35 years on

The discography listing on the back of the LP AGAINST THE BETRAYERS, published in 1980, includes an LP scheduled for release on the Italian HORO label early the following year. I very seldom make definitive public pronouncements in advance of a publication, but, everything was in place; including the fact that Steve and I had been paid (!). Alas, HORO went out of business around that time, and, despite a couple inklings of resuscitation over the next year or so, ultimately flatlined.

Some months ago, Martin Davidson alerted me to the fact that the notoriously capricious megalomaniac (my description, not Martin’s!) Werner X. Uehlinger, owner of the hat Hut empire, was looking to sell off his catalog. Martin asked if I wanted to buy back the rights to the Ensemble’s 2 hat Hut LPs (HAH! and THE CONSTANT EXTENSION OF INESCAPABLE TRADITION). And, if not, he wondered if he could acquire them for reissue on Emanem. Despite my issues with reissues, I was delighted with his suggestion. First, because this would keep the material out of nefarious hands (or, more likely, oblivion; which, of course, is not a bad thing). And, second, as a producer (and person!), Martin has always been an absolute pleasure to deal with.

Now, the question was how to structure the reissue. There was more material than would fit on a single CD, but not enough for a double. The first additional inclusion were two tracks initially set for publication as part of TCEOIT. (Upon noting the relatively short running time for the LP, Steve and I, with Werner’s approval, submitted 2 more tracks. Additionally, I pointed out to him that one of the original tracks needed a balance adjustment. We were assured — oh, Werner and his fucking assurances! — that the 2 tracks would be included and the balance issue would be addressed. Needless to say…) Fortunately, the extra tracks *were* on the master DAT Martin acquired.

But, what else?  Early on in our discussions about the hH music, Martin also asked about the HORO material, which, ironically, was originally going to be the third Ensemble hat Hut LP. (Typically, Werner couldn’t commit, and actually got angry when I told him I had approached HORO. His ultimately giving us “permission” to have it published elsewhere was a moot point, as Steve and I had already severed our ties with hat Hut.) Anyway, Martin and I came to the conclusion that the unreleased HORO LP would be a great way to expand the reissue to two disks; that is, if we could get ahold of the master tape. Curiously, some years ago  I was alerted to a HORO-related website which mentioned the Ensemble’s LP as a forthcoming CD release. Inquiries yielded no response, and the CD never materialized. In the meantime, Aldo Sinesio, the man behind HORO, died. Martin and I both tried to get in touch with someone (anyone!) connected with the label. Martin located the heirs, but got no response; the tape likely having been lost. However, as I had the original cassette tapes of the concert from which the LP was culled (along with the original  correspondence and data — track listing, liner notes, etc.), we decided to work from the source. I converted the material (including a few extra tracks) to digital, forwarded it to Martin, and he went to work with his characteristically meticulous skill set to revitalize the sound. He even fixed the balance issue on the problematic TCEOIT track. WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD, I PREDICTED YOUR WHOLE LIFE plus the hat Hut material with bonus tracks — in all, music of which I’m extremely fond — is now available.