6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Seminal avantegarde expressionism
, 11 Sept. 2010
This review is from: In Praise Of Learning (Audio CD)
Henry Cow's 'In Praise Of Learning' (1975), is a unique synthesis of expressionism, electronics, rock-cabaret and the avant-garde. Two expressive moments of the band emerge: the first dedicated to Zappa and Wyatt and the second developed through a trial of uncertainty characterized by long pauses in free improvisation. These elements come together with the cold, hard voice of Dagmar Krause. The overall effect is an unsettling and hostile 'Brechtian' atmosphere and severe expressive tension and mystery.
The albums centrepiece and masterwork is the long jam 'Living In The Heart Of The Beast' which consists of alternating vocal and instrumental improvisations. Nowhere other than perhaps with Stereolab's 'Ping-Pong' has the political vanguard of Marxism and the call to arms been expressed with such lyrical conviction:
"Now is the time to begin to go forward - advance from despair. The darkness of solitary men - who are chained in a market they cannot control - in the name of freedom that hangs like a pall on our cities. And their towers of silence we shall destroy.
Now is the time to begin to determine directions. Refuse to admit the existence of destiny's rule. We shall seize from all heroes and merchants our labour, our lives and our practice of history: this our choice, defines the truth of all that we do.
Seize on the words that oppose us with alien force: they're enslaved by the power of capital's kings who reduce them to coinage and hollow exchange in the struggle to hold us, they're bitterly outlasting.....Time to sweep them down from power - deeds renew words.
Dare to take sides in the fight for freedom that is common cause - let us all be as strong and as resolute. We're in the midst of a universe turning in turmoil: of classes and armies of thought making war - their contradictions clash and echo through time."
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