Vibe, Extended Organ’s first full-length studio LP since 2000’s XOXO was recorded in April 2016 by members Joe Potts, Fredrik Nilsen, Paul McCarthy, Tom Recchion, and Alex Stevens. The album consists of two side-long tracks, Hate and Vibe, recorded live at LACM Studio in Pasadena, California by acclaimed engineer André Knecht.
On Vibe, the band employs prepared piano, junk percussion, Joe Potts’ Chopped Optigan, electric guitar, voice, Rheem organ, various electronics, and homemade instruments. Each track is improvised, then assembled and edited without overdubbing in studio. The music moves with velocity and direction revealing surprises at every turn. The resulting sound is ominous, humorous, harmonious, chaotic and at times quietly erotic. This is abstractly powerful music.
The highly provocative cover image, created collaboratively by Joe Potts, Fredrik Nilsen, and Tom Recchion, is shrouded inside a unique laser-cut outer sleeve. Like the music contained within, the cover reveal is a beguiling experience in and of itself. This intriguing package was art directed and designed by Tom Recchion.
Formed in 1994, Extended Organ produces a dynamic otherworldly ambience which can be simultaneously hilarious and frightening. Joe Potts lays down a carpet of sound using and his self-engineered drone instrument, the “Chopped Optigan,” over which Paul McCarthy performs vocal and guitar improvisations channeled and processed by Alex Stevens. Alex also adds his own keyboard triggered synthesized sounds. Tom Recchion, renowned as an inventor of homemade instruments, a free improviser, and an accomplished composer of acoustic, electronic and tape music, performs an array of sounds folding lush beauty and horror sensibility into the matrix. Fredrik Nilsen plays an antique Rheem Mark 7 organ along with electronic sound and recordings created by Mike Kelley. Kelley was a member of the group from 2000 until his death in 2012 and continues to be a contributing member by virtue of sound recordings he provided before his death; “In case I can’t make a gig, I can still play.”
The LAFMS formed in the early 1970s around a loosely knit group of like-minded musical improvising sound experimenters in eastern Los Angeles who discovered their mutual interest and banded together to design modes of self production and distribution of recordings and publications, helping to develop and propel the DIY movement. In the ensuing 45 years the LAFMS has gone on to create dozens of records and groups (including Doo-Dooettes, AIRWAY, Le Forte Four, Smegma, John Duncan and Extended Organ), hundreds of concerts, festivals in both US and Europe, a full-scale gallery retrospective and volumes of artwork, sculptures, homemade instruments, videos, recordings, and other ephemera.