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Cassiber - Man or Monkey CD (album) cover





3.29 | 18 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars After their Belgian adventures with Aksak Maboul and the Honeymoon Killers, the ex-Henry Cow duo of Frith and Cutler parted ways and the drummer headed eastbound to Germany and wound up in Cassiber, while Frith pulled in a stunning Massacre album in New York.

The idea behind this record was to enter the studio with only a handful ofv text and lyrics ready and it was up to singer's Ander's discretion or needs to use them, with only one set of lyrics being adapted to an already-established music, the Carribean-laced Colourful Culture, which happens to be one of the better tracks on the album along with Red Shadow. A good deal of tracks are pure free-jazz improves, most of which can be quite indigestible (Gangelangen or the title track). Sticking out a bit awkwardly is a Bach adaptation (O Cure Me) which can sound like some Kraftwerk with added improvised violin and sax lines, but this a real welcome sweetie after some real inaccessible tracks. While you can see where Cassiber is heading in tracks like Django (as in Reinhardt if you judge Frith's guitars completely imbedded in other instruments), it is still quite difficult to grasp how the musicians could actually be really satisfied with some of those takes. Another fairly accessible track is the second last Verungreiningun track where Cutler's drumming takes the show, but he is well assisted by bassist and keyboardist Goebbels .

Since I discovered their respective paths in the early 90's (some 10 years after the releases of these albums), I always wondered if FF and CC were not in competition to make or participate in the weirdest and most obtuse albums. It would appear to me that in regard with Frith's massacre album, Cutler's Cassiber won this round easily.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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