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

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

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

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 […]

Henry Cow

Henry Cow was an English avant-jazz/rock band from Cambridge that was active under assorted iterations during a 10-year period, starting in 1968. Between 1973 and 1975, the band released four albums on Virgin, including two in partnership with the multinational art-pop trio Slapp Happy. In 1978, the band recorded their fifth and final studio album, […]