Anal Magic and Rev. Dwight Frizzell – Beyond the Black Crack: Insane as Insane gets


Beyond the Black Crack was the concept of Reverend Dwight Frizzell, a musician, film maker, Doctor of Metaphysics and minister in the Universal Church of Life. It remains a little known classic, and one of the most unique listening experiences in modern experimental music. Recorded between 1974 and 1976 in locations as diverse as factories, the pyramid opposite Harry Truman’s grave site as well as more ‘conventional’ concert settings. Beyond the Black Crack is a dark, dizzying and exhilarating journey through free jazz, electronics and environmental sound, all shattered by Frizzell’s radical tape editing. This CD re-release adds further material to the original LP: – “The Wandering Madness of Basilea”, a suite from 1977 unheard until now, as well as unreleased material from the Black Crack sessions.


Beyond the black crack was originally released in mono in an edition of 200 copies by Cavern Custom in 1976 (cat. no. 6104-12), to commemorate the First Annual End of the World Celebration, November 18 1976.




Rev. Dwight Frizzell – tenor saxophone, clarinet, audio oscillator, chair, trash can, pins, soy beans

Mike Roach – clarinet, vocals with laughs, tenor saxophone, dancing

Kurt Eckhardt – mouth flute, percussion, pins, soy, alteration.

Featuring special guests:

Rev. Tommy Gomersall – tin cans, piano, vocals

Rich – lights and percussion

Rush Rankin – clarinet, imagistic inspiration

Rev. Jim Rogers – kazoo

Gary Jeffers – sousaphone, percussion

Bill Jones – sousaphone

Sylvia Thomas – harmonica

Radio Rich Dalton – guitar

Bill Scanlan – percussion, tape machine; and many others…

Now this music is experimental even for experimental.  Prepare for a total mind fuck as you immerse yourself into the world of Anal Magic.  The weirdness starts with the album cover itself – a large mooning ass with the players falling out of it as if they were excrement (very cool!). The use of free jazz textures, humour, disruptive editing and electronics mirrors much of the music to emerge from the avant-garde scene of 1967 where experimentation was Happening. Frizzell, a musician, film maker, Doctor of Metaphysics and minister in the Universal Church of Life revels in creating an intelligent transient collage of diverging textures.   Recorded between 1974-1976 this music radiates Radical. Almost aimless improvisation somehow makes sense when slotted between bizzare location recordings – the pyramid opposite Harry Truman’s grave site to name but one, paper compositions, vocal interruptions and overdubbed clacking percussion.The chaos that ensues has a pattern as intricate and as ugly as an assemblage by Kurt Schwitters. Unlike the claustrophobic indulgence of The Velvet Underground, Anal Magic and Rev. Frizzell create something more subtle and ventilated; the solo textures, usually aided by echo/reverb, are beautifully abstract utilising Varese’s principle of density to achieve their full effect.

Oscillators buzz, metronomes tick, someone whistles tunelessly, recording glitches pop – the odd music emerges organically in the fullest sense of the word, growing, decaying and rotting away before your ears. The first half of this reissue features solipsistic, sometimes childish freak-outs with live audience and tape surface noise, a juvenile marching band playing lively and lopsided instrumentals; the other half (Turtle Music, which consists of field recordings made on a miniature pyramid in Missouri) is fragmentary and more introspective – articulating not the public interaction of the audibly alienated, but a private realm, one that in this context seems infinite rather than circumscribed. Inside the booklet there are plenty of cast lists and some philosophical musings that flesh out the aural sketches; on the front cover is a photo of someone’s arse from which three tiny figures fall. Intimations of potential transformation and parallel states of being sit cheek by jowl, or buttock by buttock, with flatulent outpourings – the Turtle Music sequence is both a meditation on the nature of identity, myth and music, and a couple of dreamy guys larking about one distant summer with a tape recorder. Salvador Dali’s thought that farting is the soul’s way of sighing comes to mind, but the music aspires to higher things and it’s the more spikily disturbing and cooly sinister Max Ernst who gets thanked in the credits (Ed Baxter)

This is TOTALLY a freak train of a ride, but if you are into any experimental music at all, then it is a must for your collection. (revived faithfully by being added to the Nurse With Wound List)