Saturday, February 09, 2008


SHEER FUCKING GENIUS #1: UNIVERSAL CONGRESS OF - S/T LP (SST/1987)
Yep, you got me... down this road again. If you'd all just listened the first time around, I wouldn't be repeating myself here. I mean, has anyone heard this album? When Ginn hits these shores later in the year, you can guarangoddamntee one thing: I will pester the guy 'til I'm blue in the face for the rights to reissue this long-ignored masterpiece and get it back into public view in the form of a small, shiny metal disc. This is the album Baiza and co. recorded just after Saccharine Trust originally called it a day back in '86. Baiza was in his finest form yet, blazing out ear-defying solos caught somewhere in the realm of Hendrix, McLaughlin, Cosey, Sharrock and Ulmer (whom, along w/ Baiza, are the only jazz/rock guitarists you ever need to know), w/ a red-hot rhythm section keeping a steady, vaguely funkified groove in the stratosphere of Czukay/Liebezeit. The album has two songs: "Certain Way", an opus overstepping the 30-minute mark which drags itself over two sides; and the shorter, ending coda, "Chasing", a kinda "cosmic" piece which quietly fades out the disc. You might not've been the biggest fan of Saccharine Trust - they are, after all, an aquired taste - and maybe you didn't like those later UCO albums on SST and the Enemy label, as they ventured into a more mid-'70s Ornette/No Wave jazz/funk direction, though if you consider yourself a fan of Maggot Brain-period Funkadelic (esp. the title track), Miles' Dark Magus and Get Up With It, or Can ca. Tago Mago, then there is no reason on earth why this shouldn't be sitting on a shelf somewhere in your abode. It is first-rate cosmic slop just waiting for someone to care. Along w/ The Scene Is Now's Tonight We Ride, Slovenly's Riposte and Dawson's How To Follow So That Others Will Willingly Lead LP, I hereby nominate it as one of the greatest, yet most willfully ignored albums of the last 25 years. Dig it out and dig it.

3 comments:

Mrow said...

If no one else is gonna chime in, I guess I'll have to: HERE, HERE. I agree wholeheartedly.

I think I once commented here that I accidentally stumbled into a UCO gig at the end of '86 (around the time of this rec), only to spend their entire set out in the hallway posing silly/fanboy questions to HENRY ROLLINS (like: "what do you think of Darby Crash?"). What can I say? I was a kid.

But: what I heard down the hall sounded mighty powerful indeed. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Not silly at all!

What *did* he think of Darby Crash?

Mrow said...

To quote Henry: "Darby was the Rimbaud of his time." He also mentioned how many people he'd met in SoCal who were still transfixed by the man - inc. Kira, who apparently kept a little shrine in her closet dedicated to Darby for years after his death. That Cult O Darb thing was for real, man.