John Cage, Aaron Dilloway
Rozart Mix
Incl. 12-page booklet
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1Rozart Mix 16:00
2Single Rozart Tape Full Mix (undisturbed) 2:17
3Single Rozart Tape Flip 1 Stereo 2:16
4Single Rozart Tape Flip 2 Stereo 2:17
5Single Rozart Tape Left Mono 2:17
6Single Rozart Tape Right Mono 2:17
7Single Rozart Tape L-R Hard Stereo 2:17

Aaron Dilloway takes on John Cage's influential 1965 tape collage ‘Rozart Mix’, enlisting Robert Turman and John Wiese, plus friends, to play back 88 tape loops spooled around several floors of the John Cage Trust building in New York. The resulting 6 hour performance, played on 12 individually amplified reel-to-reel machines, is here edited down to a fractious 30 minute madness.

Following conversations with Alvin Lucier in 1965, Cage centred the score for ‘Rozart Mix’ around a performance for no fewer than 88 tape loops (one for each piano key) that would each contain different material and vary in length up to 45 feet. Decades later, at the height of 2020 lockdown, Dilloway was tasked by the John Cage Trust to re-interpret the work, enlisting Rose Actor-Engel, Twig Harper, C. Lavender, Quintron, Robert Turman, and John Wiese for a six hour performance that positioned reel-to-reel decks through multiple floors of the building, with tape spooled up stairs and around furniture.

Dilloway's version of Rozart retains the signature of the original but is arguably even more animated, with Cage's orchestral cuts replaced with explosions and animalic groans. It’s a fractious concrète clusterfuck spraying shredded loops that, for all intents and purposes, resemble Dilloway’s own decades of work, most often performed while masked and full body-gurning over tables of hot-wired kit and tape loops. The half hour work here breaks down to a full 16 minute take on ‘Rozart Mix’, supplemented with five shorter vignettes that go hard in stereo and mono versions.

Even for the most hardened concrète fiend, Dilloway’s durational cut is pretty mental, a shapeshifting mass of quacks, cartoonish hiccups and gravelly slosh that careens the stereo field and binds your mind to the ferric madness on the periphery. The shorter bits do not let up on the mania, and perhaps best resemble Dalloway’s own solo work as much as aspects of recent Wolf Eyes shows and the junk cut-ups of Japan’s K2, who all find a precedent to their style in Cage’s 1965 prism-shattering work. You can still hear the grotesque gnarl of classic Dilloway like 'Modern Jester' and 'Beggar Master', but here bolstered by Cage’s own kind of counter-cultural deviance. It’s an invigorating listen that will no doubt trigger those of a fragile disposition but - honestly - where else you gonna hear John Wiese's first encounter with a contact-mic’d frog played back through a building full of speakers?