Milo Fine (1984)


UK Records

UK is the latest subsidiary for Germany’s Free Music Production (FMP). Like its predecessor, SAJ (named for Sven-Åke Johansson, whose solo LP was the first of the series), UK is short for Uhlklang, an abbreviation for Andy Guhl and Norbert Möslang, whose Knack on begins a series that will not (unless one believes in miracles) see its way beyond four albums. Why? Because in January ’84 FMP/SAJ/UK will be liquidating.

This brave and unyielding label lasted this long mainly due to the untiring efforts of Jost and Dagmar Gebers along with Dieter Hahne. While they occasionally got government assistance, the majority of the money keeping the label alive came from the Gebers and other donators.

Since its inception in the very late ‘60s, FMP has proudly documented facets of the European free Jazz (free music, creative music, etc) scene that would most likely have been greatly ignored otherwise. This scene has produced some of the most brilliant documents in the world of creative music. And, as far as this listener is concerned, FMP has a quality/consistency level that would be hard to beat. Of the 120 FMP albums this reviewer has heard only 16 could be described as poor to pretty good. FMP produced over 150 documents without ever taking the obvious route of recording the so-called American “stars” (AACM, Taylor, Coleman that would probably have netted them additional (albeit ill-gotten) support from certain American factions. Braxton appears only once as a member of an edition of the Globe Unity Orchestra. Leo Smith also appears sharing vinyl with Peter Kowald and Günter Sommer. A fitting situation as Smith is one of the very few American players to find some work for his European partners when they come to these shores. (And, one must mention FMP’s documentation of ex-patriots Steve Lacy and Noah Howard as well as a lone LP by the ever enigmatic Michael Smith). FMP helped open the doors between East and West Germany, releasing a good number of albums featuring the vital players in the “block”. The label also (with mixed results) kept an eye on up-and-coming younger obscure European players. FMP will be missed. It is hard to imagine anyone coming along to fill the gab that will be left by its demise.

from: Cadence Magazine # 1, January 1984

The copyrights remain with the aforesaid sources and/or with the authors.