Henry Cow - Western Culture  CD (album) cover


Henry Cow



4.24 | 159 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars 'Western Culture' is Henry Cow's swansong before (or rather during) the offshoot 'Art Bears' decided they would be a fully operational unit during the latter half of 1978. This album is possibly THE BEST example of well crafted and precisely performed R.I.O. these ears have ever heard. This is a totally instrumental recording and does not feature Dagmar Krause - she would be part of Art Bears recordings. It is quite difficult for me to explain exactly how this music 'goes' - my knowledge and comprehension on such complex forms is rather limited, so I can only say that it's a challenging listen. Side 1 of the LP is composed by keyboardist/woodwind player Tim Hodgkinson and comprises of 3 seperate parts and falls under the heading of 'History and Prospects', side 2 is composed solely by Bassoonist Lindsay Cooper and comprises of 4 parts, falling under the heading of 'Day By Day'. The instrumentation is dense ; organs, saxes, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, recorders, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar (with a strange tone, I might add), drums/percussion, trombone, violin, trumpet, piano and 'noise'. At times, it can sound like a mini chamber orchestra. The overall sound of the album is stunning. Guest Bassist Georgie Born is featured on the last track, '1/2 The Sky', which was recorded around the same time as Art Bears' debut album 'Hopes and Fears'. An absolute masterpiece.
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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