Henry Cow

Henry Cow was an English avant-garde rock and free-jazz band that released four studio albums between 1973 and 1975 on Virgin: Legend, Unrest, Desperate Straights, and In Praise of Learning, the last two in partnership with the cabaret-pop trio Slapp Happy. In 1978, Henry Cow recorded the albums Western Culture and Hopes and Fears — […]

Aksak Maboul

Aksak Maboul — alternately spelled Aqsak Maboul — were a Belgian ensemble that released two albums during the late 1970s. The project was headed by multi-instrumentalist Marc Hollander and featured a revolving door of talent from both sides of the channel, including members of Placebo, Cos, and Henry Cow. Members: Marc Hollander (clarinet, drum machine, […]


Material were an American avant-rock/No Wave band from NYC that released three EPs on small-press Red Records between 1979 and 1981, followed by two albums on Celluloid in 1981/82. Members: Bill Laswell (bass), Fred Maher (drums), Michael Beinhorn (keyboards), Cliff Cultreri (guitar), William S. Burroughs (voice), Nicky Skopelitis (guitar), Shankar (violin), Simon Shaheen (violin), Jeff […]


Massacre were an English-American avant-rock/No Wave trio based in NYC that released the album Killing Time on Celluloid in 1981. The band comprised guitarist Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, Skeleton Crew), bassist/producer Bill Laswell (Material), and drummer Fred Maher, who subsequently joined Scritti Politti. In 1998, the Material nameplate was resurrected with drummer Charles […]


Curlew were an American avant-rock/jazz band from NYC that debuted with an eponymous release on Landslide Records in 1981, followed by the album North America on the German Moers Music label in 1985. The band’s 1988 release Live in Berlin kicked off a seven-disc run on Cuneiform over the ensuing 15-year period. Members: George Cartwright […]

Fred Frith ‎– “The Technology of Tears” and Other Music for Dance and Theatre (1988)

“The Technology of Tears” and Other Music for Dance and Theatre is a double-album by English avant-garde musician/composer Fred Frith, released in 1988 on SST/RecRec. Tracklist: The Technology of Tears A1. “Sadness, Its Bones Bleached Behind Us” (13:05) A2. “You Are What You Eat” (7:22) B1. “You Are What You Eat (continued)” (11:39) B2. “The […]

Etron Fou Leloublan ‎– Les Poumons Gonflés (1982)

Les Poumons Gonflés is the third studio album by French avant-garde/New Wave band Etron Fou Leloublan, released in 1982 on Turbo Music. The album was their first in four years and marked a move away from lengthier jams toward tighter, song-based material. Tracklist: A1. “Nicolas” (4:06) A2. “Mimi” (2:58) A3. “Exposition Universelle” (1:41) A4. “Nicole” […]

The Muffins – 185 (1981)

185 is the second and final proper album by Maryland avant-garde/jazz-rock band The Muffins, released in 1981 on Random Radar. On this album, the band adopted a more jagged, kinetic approach akin to New York’s then-brewing jazz-punk/No Wave scene. Several tracks feature the sundry instrumentation of Fred Frith, returning favors here for the band’s contributions […]

Henry Cow, Slapp Happy ‎– In Praise of Learning (1975)

In Praise of Learning is a collaborative album between English avant-garde/jazz-rock quintet Henry Cow and multinational folk/pop trio Slapp Happy, released in May 1975 on Virgin Records. Musically, the album deviates from the chamber/free-jazz approach of prior Cow efforts with a rockier edge replete with vocals — something lacking from all earlier recordings apart from […]

Slapp Happy / Henry Cow ‎– Desperate Straights (1975)

Desperate Straights is one of two albums by the merged entities of multinational cabaret/pop trio Slapp Happy and English avant-garde/jazz-rockers Henry Cow, released in February 1975 on Virgin. Characterized primarily by the trio’s art-pop style, the album was recorded during the same sessions that produced the more Cow-dominated In Praise of Learning, released the following […]

Brian Eno ‎– Before and After Science (1977)

Before and After Science is an album by English musician Brian Eno, released in 1977 on Island. Tracklist: A1. No One Receiving (3:41) A2. Backwater (3:42) A3. Kurt’s Rejoinder (2:53) A4. Energy Fools the Magician (2:03) A5. King’s Lead Hat (3:57) B1. Here He Comes (5:39) B2. Julie With… (6:24) B3. By This River (3:01) […]

Fred Frith

Fred Frith (Feb. 17, 1949) is an English avant-rock/improv guitarist and composer from Heathfield who gained international cult renown as a member of Henry Cow, recording five studio albums with the band between 1973 and 1978. Over the following three-year period, he issued of trio of albums with Cow-spinoff The Art Bears. As a solo […]

Fred Frith ‎– Gravity (1980)

Gravity is the first proper solo album by English avant-garde guitarist/composer Fred Frith, released in 1980 on Ralph Records. Tracklist: A1. “The Boy Beats the Rams (Kluk tluče berany)” (4:54) A2. “Spring Any Day Now” (3:04) A3. “Don’t Cry for Me” (3:28) A4. “Hands of the Juggler” (5:31) A5. “Norrgården Nyvla” (2:54) A6. “Year of the […]