Samstag, 31. März 2018

Fred Frith & Henry Kaiser ‎– With Enemies Like These, Who Needs Friends? (1987)

This is a compilation of Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith's guitar duo records. With Enemies like These, Who Needs Friends? is a masterpiece of studio improvisation and innovative guitar techniques.

Looking back on guitar history during the 1970s and 1980s, it seems like Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith are separated by a generation. After all, Frith got his steely nerve from Henry Cow, who formed in the early 1970s, and Kaiser seemed to step into his own as a brilliant musician fully formed in the late 1970s. The pair has always been tight - and close in both age and temperament - as this set demonstrates. Kaiser and Frith alternate squiggles and wiggles and string tickles here, giving lots of attention to the details of improvised abstractions. They also sink their picks into an assembly of song structures that sometimes verges on the absurdly bouncy and beat-driven, even when at the core of their sound the pair could spin into the ether with ringing, caustic finality. Frith loves to tinker with the actual guitar, altering the machine's ability to project the expected sounds. Kaiser, by contrast, seems perfectly seated when controlling the projections and mangling, tangling, and laying them in disconnected lines. Kaiser and Frith offer one of free music's best opportunities, and this is pinnacle work for both.

"This maximum-length CD-only release consists of selections from an unreleased live album by Frith and Kaiser (1984) combined with "greatest hits" from their two out-of-print duo albums: "With Friends Like These" (1979) and "Who Needs Enemies?" (1983).
Most all of this music was improvised by one method or another. Tracks 3,4,5,7,8,12,14,15,16 were recorded without overdubbing.
Frith and Kaiser give very special thanks to our engineer, Oliver DiCicco who recorded this music with us in an especially collaborative and creative way. Thanks also to Larry Ochs and Metalanguage Records who originally issued the previously released materials on this CD. Thanks to Greg, Rich and Ray at SST for making this CD possible."        


1 The Trace 2:52
2 Three Languages 9:27
3 Love In Hell 5:34
4 Twisted Memories Give Way To The Angry Pleasant 3:46
5 One Of Nature's Mistakes 2:07
6 Roy Rogers 5:01
7 It Sings 5:39
8 Drowsy Maggie 4:33
9 The Kirghiz Light 4:55
10 The Golden Eighties 5:46
11 Objects Everyday 3:06
12 The Changing Of Names 5:44
13 It Moves... 2:01
14 One-Eyed Theater 4:35
15 Dog Puppet Born Out Of A Sock 2:07
16 Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues 3:33

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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