Concerts – Henry Cow (1975)


Concerts is a live double album by English avant-rock group Henry Cow, recorded at concerts in London, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway between September 1974 and October 1975. Sides one and two of the LP record consist of composed material while sides three and four contain improvised pieces. The album includes Henry Cow’s last John Peel Session, recorded in September 1975 and extracts from a concert with Robert Wyatt at the New London Theatre in May 1975. ‘Groningen’ (recorded in September 1974) is part of an instrumental suite where the band improvised around fragments of an early version of Tim Hodgkinson‘s ‘Living in the Heart of the Beast‘ from In Praise of Learning (1975). Another performance of this suite (in full) later appeared in Halsteren on Volume 2: 1974–5 of The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009). …”
Wikipedia
BBC Review
ProgArchives
YouTube: Beautiful as the Moon; Terrible as an Army with Banners / Nirvana for Mice / Ottawa Song / Gloria Gloom (Video)
YouTube: Concerts 11 videos

L’Apprendista – Stormy Six (1977)


“Stormy Six were the italian wing of the original RIO movement with a tendency to noticeably change style between records. Before one even scratches the surface of this album there is an obvious sense of pastoral folk about it, yet this belies the true depth of composition and thought put into each of these songs. There is no obvious ‘lead’ musician here and the songs lend themselves towards ensemble play, like a certain more popular english band this reviewer won’t mention or make comparisons to – this music makes good account of itself and as this is a five-star review, Stormy Six are the only band allowed on the stage. L’Apprendista is recorded in such a way as to make it sound entirely acoustic – the bass guitar sounds more like a plucked double-bass and electric guitar is used sparingly throughout. The vocals are clear and not overpowering and the balance of the music is impressive with much the same clarity of a live record, although perhaps that is only because the music is so energetic – one can imagine oneself witnessing this in person. (if one were prone to flights of fancy, in a rustic kind of situation – although Stormy Six’s music would make for very psychedelic barn dances.) … Review by laplace”
Prog Archives
W – Stormy Six
Discogs (Video)
Spotify
YouTube: l’Apprendista 8 videos

RēR


Recommended Records (RēR) is a British independent record label and distribution network founded by Chris Cutler in March 1978. RēR features largely ‘Rock in Opposition’ and related music, but it also distributes selected music released on other independent labels. In 1982 Cutler established November Books, the publishing wing of Recommended Records, and between 1985 and 1997, Recommended Records and November Books published RēR Quarterly, a ‘quarterly’ sound-magazine edited by Cutler. When English avant-rock group Henry Cow toured Europe between 1975 and 1977 they encountered many bands in a similar situation to their own: they were forced to operate outside the music industry that refused to recognise their music. In 1978 these groups got together and formed Rock in Opposition (RIO). To provide a record label and distribution network for these artists, Chris Cutler of Henry Cow established Recommended Records (RēR) as a model for a non-profit music company. When RIO folded as an organisation in late 1979, RēR continued RIO’s work by representing and promoting marginalised musicians and groups. RēR became a ‘virtual RIO’, and ‘part of the continuing legacy of RIO’. … When Henry Cow split up in 1978, Chris Cutler created a record label called for his own projects with a distribution arm called Recommended Distribution, so called because he personally ‘recommended’ the titles they distributed. The intention was to import and distribute new, interesting and experimental music from all over the world to the United Kingdom. In 1979, Cutler established the Recommended label for releases other than his own. In 1987, he combined the Ré and Recommended labels to form RēR, and at the same time Recommended Distribution became a worker’s cooperative enabling Cutler to concentrate on running the RéR label and writing RēR’s mail order catalogue. …”
Wikipedia
RēR

Health and Efficiency – This Heat EP (1980)


“There are some moments in the making of music when the boldest thing a player can do is nothing—or, to use the phraseology of Robert Fripp, ‘contribute silence.’ That point is driven home in gripping fashion by ‘Horizontal Hold,’ the second track on the self-titled debut album by British experimental trio This Heat, first released in 1979 and just reissued by Light in the Attic Records along with the rest of the band’s slim catalog (a two-track EP and a second album). Here’s what happens: Guitarist Charles Bullen, keyboardist Gareth Williams and drummer Charles Hayward have locked into an explosive groove full of distortion and hi-hat sizzle. The music’s heavy doom quotient is further enhanced by the lo-fi ambience; parts of the album were recorded on cassette tape in an abandoned meat locker, and you can kind of tell. Suddenly everything stops, as if someone had just cut the mains, and for two seconds all you can hear is the ringing in your ears. The band then returns to its previous noisy business, only to be cut off again twice more in short order. It’s clear that the interruptions are intentional, produced simply by turning a master fader all the way down, but realizing this doesn’t lessen its impact. On the contrary, the abrupt disappearance and reappearance of sound has turned into a memorable hook. Absence becomes presence. …”
Absence Becomes Presence: The Explosive Experimental Punk of This Heat
The Quietus
W – Health and Efficiency (EP)
Discogs
amazon
YouTube: Health And Efficiency [FULL ALBUM]

Recommended Records


Flyer for the 1st RIO festival, 12 March 1978, The New London Theatre, London.

Recommended Records (RēR) is a British independent record label and distribution network founded by Chris Cutler in March 1978. RēR features largely ‘Rock in Opposition’ and related music, but it also distributes selected music released on other independent labels.  … When English avant-rock group Henry Cow toured Europe between 1975 and 1977 they encountered many bands in a similar situation to their own: they were forced to operate outside the music industry that refused to recognise their music. In 1978 these groups got together and formed Rock in Opposition (RIO). To provide a record label and distribution network for these artists, Chris Cutler of Henry Cow established Recommended Records (RēR) as a model for a non-profit music company. When RIO folded as an organisation in late 1979, RēR continued RIO’s work by representing and promoting marginalised musicians and groups. RēR became a ‘virtual RIO’, and ‘part of the continuing legacy of RIO’. … When Henry Cow split up in 1978, Chris Cutler created a record label called for his own projects with a distribution arm called Recommended Distribution, so called because he personally ‘recommended’ the titles they distributed. The intention was to import and distribute new, interesting and experimental music from all over the world to the United Kingdom. In 1979, Cutler established the Recommended label for releases other than his own. In 1987, he combined the Ré and Recommended labels to form RēR, and at the same time Recommended Distribution became a worker’s cooperative enabling Cutler to concentrate on running the RéR label and writing RēR’s mail order catalogue. …”
Wikipedia
W – Rock in Opposition