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Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS)

Years running:
Country: United States
Description: LAFMS was formed by Joe Potts, Rick Potts and Chip Chapman in 1974 and were soon joined by Tom Recchion and member of Doo-Dooettes. It was a collective of like-minded artists inspired by the likes of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. Some of those in the collective included Smegma, Le Forte Four and Doo-Dooettes and some other groups interested in noise and improvisation. Basically, LAFMS is a loose American art collective, including a record label, widely considered one of the most original and seminal phenomena in the history of independent music in its broad sense. It was officially started in 1975, as a vehicle to facilitate the concert and release plans of nonconformist artists. Its main founders, Tom RECCHION, Chip CHAPMAN, and the Rick and Joe POTTS brothers knew each other earlier and performed together in many improvised sessions held at the “Poo- Bah Record Shop” music shop, where RECCHION worked, incidentally, and which was a kind of hub of local music life to many artists, regardless of their stylistic preferences or music skills. Apart from that, CHAPMAN and the POTTS brothers had formed the LE FORTE FOUR group in 1973, and RECCHION was the leader of DOO-DOOETTES since 1975. With time, they were joined by more artists, including Dennis DUCK, SMEGMA, John DUNCAN, MONITOR, The CHILD MOLESTERS and Joseph HAMMER, which led to various personnel configurations and the emergence of many other, ad-hoc projects, e.g. AIRWAY, The PABLUMS, BDR ENSEMBLE, FOUNDATION BOO, DINOSAURS WITH HORNS. The aesthetic they adopted was that of unrestrained freedom and intuition, and free improvisation was supposed to be applied at all stages of the artistic creation process. Rejecting the conventions of rock music and academic praxis for composing contempo- rary music, they produced works from the borderland of experimental electronic music, the avant-garde of rock music, psychedelic music and jazz. Their tools included unconventionally used traditional or self- made acoustic instruments, prepared tapes and self-made electronic devices. A lot of these recordings featured collages, and made references to the Dadaistic sense of humour aesthetic. Not averse to grotesquery and pastiche, the artists perversely expressed their pessimism over the condi- tion of contemporary culture, especially its detrimental effect on human sensitivity and invaluable individualism. Although never officially termi- nated, the collective lost coherence for various reasons in the mid 1980s. It was partly resurrected in 2006, mainly for new releases, anniversary exhibitions and occasional retrospective concerts.