"Henry Cow" and "The Work" keyboardist/reedman Tim Hodgkinson performs solely on baritone sax during one track of this curiously interesting 1984 LP release, now reissued by Ad Hoc Records. Chalk it up to the vigor’s of youth and exploration coupled with injections of whacked out humor and John Cage-like concepts.
Spearheaded by percussionists/multi-instrumentalists Don Weeks and Cass Davies, along with backing vocalists, the various ensemble permutations elicit a strange brew that is firmly entrenched within avant-garde stylizations. With a host of backing male and female vocalists, the asymmetrical rhythmic patterns often serve as a foundation for discombobulated tribal chants.
The vocal choruses dispel an eerie, but playful scenario. And every so often, the chattering and oddly enacted harmonies sound like they were recorded underwater; hence, a liquefying effect takes a bit of precedence. On the piece titled "Rain," the female singers convey something akin to a psyched out aria atop thumping drums, incidental effects and spastic recitations. Consequently, this effort was originally released on the relatively obscure, but adventurous British record label, "Woof." To that end, this outing looms as a clever exercise in cohesive abstraction and in certain aspects, could fall in line with today’s multifarious avant scene. Ultimately, these folks along with Hodgkinson’s production assistance fuse together many off kilter stylizations. But, the overall vibe can seem a tad overwrought, especially upon repeated listens.