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Fred Frith - Gravity CD (album) cover


Fred Frith



4.02 | 59 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was Fred's first solo album after leaving HENRY COW. It really is a celebration of dance from different cultures throughout the World. The original cover art was painted by Robert Wyatt's wife Alfreda Benge which incorporates the album's title "Gravity" with the subject of dance. As others have mentioned SAMMLA MAMMAS MANNA played on side one of the original vinyl (1-6) while THE MUFFINS played on side two (7-13). Fred also gets additional help from Chris Cutler, Tina Curran, Michel Berkmans (UNIVERS ZERO) and others.

"The Boy Beats The Rams" opens with some brief laughter then intricate sounds take over including this spacey atmosphere. There is a lot humour on this album and the mood is good which shouldn't be a surprise when the subject matter is dancing I suppose. Accordion comes in and then it all builds before 2 minutes. A catchy beat follows. "Spring Any Day Now" is upbeat, catchy and fun. "Don't Cry For Me" features clapping and percussion throughout then the bass, mandolin, organ and more join in. Clapping only ends it. "The Hands Of The Juggler" is one of my favourites. We get violin and a repetitive rhythm for almost 1 1/2 minutes then they change it up and the tempo picks up. Killer stuff. Drums, violin, accordion and more before 3 1/2 minutes. "Norrgarden Nyola" is such a feel good song and I really like the guitar around a minute. "Year Of The Monkey" opens with some craziness then a rhythm with guitar takes over. More craziness later.

"What A Dilemma" is another favourite of mine. An abrasive rhythm with violin leads the way and it sounds even better when the drums join in around 1 1/2 minutes. How good is this ! "Crack In The Concrete" brings to mind the word random. "Come Across" is uptempo with a good rhythm and horns. "Dancing In The Street / My Enemy Is A Bad Man" is next and the first part is an instrumental cover of that Motown song with samples of Iranians in the background who were celebrating the capture of Americans back in the day. Weird. Man it would suck to live in Iran. The second part of this two part track is mostly guitar and percussion. Cool tune. "Slap Dance" is short but I really like it. It's the brief angular guitar section before a minute that reminds me of ANEKDOTEN that does it for me. "A Career In Real Estate" contrasts the beat with violin to the more dramatic and powerful sections. "Dancing In Rockville Maryland" has these intricate and punchy sounds before it settles right down with piano 1 1/2 minutes in.

An interesting and entertaining listen that is worth 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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