11 aprile 2014

Sean Kitching traccia un ritratto degli Henry Cow per la rivista online The Quietus soffermandosi in particolare sullo splendido album Unrest, a quarant'anni esatti dalla sua realizzazione. E nel merito si fa dire da Chris Cutler: "Lindsay had just joined and we'd had little time to rehearse or write new music with her in mind, so we went into the Manor with nowhere near enough music to complete an album. But, after our experience with Leg End we were fairly confident that, one way or another, we could assemble new material in the studio through a process of improvisation, selection, discussion, editing, overdubbing customised writing, processing and mixing. Which we did. It was an experience that probably did more to bind the band together than anything since our marathon month writing for The Bacchae; and we were very pleased with the result. For us it was a breakthrough. We were so pleased, in fact, that we invited the Virgin staff to a listening (it was still operating as a kind of family then), and were pretty crestfallen when no-one seemed to be very enthusiastic. In fact, management's general lack of interest in the band was what made us pull out of the agency and start organising our own tours and concerts soon thereafter. I think side two of Unrest is still one of our better achievements; I'd select Deluge as a great piece of music even now; and it's a piece that could never have been scored; it was a pure product of realtime playing and collective assembly. It's made of no more than a 50 second loop, some of Ruins played at half speed, several layers of minimal overdubbing, a mix-idea and a concept that grew out of itself. Working this way, you learn to listen differently. And think differently. The way side two reads is... complex; it fits together in a kind of narrative way, and it also makes a lot of unintentional commentary on different kinds of musical form; it's a snapshot, and it couldn't be made today. For us improvisation was essential, and at least 40% of any gig would be improvised. It may be harder to listen to, but it can be more rewarding too; there's a truth there."