawks and metal coming out of their faces, but a lot of their interests seemed to mirror the society at large (at least where I grew up). They still talked about TV shows and they still had racist, sexist, homophobic views. A lot of the punk bands in my hometown were afraid of experimentation and improvisation. At the time, I didn't know there was a whole scene of noisy, arty music, but I formed a group that played straight up noise and absolutely no one liked it, but it was really fun. Then, one day I played a show with IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT and it opened my eyes to what I had been missing for all of those years. They lived in big, dirty warehouses, built their own equipment, recorded everything themselves on analog machines, didn't take themselves too seriously (but played intentionally and seriously) and sometimes did things that could be considered performance art. They didn't own TVs, they hopped trains, they ate out of the trash and were welcoming to anyone that wasn't a complete asshole...and sometimes they were welcoming to the asshole too.
   This tape came out in 2001, not long after I met them and it is my favorite of all of their releases. I told them that this is their "punk album" because some of the other ones delve into soundscapes, field recordings, homemade horns and staticky amps. This one sounds (to me) like an arty band trying to be a hardcore band, not succeeding, and making something else entirely that is both beautiful and steeped in improv. This may not be what you think about it at all, but that's my impression.
  This tape was remastered and re-released on vinyl last year by Unwucht Records  in Germany in an edition of 295 copies. Good luck finding one (I saw one at the Princeton Record Exchange in New Jersey, by the way). The members of IPCP are still keeping busy in numerous ways these days with Uke OF Spaces CornersAncestral Diet , Raya Brass Band, and running Trd Wd Records. Long live IxPxCxPx! Til ____ do us _____.
                                      Download IPCP


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