“Angus MacLise was the Velvet Underground’s first drummer. He withdrew when he found out that at a paying job he had to start and stop playing when told to. No one told Angus to stop playing. So the job of a working musician was impossible for Angus, and he taught us all a lesson about purity of spirit.” — Lou Reed
“… MacLise was a living link connecting the Beats, the Fluxus and the Factory scenes, and the hippies.” — Flavorwire
Angus MacLise was an American polyglot and foundational multi-media artist. Working in dream-like calligraphy, poetry, small press publishing, and musical composition, he was active in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and Kathmandu from the 1950s through the 1970s. MacLise is perhaps best known as the original drummer of the Velvet Underground—leaving the band after he felt they had "sold out."
But MacLise's most important work had only just begun. Jumping from one seminal scene to another, MacLise produced spiritually immense art in solitude and collaborated with 1960s art groups like Fluxus (George Maciunas, Yoko Ono), the Theatre of the Ridiculous, and underground filmmaker and exoticist Jack Smith. As a publisher, MacLise worked with the likes of Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford, Gregory Corso and Diane Di Prima among others. On Summer Solstice 1979, MacLise died in Kathmandu, and was cremated in the fashion of Tibetan Buddhist funerary rites.
A suitcase of Angus MacLise’s artwork, publications, and manuscript as well as more than 100 hours of recorded music was left with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela for safe-keeping forty years ago. This extraordinary time-vault was the foundation of the Dreamweapon series of records.
Dreamweapon II features previously unreleased recordings by Angus MacLise and his wife, artist, illustrator and musician Hetty MacLise between the years 1965 and 1969. Recorded by the artists using a Nagra recorder, these tracks function as artifacts of the underground music scene of the 1960s, with peers that included La Monte Young, Tony Conrad and The Velvet Underground. This compilation shows a range of approaches to sound and percussion, from Michael McClure-esque grunt filled bongo jams, church bell ragas, and minimal atmospheric organ drones.
This remastered vinyl LP also includes a risograph-printed facsimile of YEAR, a calendar poem by Angus MacLise originally issued as a poster in 1965.
Silkscreened jacket. Cover art by Dana Young. Photography by Ira Cohen.
Published by Boo-Hooray. Second Pressing.
These records are unplayed deadstock.