Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trans Museq Mega-Post (DOWNLOAD)

These guys are a brilliant little improv group from Alabama, from which the name of this blog, as well as my last blog, have been taken (I'm just prone to taking their titles, aren't I?). I normally am not that big on improv, and I am obsessive about these guys, if that tells you anything. They're extremely obscure and most of their notoriety comes from the NWW List.

Trans Museq centers around the duo (once a couple) of LaDonna Smith on viola and/or violin (and similar) and Davey Williams on guitar, banjo, and percussion (and similar). They put out ten LP's on a label of the same name, and each one is numbered to designate that each improv group is different: Trans Museq 1, Trans 2, etc. (They collaborate quite a lot). If you recognize the name Andrea Centazzo, he's connected with these guys.

What I think sets them apart from other improv groups is their emphasis on the subconcious (which is, to an extent, present in all improv). However, I find them to be the only true application of the concept of automatic writing to music (that I've come across). Drawing directly on Surrealism and Dada, there are references to Tristan Tzara and the like and each title is its own little mind-boggling surreal mindbomb. The music is chaotic, hectic, and all over the place - snapshots of the sprawling chaos of the subconcious of these individuals. It would be interesting to try this same sort of thing, no?

They also run a periodical called the-improvisor (at as a network for improv musicians. I get the impression that its just LaDonna running the show now, but you know, whatever works. If you order one of their LP's, they sent you one of their issues free (if you're interested). At least, they used to.

In short, I think they're brilliant, and I'd like for them to be heard. What follows is their first 9 LP's (the 10th is actually a cassette, called Travellers, which I can't seem to find). If you're here for the NWW List significance, download the first album. If you're looking for a good starting point, well...there really just isn't one. You have to just dive in. If it helps, my favorites are Trans 1, 5 (direct waves), 8 (a davey williams solo), and 9 (locales for ecstasy).


Trans Museq 1 - Transcendprovisation

Trans 1

Trans Museq 2 - Folk Music

Trans 2

Trans Museq 3 - Jewels

Trans 3

Trans Museq 4 - Velocities

This one I already uploaded on the old blog, so click here to redirect:

Trans 4

Trans Museq 5 - Direct Waves

Trans 5

Trans Museq 6 (Trans-Idio) - Alchemical Rowdies

Trans 6

Trans Museq 7 - White Earth Streak + Song of an Aeropteryx 7"

This one also exists on the old blog, so:

Trans 7 + 7"

Trans Museq 8 (Davey Williams) - Criminal Pursuits

Trans 8

Trans Museq 9 - Locales for Ecstasy

Trans 9

Trans Museq - Transmutating

The duo released another unnumbered release on CD. Here it is, also from Direct-Waves:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

exceptional stuff you post here! listening + looking forwars! davey williams + ladonna smith - can't think of seen this ANYWHERE!! thanks a lot!