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Henry Cow: Stockholm and Goteborg

Stockholm and Goteborg contains live recordings of pioneering avant-garde/prog band Henry Cow from 1976 & 1977, and is the first volume of a 9 CD and one DVD set of unreleased material commemorating the band's 40th anniversary.The music of Henry Cow was always hard to describe, and even at times digest. There's elements of rock, jazz, chamber, avant-garde, and classical dripping through their songs, most of it bordering on improvisations to the naked ear, but in reality much of their material was highly structured and thought out compostions. These recordings took place between the band's albums In Praise of Learning and Western Culture, and features songs that have long been lying dormat until now. The epic, 5-part piece "Erk Gah" at times seems like a head-on-collision between King Crimson and Frank Zappa, jazz reeds sneaking in and out of the mix while Fred Frith's menacing guitar bubbles in the background, ready to strike, sounding very much like Robert Fripp. Dagmar Krause's vocals won't be for everyone, as she adds an over the top, almost operatic quality to this otherwise very experimental piece. Of note also are the ominous sax lines from Tim Hodgkinson, who also adds some haunting organ, and the tricky drum fills courtesy of Chris Cutler. Other highlights include the breezy "Ottawa Song" (sounding like something from Crimson's Lizard era), the engaging improv "Goteberg 1", the disturbing "Stockholm 2", complete with all sorts of odd noises, and Frith's "The March", probably the most melodic piece here, featuring some tasty piano, bassoon, and organ.

Long time fans will certainly jump at the opportunity of hearing this material, which will also be available in the 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set. Honestly, Henry Cow's music probably isn't for everyone, but if you have an open mind and want to try out some very adventurous music (much of it instrumental), this give this band a try.

Track Listing
1. Stockholm 1
2. Erk Gah
3. Erk Gah
4. Erk Gah
5. Erk Gah
6. Erk Gah
7. A Bridge to Ruins
8. Ottowa Song
9. Goteborg 1
10. Goteborg 1
11. Goteborg 1
12. No More Songs
13. Stockholm 2
14. The March

Added: November 23rd 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ReR Megacorp
Hits: 2717
Language: english

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