Basquiat’s Gray debut release, Shades of…, available now!

Following a triumphant return to the live arena back in July, the surviving original members of Gray (aka Jean Michel Basquiat’s old band) have released a new collection of music entitled Shades of… on their own Plush Safe imprint. Not only is it a new collection, it’s also the band’s debut! It only took them about 30 years.

From the band: Michael Holman and Nicholas Taylor have reunited once again to produce the first Gray album ever, titled, Shades of… on their own label, Plush Safe Records, that hankers back to Gray’s sonic roots – industrial noise melded with electronic atmospheres.

This multi-track compilation includes and involves sample tracks from Gray’s earliest recordings and performances, with samples of Basquiat’s music and voice. Included is a solo performance by Basquiat (recorded by Justin Thyme) called “Suicide Hotline,” where Basquiat, in 1980, called a suicide hotline, and in dramatic, and darkly teasing fashion, reads bits of his poetry to the hotline operator, never allowing the operator to know for sure if the “caller” is insane, suicidal, or simply toying with him. The effect of the piece is powerful and disturbing, yet poignant and moving in a way only Basquiat could produce. Other tracks range from Stockhausen inspired fugues, to trip hop lanced throw downs.

Holman & Taylor were fortunate to work with John Cale’s drummer Dean Anthony on this new music, as well as fabled Tubes drummer, Prairie Prince and drummer, Lenny Ferraro. Shades of… is not only a living piece of New York history, it’s also an audio interpretation of a journey to where Taylor & Holman see the future of music. Gray has not only returned to their sonic roots, they are also planning live performances that pay homage to their early Downtown gigs, where they performed inside, around and on top of sculptural works of art; like their infamous “Ignorant Geodesic Dome” stage set that brought the house down at the Mudd Club in 1981.



Visit Plush Safe Records for a preview of “Wig” from the collection, and listen to “Drum Mode” above – perhaps the most well known track by the Basquiat-era Gray.

Order Shades of… and preview more tracks at Other Music.

Originally published at Stupefaction.

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  • william

    sounds like pierre schaffer circa 1958… lost of relation to pioneer of electronic music, halim el dabh’s electronic loop/sampling 1944

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