Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A bit of the Avant Garde

Just out is the remixed/remastered debut album by Belgiums Univers Zero. The band are best known as being part of the RIO movement of the late 70’s, which they co-founded along with Henry Cow. Inhabiting a similar sound environment to Henry Cow, but much more based in the European classical music tradition. This is dark and unrelenting stuff. Mostly acoustic, but with great electric flourishes by guitarist Roger Trigaux, who works with the excellent Present.

The new remix/remaster sounds wonderfully detailed and dynamic, with an excellent bonus track in the shape of the live “Faulx”. The liner notes, partly compiled by the estimable Aymeric Leroy are exhaustive. Another great archive release by Cuneiform.

Staying with the Avant Garde, Fred Frith is just about to re-release his “Technology Of Tears” album. I have never heard this, but its early use of the synclavier sampler was highly thought of at the time, around 1987. I love a lot of Frith’s work. It can be a bit forebiding sometimes, but it is never boring and there is always a strong emotional element to his music, even the more extremely improvisational material. He is a true original and has produced some breathtaking work.


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10:38 PM  

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