03 giugno 2010

Nella sua preziosa e continua opera di recupero di nastri originali e inediti, Reel Recordings porta stavolta alla luce i materiali rimasti a documentare le attività nel 1974 del gruppo Radar Favourites, qui nella sua prima formazione composta dal fondatore Geoff Leigh assieme a Cathy Williams, Gerry Fitz-Gerald, Jack Monck e Charles Hayward. Interessante incontro di vicende e personaggi, così sintetizzato da Chris Cutler: "This legendary band was put together by Geoff Leigh just after he left Henry Cow in 1973. Later, Charles Bullen replaced Gerry. Geoff and Gerry had been in Mouseproof together (and Gerry next surfaced on the second volume of Frith's Guitar Solos); Jack Monck, then best known from his time in Delivery with Lol Coxhill & Carol Grimes, and was also an old Cambridge friend of Henry Cow's (he, Fred and Chris were briefly in a band called Sparks together); Cathy and Geoff went on to form Red Balune; Charles Hayward and Charles Bullen went on to become This Heat. So, this captures a mightily interesting socio-musical moment."

By 1974's end Radar Favourites had completed two studio tracks and gave just four concerts, before shifting personnel and eventually disbanding under industry indifference. This historical CD release presents the original Radar Favourites, carefully remastered from the reels extant. At last we can experience the bands sublime studio recordings, an untethered private session and a forceful concert excerpt recorded at London’s College of Printing, in a specially designed cover by Hawkwind’s graphic artist, the legendary Barney Bubbles. Seldom has an ostensible rock group scoped such prescient musical terrain; free collective improvisations, dynamic tension and release within interweaving layers, and dramatic trans-dimensional song structure. This quintet drew upon their disparate playing experiences to inject fresh oxygen into the then increasingly bloated body of British Rock. Theirs was not a regular music, but one that repositioned the markers on the rarified field of experimental rock.