Buzzsaw was ( and is ) an artist from southern California. In a world where you can’t fall down without hitting an “outsider” artist, Buzzy ( who’s real name I shan’t reveal here) is the real deal. Not a lip flapping street urchin, not a wild eyed poet nor an outraged politico, Buzzsaw is a profoundly literate, eloquent and sharply dressed throwback to a time when intelligence was respected and a familiarity with Shakespeare or Keats was not frowned on but favored. His music was a strange bird too: spoken word and odd sound collage that bid you entry to his verbose and artful domain. His use of pre-recorded music as a backing for his bizarre karaoke was not only humorous but somewhat of a breakthrough of aural design.Later in his musical journey he discovered the joys of looping and electronic sounds and was a presence within the Tape Germ community.
Above, his 2003 CD ( released on my own Lonely Whistle label) by Buzzsaw and The Shavings, was a live recording from KUCR in Riverside.
His 2001 cassette is a lo fi theatrical display of insane high art. This one was released on Unread Records and Buzzsaw also had works released on the Shrimper label.
After long reflection and fears of Contempt engendered over me abiding sloth that has too long silenced me expression, I at last focus upon my earliest days involving the matters of music and recording. I had, of course first recorded some domestic flights of sound and volume at home in 1989, but under no illusions that any other would hear them. That year trod upon me with a great event and upheaval felling old certainties with the same speed as the contemporary fall of the Berlin Wall. Soon I had embraced the craft of a poet and issued poems in a stream at last carried me to readings and even band performances where my early and stationary readings quickly evolved under the stern gaze of punker and thrasher into a tempestuous scene where I would enter into a fight with my poetry and inevitably lose. At one of these performances I made the re-acquaintance of a friend, one Mr. Shrimper, who had but recently established and launched the legendary underground cassette label Shrimper, and shortly thereafter, as I browsed the selection of vinyl records, retreated to its last redoubt in an upstairs corner, Mr. Shrimper, currently working…gads that word…approached me, recalled I was a poet and simply asked me if I would care to join the label and record some spoken-word. The concept of recording for even an underground label, in the anticipation of a release filled me with some great excitement and sense of impending accomplishment. I agreed with alacrity to join the label and commit to a release.
Not wishing to record at home, I recalled a friend at a local college station, KSPC of Claremont, California, presiding over a program entitled, I Hate Music and aided by boldness, audacity and his un expected agreement, I was permitted to record my first cassette for Shrimper live on his program, my material comprised of some aimless ramblings about Red Air in a melange of German and English. The night of the live performance arrived, I was covered over in nervousness and apprehensions and some hours yet to pass before I was due to call upon the radio station, I sat down to a sumptuous Greek dinner, of brandy and fried cheese and rice dwelling in grape leaves, my mind filling with transports of clamour over how I should perform live, unable to correct, only to adapt a miscue of error. I chatted amiably with all, but conjured scenarios of failure and minor catastrophe. As the minutes counted down, I departed the restaurant, not too giddy to tremble and strode uncertainly to the station.
Arriving, I was induced a to ring up a number on an old telephone stood by the door that would unlock it and permit to enter the building. Me heart issuing a beat that must astound even Khachaturian, I dialed the number, heard the DJ answer and decipher me flustered babble and ring to let me inside. I strode down the steps, me trod echoing into an empty corridor and second thoughts must have intruded in the din of me thoughts. I strode forth, perhaps discerning scornful laughter as I approached the radio station studio, regarding the merry scrawl of bands and notables once played there, quailing to think I should be admitted to their company. I entered, regarded me DJ friend and was instructed to enter into a room adjacent his booth, microphone set up, sound checks ensuing, me voice slim from nervousness, informed I should soon go on live and do my thing. I had presumed I would record voice-only, but this accommodating disc-jockey arranged musical background, playing some Exotica-themed records of bird calls and soft, Mai-Tai fuzzed percussion and strings, somehow matching my poetry to perfection; after my initial halting sounds and mutters as the light signaling I was now being broadcast switched on, the music lifted me and girded me in its promise and example of froth and light, a reminder this was to be an amusing experience and a cheerful little trifle and revel. Soon I expressed myself in lofty tones of theatrics and power, informed by the music and inspired by the prospects of the union of music and poetry and theatrics and plot functioning as one whole, and it seemed that I had quaffed not a single brandy but a dozen, dizzy in the prospects that were now offered my future releases.
The rest of the tale is me bizarre issues of tapes, mixes and the strangest tiles that I can possibly devise, all founded upon that signal night in 1990 when all seemed limitless and promising and I must admit, vast tracts of the realm of recording artistry has yet to feel the trod of me expression but are hereby warned that a strange shadow must eventually expected to fall upon them…