TW-C: Open City "L.A. We Revise Your Neglect"
180 Gram Vinyl LP w/ Heavy Gatefold Cover
Side A -
A Touching Synopsis
Difficulty, Braver than Music
Side B -
Penitence, that Casino Witch
Eulogy for the DWP
Peter Kolovos - Guitar
Andrew Maxwell - Drums & Percussion
Doug Russell - Guitar
Avoiding the shiftless drift & drone and residual jazz vernacular that characterizes most free energy music, Open City pursues an aggressive abstraction, full of risky contrasts and improbable maneuvers.
Like Fluxus restaging the breakup of the continental ice sheet or the Home Depot after-hours, dreaming of itself as industrial Webern, this group demonstrates that sound and silence, like most ideas, are best when their half-lives are short. Open City refuses entertainment and the tyranny of the beat in favor of multiplicity and unrepeatability: the live event!
Second full length, from Los Angeles, two electric guitars, one drumkit.
"From Los Angeles, Open City chase two electric guitars and one close-miked drumkit through scurrying pointillist sketches, firecracker drones, and explosive smears of colour. Members of Open City have previously played with the likes of Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, and Phill Niblock, and there's no denying their strong grasp of the language of higher minded improvisation. Yet their approach is undercut with a real rock sensibility, made most manifest in the barbed wire tones of the guitars. Indeed, the combination of avant theory and punk rock aethetics drops them in a similar space to Sonic Youth's Goodbye 20th Century. Drummer Andrew Maxwell runs the gamut of percussive techniques, from all-out pots and pans attack through the kind of sonorous cymbal work that Eddie Prevost uses to illuminate AMM's darker paths. Twin guitarists Peter Kolovos and Doug Russell veer from Sonic Youth's Moore/Ranaldo tag team wrassling to setting their guitars up as lightning rods for the liquid flow of electricity. Though the music is formless, the group are so aggressively focused that even the slightest of movements feels totally inexorable."
David Keenan, The Wire December 2002
"A second official studio offering for Open City (after a handful of semi-private releases), L.A. We Revise Your Neglect goes straight to the point, title and music wise. The back of an insert reads: “Embarrassment is your privilege. Refuse entertainment." This trio chooses to perform challenging improvisation. In fact, Peter Kolovos (guitar), Doug Russell (guitar) and Andrew Maxwell (drums) make it their mission to rock against the clock, beating Rhythm to a corpse and shredding Melody to pieces. The music seems to be strongly inspired by Sonic Youth, although stating that doesn't do it justice. Yes, the electric guitars are noisy (extremely in “Penitence, That Casino Witch", an exception), but overall the trio approaches improvisation in a way closer to European Free Improvisers like Derek Bailey, Keith Rowe or (to name a single drummer) Roger Turner. They provocatively balance clarity of enunciation and textural/drone noise. Maxwell's percussives are anything but rock-minded, making strong use of cymbals and precise gestures on the skins. “Difficult Braver than Music," 17 minutes long, offers a good range of ideas, making a point of dropping one whenever it becomes to comfy. “Engram Sepals" plays games with the listener in a succession of false endings. This LP is packaged in an eye-catching sturdy gatefold sleeve and pressed on 180 gram vinyl — a beautiful production in all aspects. 4/5 Stars"
François Couture, All Music Guide
"2nd LP from this stelar LA twin-table-top and extended-technique drummer trio. Very high prod. values (best looking LP of the year easy) and super aural contents make this one of the treats of this list. These guys can melt plastic from a block away, and are capable of producing equally delicate traceries of sound a the drop of the proverbial hat. Listen and weep."
Bruce Russell, Corpus Hermeticum