New Dimensions in Styrofoam ™ by Gino Robair

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Friday, 5 November 2021
  • Time to read: 2 min.

number 7 in a set of 12 seven-inch pieces of vinyl was this virtuoso performance on Polystyrene cups and plates by the inimitable Gino Robair. Googly him up to check out his long and winding career via Antony Braxton, Tom Waits, Club Foot Orchestra, his own label RASTASCAN and much more. But it was his early 7 inch single of ebowed Snare drum and another of quite extreme improvisations on a homemade Theremin that first alerted me to this man’s oeuvre long before i had the pleasure to meet him and briefly share the stage at Angelica Festival in Bologna.

One of the big reasons I started the Medical Milestones 7 inch series was my own joy when DJing at spinning and generally manipulating abstract sounds from vinyl over the top of looping CD players, the grey area where DJing comes close to being a real improvised performance.

Always 7inch because in general it was mostly at gigs that I might be offered a dj spot and schlepping a shed load of LPs as well as my, by then, fairly compact electronics kit was a no-no.. and in general there was not so much choice in the mid 90’s if you were looking for esoteric stuff on the small format. Sure, there was Meeuw Musak and Joe Colleys Povertech Industries … Maybe you could even find a used Lovely Music 7-inch box set? but it didn’t seem to exactly be an oversubscribed area to contribute to.

Gino was one of the first people I thought of and i asked him about a follow up to his ebowed snare release, he said currently he was getting his extreme frequency jollies by applying a violin bow to polystyrene … or ‘Styrofoam’ as those patent dodging Americans like to call the squeaky teeth grating German invention. “Fine by me!” I replied imagining what could be wrestled from a tiny vinyl of such wince-inducing sounds with something resembling a Bond villain smile twitching at my lips.

To illustrate that point there is a bonus 5th track included of your humble host giving Mr Robair’s tracks the once over on the workbench.

originally released on 7” vinyl via the Hot Air label in 1999. cat: AIRMILE77 


released November 5, 2021

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