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01 November 2016 Listen

AMM All-stars with Jair-Rohm Parker Wells

"There's a story behind the AMM All-Stars. In November 2010, Andy Wilson and I founded the Association of Musical Marxists (the acronym being a sly dig at a well-known improv group). As veterans of revolutionary politics, we decided that what characterised hacks and careerists ("the bad people") in left parties was utter inability to talk about their feelings, and since music is a direct line to feeling, utter inability to talk about music. Musicians attracted to our stance played at our meetings, and were billed as the AMM All-Stars. Drummer Peter Baxter, seduced to improv from indie pop and library rhyme times, was the rock on which we built this particular church. After five hectic and intense years, Andy and I fell out, but the band carried on. We keep the name because it encapsulates a pertinent history. Ever since Rock Against Racism days in Leeds (1979-83), I've known that splits between music and politics (or "pleasure" and "duty") merely service capitalism. I befriended international bass prodigy Jair-Rohm Parker Wells after hearing him play at Zappanale (the Frank Zappa festival staged in ex-communist East Germany), and suggested a collaboration. Here are the results. Described by its enemies as 'intuitive communist-collective sci-fi fuzak with bloop beep, hawaiian sunsets and improv scronk', the AMM All-Stars decided that description will do very nicely." - Ben Watson.

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Peter Baxter / drums

Out To Lunch / mouthnoise, piano

Paul Shearsmith / trumpet, hosepipe didjeridoo, pBone

Iris Watson / yamaha digital keyboard

Mordecai Watson / accordion

Len Massey / moog synth

Marie Thompson / reconstructed tape machine

Ben Moran Healy / brocialist dancing

T.H.F Drenching / dictaphone

Nathan Bettany / oboe

Paul Seacroft / lapsteel guitar

John Plant / on Jeremy Corbyn

Esther Leslie / on laughter

Dave Black / on Potlatch

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Recorded at Cafe OTO on 4th August by Simon Holliday. Mixed by Ben Watson. Photos by Liam Taylor.