Montag, 21. März 2016

Henry Cow - Unrest (1974)

We would like to celebrate the life and work of Lindsay Cooper, who died in September 2013.

Lindsay Cooper was an English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. Best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She has collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She has written scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She has also recorded a number of solo albums, including Rags (1980), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Music For Other Occasions (1986).
Cooper was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991, but did not disclose it to the musical community until 1998 when her illness prevented her from performing live.                   

"Unrest" was the 1974 release of Henry Cow. During their brief and tumultuous lifespan, fiercely political British art rockers Henry Cow spawned a musical subgenre that became known as Rock In Opposition.

By this point Henry Cow consisted of guitarist Fred Frith, drummer Chris Cutler, bassist John Greaves, keyboardist Tim Hodgkinson, and, of particular importance to the band's sound at this point, bassoonist Lindsay Cooper. As is so often the case with avant-garde rock & roll, it's the composed pieces that work best, and the fact that Frith is responsible for the majority of them is significant. "Bittern Storm Over Ulm" is an absolutely brilliant demolition of the Yardbirds' "Got to Hurry," while the brief but lovely "Solemn Music" unfolds in a stately manner with atonal but pretty counterpoint between Frith and Cooper. The improvised material succeeds in a more spotty way. "Upon Entering the Hotel Adlon" demonstrates how fine the line can be between bracing free atonality and mindless cacophony. The unsettling but eventually gorgeous "Deluge," on the other hand, shows how well Henry Cow could walk that line when they tried; in this piece, random guitar skitterings, scattershot drum clatter, and pointillistic reed grunts are eventually snuck up on and overtaken by softly massed chords and Cooper's gently hooting bassoon. The effect is startlingly moving. Overall, this is one of Henry Cow's better efforts.    
The album was dedicated to Robert Wyatt and Uli Trepte. The cover art work was by artist Ray Smith and was the second of three "paint socks" to feature on Henry Cow's albums.

Side one

  1. "Bittern Storm over Ulm" (Frith) – 2:44
  2. "Half Asleep/Half Awake" (Greaves) – 7:39
  3. "Ruins" (Frith) – 12:00
Side two
  1. "Solemn Music" (Frith) – 1:09
  2. "Linguaphonie" (Henry Cow) – 5:58
  3. "Upon Entering the Hotel Adlon" (Henry Cow) – 2:56
  4. "Arcades" (Henry Cow) – 1:50
  5. "Deluge" (Henry Cow) – 5:52
Bonus tracks on 1991 CD re-issue
  1. "The Glove" (Henry Cow) – 6:35
  2. "Torch Fire" (Henry Cow) – 4:48
Henry Cow - Unrest (1974)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

2 Kommentare:

-Otto- hat gesagt…

Thank you, zero!

zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome, Otto!

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