C h r o n o l o g y

:the evolution and revolution of plundering at Mystery Lab

THIS PAGE: seventies eighties nineties 1996

With the sanction of William S. Burroughs, John Oswald cut up recordings of him reading his texts advocating cutting up methods, & consequently discovered an acoustic pallindrome, mediations between backwards & forwards, polysyllabic masking & phase imploding.

Oswald melds a radio evangelist with alleged satanists Led Zepplin in the early rap track POWER. released in 1995 by Musicworks magazine.

MYSTERY TAPES assembly & dissemination (by Mystery Tapes Etc.International), include many early plunderphonistic experiments.

Oswald guest produces a one hour radio show for CFRO in Vancouver called Sounds Wrong which includes the first public issues of Dolly Parton & Rite of Spring transformations.

Collusion, a British magazine publishes an article by Oswald, entitled "Revolutions & Mr Dolly Parton - a vortex of of androgeny".

An essay by John Oswald entitled "Plunderphonics, or, Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative" was presented at the Wired Society conference in Toronto.

< 1988
The original
plunderphonics EP (never-for-sale, out-of-print) was for its time the most extreme example of sampling ever produced. Four well-known music personalities representing four musical genres & four notable epochs of recording history were presented in surprising ways, or, as the press release put it: warp drive.
plunderphonic CD (never-for-sale, remaining stocks destroyed by Michael Jackson & CBS) has become an underground cult classic. The realistic cover photo of a nude Michael Jackson revealed as a white woman paralleled the musical transformations depicted on the disc. Other electroquoted artists included Bing Crosby, The Beatles, Glenn Gould, Public Enemy & (consequently) James Brown.

Elektra Entertainment, Hal Willner, the Berlin Opera, & the Kronos Quartet all commissioned
plunderphonic works featuring such artists as The Doors, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Phil Spector, Carly Simon (accompanied by Faster Pussycat), Metallica, & Tim Buckley. An Elektra CD was released (radio only) the following spring to coincide with the opening of Oliver Stone's movie, The Doors.

Oswald is asked by the Grateful Dead to plunderphonicize them.

Following an extensive period of research & development the
plunderphonics team, led by project director John Oswald, announces the mid-year release of Plexure, the most extreme example of electroquoting, backmasking, sonic morphing, pop information density, & samplephobic scare tactics yet. Featuring approximately 1,001 current recording stars, this one disc provides virtual access to an entire record store. Never before have so many currently popular musical styles and amazing life-like clones of apparently familiar sounds been assembled into one package.

GRAYFOLDED: Transitive Axis. The first disc of Grateful Dead
plunderphonics is released by mail order. Toronto Sun record of the year.

GRAYFOLDED: Mirror Ashes. The complete 2-disc package (incorporating Transitive Axis is released by Swell Artifact (ships gold). Features interpolations of six dozen concert versions of the Dead's symphonic Dark Star.


Oswaldian Space: This is not an official Plunderphonics project but it is worth noting that in February 1996, Oswaldian Space appeared on the Web. It was created by interested parties to provide information about various Plunderphonics projects which are often so difficult to come by. At the one year mark, 1997, growing enthusiasm and the generosity of fans have made it possible to actually access the original recordings over the Net.

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