Basil Kirchin – worlds within worlds

Apr.10, 2012


BASIL KIRCHIN – Worlds within Worlds, vol 1. EMI SCX 6463, 33 1/3 rpm (UK), 1971


Very limited edition



This is one of the rarest beasts of European experimental music and one of the hardest to get in the respectively extensive Evan Parker and Derek Bailey discographies. And it’s a complete KILLER! Music is spectacular. Recorded at Pinewood Studios, London. Originally scheduled to be a soundtrack for a film, but made into this classic masterpiece of concrete music / cut up – collage piece. Animal sounds transformed into possibilities for improvisers to interact together with.

Definitely an experiment, but with an amazing result musically. This music sounds like definitely nothing else.

There is a vol 2 (part 3 & 4) released that is a bit easier to find with additional material from the same material and concept as vol 1(part 1 & 2).

Mutant Sounds explains:


“This was the 1971 predecessor to Kirchin’s much more well known/distrbuted Worlds Within Worlds Pts. 3 & 4 and involves a similar universe of grotesquely morphed and pitched sonic treatments, only here, legendary improvisors like Derek Bailey and Evan Parker are to be found growling, plinking and spluttering amidst this melee, making this a monster rarity for fans/followers of them as well.”

But the freshness and the attack of the ideas is mindblowing on vol 1. This is yet another holy grail of  music and unfortunately very very hard to come by these days.




Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide explains:


“In 1964, Kirchin began pursuing an approach he dubbed World Within Worlds — essentially, he began combining traditional instruments with wildlife sounds and the amplified noise of insects, painstakingly editing and manipulating the results to create beautiful yet utterly alien soundscapes that clearly anticipated the subsequent ambient experiments of Brian Eno, as well as a generation of electronic artists like Aphex Twin. Not until the Swiss tape recording manufacturing firm Nagra issued their next-generation tape machines and microphones in 1967 was Kirchin able to acquire the technology necessary to fully realize his vision — his source material grew more and more obscure, and his tape manipulations grew more and more extreme with each new project, discovering new “inner sounds” virtually inaudible at standard playback speeds.”


Basil Kirchin – composition and collage

Derek Bailey – guitar

Evan Parker – soprano sax