16-17: Gyatso

Praxis 59 / Skin & Speech 001
Artist: 16-17
Title: Gyatso

vinyl release 22 February 2021. 

Originally released in 1994 on Pathological, Kevin Martin’s label who also produced the record. CD only.
2008 re-released on Savageland, also on CD.

Remastered by Alex Buess in 2020
Vinyl cut by Shane the Cutter at Finyltweek.

Gyatso is the 1994 album by legendary “industrial noise jazz” outfit 16-17 produced by Kevin Martin (Techno Animal, The Bug) and first released on CD on his Pathological label, re-released on Savage Land in 2008. Gyatso is the only pure studio album recorded by the original 16-17 line-up of Alex Buess, Markus Kneubühler and Knut Remond and besides Martin also features G.Green from Godflesh as a guest musician.

Praxis is teaming up with Skin & Speech, Alex Buess’s label, to bring forth the first ever vinyl release of this crucial album and releases a 6-track LP edition with all the other tracks (there are 13 in total) available as a download. During the presale period only, three additional live tracks from 1995 were included in the package, recorded at the Taktlos festival.

16-17 started in 1983 in Basel, Switzerland. They released a number of cassettes, before debuting with their self titled and self released album in 1987. Two years later this was followed up by When All Else Fails, an LP of treated live recordings on Vision, the precursor label to Praxis. By this time 16-17 had already garnered a cult following with their incredibly forceful live performances.

Gyatso is a crucial release where the raw power of 16-17’s live appearances clashes with a studio-as-instrument approach, as Kevin Martin and Alex Buess add effects and dub techniques to the band’s recordings. Further collaborations between Martin and Buess include the ICE project which also included Justin Broadrick aka J.K.Flesh of Godflesh, the other half of Techno Animal, as well as Human Distortion, released on Digital Hardcore Recordings in 1998. Buess also took part of the Sprawl project with Peter Brötzmann, William Parker, Michael Wertmüller and Stephan Wittwer which appeared on Trost Records in 1997.

This vinyl release of Gyatso comes hot on the heels of two important records that came out in 2020: The album Phantom Limb on Trost, based on band recordings from 1995 and finished in the studio in 2019 by Alex Buess, and most recently the 12” The Pandemic Wargames Remixes on Praxis. The latter was a continuation of collaborations dating back to the pre-Praxis days of the Vision label, continuing with the 1999 release of Mechanophobia on Praxis as well as the more recent Vacuum Theory by Cortex and “Skin Craft” by Alex Buess and Daniel Buess.

Video trailer by Roger Graf on the Praxis Youtube channel
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