This! Is! the! New! European! the! Free! Jazz!
This record is probably one of the most intricate jokes ABOUT avant-garde music ever made; at the same time, it may be some very good avant-garde music! A series of dedications to European cultural figures frames an inquiry into futuristic, inward, strange constructions. According to the liner notes it was published four years before it was recorded. On the record, a dry and direct interplay of synthesizer and reeds (saxophone, clarinet) trace an eccentric path, creating a very odd and new idiom of free improvisation, with considerable dynamics and musical imagination. The name of the group is, of course, a reference to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's 'Monadology.' The ontological essence of a monad is it's irreducible simplicity. Unlike atoms, monads possess no material or spatial character. They also differ from atoms by their complete mutual independence, so that interactions among monads are only apparent. Instead, by virtue of the principle of pre-established harmony, each monad follows a preprogrammed set of 'instructions' peculiar to itself, so that a monad 'knows' what to do at each moment. (These 'instructions' may be seen as analogs of the scientific laws governing subatomic particles.) By virtue of these intrinsic instructions, each monad is like a little mirror of the universe. Monad's need not be 'small'; e.g., each human being constitutes a monad, in which case free will is problematic. That this might have something to do with the approach to music on this record is obvious, but the exact nature of that relationship is a bit obscure.