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Slapp Happy - Sort Of... Slapp Happy  CD (album) cover


Slapp Happy



3.52 | 33 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wonderful !! Slapp Happy has made it into the Archives !! This group of intelligent individuals ; Dagmar Krause (vocals/piano/perc.), Anthony Moore (Keyboards), Peter Blegvad (guitars/sax/vocals) were helped out by some members of Krautrock band Faust (on drums, bass and sax) for this release. The songs are firmly in the avant-pop mould, featuring catchy melodies with strange arrangements and sounds - a kind of marriage between commercial and uncommercial ideals. Here, Dagmar sings so sweetly, not her aggressive, 'Teutonic' warbling she is closely associated with.

The rhythm section provides a certain 'looseness' to the songs, with Blegvad's acidic guitar tones chiming through the air in an effort to shred your ear-drums, and his singing is somewhat harsh - quite inaccessible, yet the format in which these textures are conveyed is undeniably 'pop'. Difficult to actually 'pin down' highlights, as most tracks are of equal high quality - opening track 'Just a Conversation' is a concisely written song, with wah-wah guitar and brief acoustic interlude, and gorgeous singing from Daggi. 'Paradise Express' features Blegvad on vocals, and a neat sax workout from Faust's Gunther Wusthoff, complete with a loveable melody. 'I Got Evil' is an eccentric sounding song, weird singing, even weirder synth (or is it a kazoo, or manipulated sax.....?) and amusing lyrics. 'Little Girl's World' is a quaint track, with Daggi playing the 7/4 middle section on piano. It's back to Blegvad for the rather psych sounding 'Tutankhamun', with another fuzzy solo (is it an organ? Anthony Moore, what are you doing??). Quite unique. 'Mono-Plane' is the long track (6.50) and is a groovy, repetitive riff jam from Blegvad, and, perhaps, is their nod toward Krautrock.

'Blue Flower' reminds me of cheerful country music, with more piano playing and singing from Dagmar. 'I'm all Alone' is a soft ballad sung by Dagmar, which just floats along, again featuring Gunther's sax playing. 'Who's Gonna Help Me Now' is another softer track, similar in mood to the previous track. 'Small Hands of Stone' is an almost ethereal sounding piece, with some sax playing from Peter Blegvad and hypnotic piano playing from Moore. 'Sort Of' is an instrumental ditty that is extremely catchy and fun. 'Heading For Kyoto' is a well arranged, percussively oriented track, with excellent progressions, wah-wah guitar and superb singing from Dagmar. With this LP (Recommended Records re-issue) a lovely 'etched' 7" entitled 'Alcohol' (by Blegvad) was included, and is a *very* strange atonal piece of music with bizarre poetry 'sung' by Blegvad. Curious, but not 'Slapp Happy' as such. A minor treasure.

It's not surprising that they eventually joined forces with Henry Cow, as both bands shared similar attitudes both within the music, and about the music.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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