TBWB live documentation | Tokyo 2​.​2006 (with Bien Victor)

by Thomas Bey WIlliam Bailey + Bien Victor

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This recording is being included in the “live archive” series because, though it was recorded in the a tiny studio room somewhere in the Mizunokuchi neighborhood southwest of Tokyo’s mega-urban core, all that you hear here was improvised on the spot in a single take. I have an entire minidisc’s worth of these sessions, approaching maybe 2 hours’ worth of material, although the selections here are the most cohesive in terms of overall direction and temperament. In particular, these trio sessions were highly “krautrock”-inflected and neo-minimalist, with more than a few nods in the direction of Tony Conrad / Faust (maybe some Origami Arktika for a more “modern” reference).

Players on this recording are myself, Toronto music / film scene gadfly Brandon Hocura, and Jason Funk of Irving Klaw Trio, Helll, Hochenkeit etc. We were provisionally titled ‘Bien Victor’ for this recording by Brandon - always with a French cinematic reference of some kind to toss out - and the results were originally made available by me as a CD-R with the understanding that each individual member could make their own artwork, set their own limitation on copies distributed, etc. What became of any copies not personally distributed by me, I really have no idea, but here again are the original recordings (though the leadoff track here is presented in an expanded version, the original was about 7 minutes shorter).

This is maybe the last documentation from a period, about 4-5 years in length, in which I was more interested in live collaborations than in putting anything to record - anything conceptual or thematic was on hold until after I returned to the U.S. *That* time, given it was a time of relative isolation and years-long grappling with personal health problems not to be related here, ended up cementing my status as a “solo” artist working within the very definite idiom of “sound as psychic research” that I’ve continued to work in ever since.

Before all that came to pass, though, I very much enjoyed the opportunities that being a multi-genre “gun for hire” presented to me. Even though most collaborations, this one included, were “one-offs,” they were necessary in helping clear the path towards the essentialism I now try to follow (see, I was into “essentialism” before it was asked of me, at gunpoint, by the authorities managing the global pandemic lockdown!) As such I don’t view anything I have done with friendly collaborators as a “side project” or a diversion of any kind, and nor should any artist who works with multiple aliases etc. - insofar as live, public presentation of audio art is a means of finding what aspects of your identity are worth projecting into consensus reality, these exercises should be conducted with the same level of dedication that accompany any so-called priority project.

Sure, this document does feature some mistakes and elements that would certainly be edited out of the kind of final products I typically release / publish. All told, though, I enjoy this one as a solid example of instrumentally stretching out while avoiding the quagmire of “jam band”-isms or bad psychedelia. Thanks to Jason and Brandon, wherever you both are, for taking me in and letting me join in this session of soundbath therapy during a time where lots of walls seemed to be falling in on me. There may still be more like this one, we will see…


released May 17, 2020

Jason Funk - drums, 'rhythm' computer, woodwinds
Brandon Hocura - guitar, e-bow, monophonic synthesizer
Thomas Bey Wililam Bailey - 'lead' computer, bass guitar


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thomas bey william bailey Austin, Texas

Thomas Bey William Bailey is a researcher and author of several books (e.g. "To Hear The World With New Eyes," "Micro Bionic") as well as a dedicated sound artist: in whatever medium he chooses, he focuses upon the extremes of information in order to determine both their liberating potential and their hidden dangers. ... more

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