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CHRIS CUTLER

RIO/Avant-Prog • United Kingdom


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Chris Cutler biography
Drummer, composer, lyricist, improviser, cultural theorist and the individual largely responsible for the existence of ReR/Recommended records, Chris Cutler (like his longtime musical sparring partner Fred Frith) has cast a long shadow over avant rock for over 30 years. He first came to prominence when he joined Henry Cow in 1971, but he had been active on London's psychedelic/underground scene since the mid 60s, and in the early 70s formed the Ottawa Music Company (a large collective of rock composers) with sometime Egg/Hatfields keyboards player Dave Stewart.

When Henry Cow ceased working in 1978, he was instrumental in setting up Recommended Records along with Nick Hobbs, Henry Cow's ex-manager, initially as a distribution service and subsequently as a label in its own right. He also formed the excellent Art Bears with Fred Frith and Dagmar Krause, in which he was lyricist as well as the drummer. Since then he has been involved in a bewildering number of projects, often simultaneously, including The Residents, Pere Ubu, News From Babel, Cassiber, Aqsak Maboul, The EC Nudes and P53. He has also worked as an improviser, notably with Fred Frith (see seperate entry), Thomas DiMuzio and Zeena Parkins. Further to all this, he has also developed a unique electric drum kit - to quote from the man himself: "There are no samples, pads or triggers, just acoustic drums amplified and modified with standard electronic processors ... All this is run into a small 16 channel mixer and out through various standard pedals and guitar effects" (from the sleevenotes to Solo). More details can be found on his website. At various points in its evolution, this kit can be heard on all his post Henry Cow recordings. To date there have been only 2 Cutler solo releases; Solo is live improvisations on the electric drumkit, while Twice Around The World is an album of soundscapes created for London based Resonance FM and described as 'an experiment in listening'. The discography also includes 2 albums recorded with electronics performer Thomas DiMuzio (who has also worked with 5UUs) and one with Zeena Parkins (News From Babel, Skeleton Crew).

A masterful and highly original drummer, he is well worth catching live where his unique style can be seen as well as heard. All of his albums can be recommended, but his collaborations with Thomas DiMuzio are perhaps the best place to start, in particular the masterful Dust. See also Cutler/Frith.




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Buy CHRIS CUTLER Music


Domestic StoriesDomestic Stories
Recommended Records 1995
Audio CD$18.78
$10.71 (used)
Golden State (Gold Vinyl)Golden State (Gold Vinyl)
ReR / Recommended Records 2010
Vinyl$22.05
$20.00 (used)
SoloSolo
Rer 2003
Audio CD$11.58
$9.23 (used)
P53P53
Recommended Records 1996
Audio CD$18.66
$7.00 (used)
There & Back AgainThere & Back Again
Rer Megacorp/Mvd 2008
Audio CD$13.61
$1.81 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Chris Cutler : Solo CD (2002) USD $11.54 Buy It Now 2h 30m
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Peter Blegvad Downtime new CD Chris Cutler John Greaves Henry Cow Anthony Moore USD $1.99 [0 bids]
USD $5.99 Buy It Now
3 days
Henry Cow ?CD Stockholm & Göteborg Fred Frith Chris Cutler Lindsay Cooper USD $15.33 [0 bids]
3 days
Hail (Susanne Lewis Bob Drake) CD Kirk (Thinking Plague) Chris Cutler Dave Kerma USD $11.84 [0 bids]
3 days
Chris Cutler / Zeena Parkins CD Shark! (Henry Cow, Skeleton Crew) USD $15.33 [0 bids]
3 days
Chris Cutler / Fred Frith CD 2 Gentlemen In Verona Live April 16 1999 Henry Cow USD $11.84 [0 bids]
3 days
Chris Cutler CD Twice Around The World: An Experiment In Listening (Henry Cow) USD $11.84 [0 bids]
3 days
David Thomas Chris Cutler Alan Ravenstein 7" 45 Picture Disc E+ Condition USD $36.50 Buy It Now 4 days
Passed Normal CD w/ IKUE MORI JIM O'ROURKE LOL COXHILL IVOR CUTLER CHRIS CUTLER USD $6.99 Buy It Now 4 days
PETER BLEGVAD Downtime CHRIS CUTLER*JOHN GREAVES oop CD USD $19.99 Buy It Now 4 days
US import ZGA The Flight Of Infection CD CHRIS CUTLER Henry Cow TARIFF 2002 NEW! USD $16.98 Buy It Now 4 days
(CD) CHRIS CUTLER / FRED FIRTH - Live In Trondheim, Berlin & Limoges Vol. 2 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Art Bears Winter Songs LP RE 1999 England NM Chris Cutler Fred Frith + Insert USD $9.99 [0 bids]
5 days
FRED FRITH*CHRIS CUTLER(HENRY COW) Live At The Stone CD USD $29.99 Buy It Now 5 days
CD . Chris Cutler & Lutz Glandien . Domestic Stories . USD $14.70 Buy It Now 6 days
Chris Cutler And Steve Maclean The Year Of The Dragon CD USD $22.08 Buy It Now 7 days
HENRY COW In Praise of Learning Fred Frith Chris Cutler 180 gram SEALED LP USD $44.97 Buy It Now 7 days
CHRIS CUTLER/FRED FRITH Live in Prague & Washington LP USD $26.99 Buy It Now 9 days
NEW Quake by Chris Cutler/dimuzio CD (CD) USD $17.48 Buy It Now 11 days
Shopping.Live@Victo - Chris Cutler, Jon Rose (1997 ReR Megacorp) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 12 days
CHRIS CUTLER Lutz Glandien Otomo Yoshihide P53 CD NEW! USD $21.50 Buy It Now 12 days
Fred Frith - René Lussier - NOUS AUTRES CD Tenko Chris Cutler Christoph Anders USD $15.25 Buy It Now 13 days
CHRIS CUTLER SOLO ART BEARS HENRY COW CASSIBER FRED FRITH ReR EXPERIMENTAL EX CD USD $59.99 Buy It Now 13 days
ART BEARS Hopes & Fears Fred Frith Chris Cutler Dagmar Krause 180 gram SEALED LP USD $39.97 Buy It Now 14 days
Lindsay Cooper - Rags LP NM- RARE fred frith chris cutler avant-garde composer USD $49.99 Buy It Now 15 days
Chris Cutler - Quake (Live Recording, 1999) USD $15.79 Buy It Now 15 days
Chris Cutler,Chris Cutler,Charles Hayward : Jouer Spielen to Play CD (1995) USD $12.97 Buy It Now 15 days
CD: FAUST "(John Peel's) BBC Sessions" Digipak Import 2001 ReR USA; Chris Cutler USD $12.32 Buy It Now 16 days
CD* Vanishing Point - THE (EC) NUDES // CHRIS CUTLER // AMY DENIO // WADI GYSI USD $10.99 Buy It Now 16 days
Chris Cutler & Thomas Dimuzio-Quake CD NEW USD $15.82 Buy It Now 17 days
David Thomas - More Places Forever LP Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper. Pere Ubu USD $13.99 Buy It Now 19 days
Henry Cow: Empty Promo Box [Japan Mini-LP no cd art bears chris cutler Q USD $47.50 Buy It Now 20 days
Chris Cutler Steel Water Light cd USD $6.99 Buy It Now 20 days
David Bedford Star's End LP NM/NM 1974 Mike Oldfield Chris Cutler USD $8.50 Buy It Now 21 days
CHRIS CUTLER - DUST (752725015424) - NEW CD USD $13.63 Buy It Now 22 days
Chris CUTLER Fred FRITH Limoges 7" Clear VINYL Hand Made PS Record HENRY COW USD $37.49 Buy It Now 25 days
FRED FRITH Rene Lussier LP Nous Autres CHRIS CUTLER USD $19.99 Buy It Now 25 days
HENRY COW Unrest Fred Frith Chris Cutler 180 gram vinyl SEALED LP Lindsay Cooper USD $49.97 Buy It Now 25 days
ART BEARS hopes & fears US CD 2003 digipak FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 27 days
ART BEARS winter songs US CD 2003 digipak FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 27 days
ART BEARS the world as US CD 2003 digipak FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 27 days
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CHRIS CUTLER - STEEL WATER LIGHT - NEW CD USD $10.65 Buy It Now 28 days
CHRIS CUTLER - THERE AND BACK AGAIN * - NEW CD USD $14.10 Buy It Now 28 days
CHRIS CUTLER/FRED FR - LIVE IN TRONDHEIM, BERLIN & LIMOGES, VOL. 2 - NEW CD USD $13.63 Buy It Now 28 days
ART BEARS-WINTER SONGS/THE WORLD AS IT IS TODAY-CD 1988-FRED FIRTH/CHRIS CUTLER USD $23.57 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW stockholm & goteborg USA CD 2008 FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW western culture USA CD 2001 FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW leg end original mix USA CD 1998 FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW in praise of learning USA CD '91 FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 28 days
DAVID THOMAS & Pedestrians Sound of Sand Richard Thompson Chris Cutler UK LP USD $19.97 Buy It Now 28 days
CASSIBER Perfect Worlds LP U.K. Avant Prog/RIO w/Chris Cutler, incl. Booklet USD $22.99 Buy It Now 28 days
CASSIBER Beauty & the Beast LP U.K. Avant Prog/RIO w/Chris Cutler, incl. Booklet USD $24.99 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW unrest USA CD '99 remastered FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $12.50 Buy It Now 28 days
HENRY COW concerts USA 2-CD '06 remastered FRED FRITH chris cutler DAGMAR KRAUSE USD $20.00 Buy It Now 28 days
CHRIS CUTLER - TWICE AROUND THE EARTH - NEW CD USD $14.10 Buy It Now 28 days
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CHRIS CUTLER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CHRIS CUTLER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 14 ratings
Domestic Stories (with Lutz Glandien)
1993
2.00 | 2 ratings
Twice Around The Earth
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
Steve MacLean & Chris Cutler - The Year Of The Dragon
2012

CHRIS CUTLER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Shark! (with Zeena Parkins)
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Quake (with Thomas DiMuzio)
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Solo
2002
4.95 | 2 ratings
Dust (with Thomas DiMuzio)
2002

CHRIS CUTLER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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CHRIS CUTLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Steve MacLean & Chris Cutler  - The Year Of The Dragon by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Steve MacLean & Chris Cutler - The Year Of The Dragon
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by admireArt

— First review of this album —
4 stars A perfect blend of both RIO & Avant Garde, this collaboration between basically, Steve MacLean & Chris Cutler (some vocals were added later, so they say), is by far, one of my great RIO/AG surprises, in a long, long, time. These guys, do not have the need, to prove to anybody, that they are great performers, so that is understood beforehand, in terms of performance solely, it does not become the whole concept, as in a 1000's RIO/AG bands. The astounding, limitless, energetic experience they deliver, has to do, as in any attractive work, with musical COMPOSITION, that forgotten realm, as opposed to mere musical recorded chaotic performances. What a great thrill, to be taken to different musical environments, without the hassle of abrupt cliched time-signatures only. The ethereal touches of Julie Thompson's voice, without overblowing the chaos, but exalting it. The exact amount of Titus Abbott's clarinet & saxophone playing, proving AGAIN that stridency alone, is no match for talent. YES, this is a RIO/AG Masterwork, everything in perfect disorder, The never ceasing change of environments, not perforce, with some cheap RIO/AG formula, BUT with real talent in musical COMPOSITION, is itself, a surprising relief. And these guys have a very, very extensive, self-language, and it is shown, entirely in this, The Year Of The Dragon, effort. So, what more can you expect in a surprisingly balanced GUITAR/DRUMS project, this record, even trascends the tagging, this is an any kind of prog great effort. For me ****4.5 PA stars, (could have been 5, but the few, but there, Zappaesque touches, kind of set me off ( they were not needed). Anyway, don't miss this amazing project ! Chris Cutler's drumming is better than ever!

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 Domestic Stories (with Lutz Glandien) by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.26 | 14 ratings

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Domestic Stories (with Lutz Glandien)
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by tmay102436

5 stars Oh my god, I've listened to this masterwork many times, always enjoying it, knowing that something more than special was happening. This might be the my favorite RIO/Avante prog album of all time.

I know I'm gushing here, but this listening has brought the whole into perspective. These talented individuals, writing, creating, reproducing in a new style, yet feeling like old friends. And Dagmar, god she's a voice that is so expressive, personal, yet powerful.

As stated in another review, if you like Art Bears, News from Babel, wish there was a new Henry Cow - GET THIS CD!!! It just doesn't get better than this.

If you're new to the avante/RIO stuff, this is a perfect place to start, and then follow the lives/production of each of these incredible artist.

Thanks for listening, PROG LIVES ON!

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 Shark! (with Zeena Parkins) by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Live, 1996
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Shark! (with Zeena Parkins)
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This album is very much a game of two halves, consisting as it does of two live imporvisations by Chris Cutler and electric harpist Zeena Parkins (News From Babel, Skelton Crew, Bjork). The style is not that far removed from the Cutler/Frith improvisations, although (perhaps surprisingly) it often comes closer to straight ahead rock music than the guitar/drum duets.

The first half of the album was recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and is by far the better sounding of the two pieces. Unfortunately it's a rather hit and miss affair, although the full range of Cutler's electric drumkit and Parkins' electric harp are well demonstrated. When it all comes together it's quite marvellous, with elastic bass lines emanating from the lower register of the harp, shards of aggressive noise from the higher end and Cutler's ever unpredictable beats lurking beneath. In between there's rather a lot of noodling on random objects and effects that doesn't quite hold the attention, but it generally resolves into something a bit more coherent quickly enough.

The second half was recorded via a single microphone at a concert in Bologna, and what it lacks in sound quality it more than makes up for in intensity and ferocity. Zeena Parkins plays melodica as well as harp, while Cutler stays busier with the main body of his kit than with the table of objects next to it. This has the edge and verve of the best improvised rock music, threatening to degenerate into pure electronic chaos but always finding a way back from the brink, and from the sound of it the duo found themselves facing an appreciative and responsive audience. The image of female harpists as angelic creatures coaxing ethereal, delicate sounds from the air is thoroughly trounced here; Parkins can rock with the best of them, and clearly revels in producing the kind of ear splitting noise more usually associated with the electric guitar.

Free improvisation is unusual in rock music, and there are relatively few musicians who can pull it off convincingly. Chris Cutler is one of the foremost practitioners of rock improvisation today, and Zeena Parkins is a worthy collaborator. Afficianados will enjoy it, newcomers should start with Cutler and Frith's excellent 2 Gentlemen in Verona.

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 Domestic Stories (with Lutz Glandien) by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.26 | 14 ratings

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Domestic Stories (with Lutz Glandien)
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is a song cycle that looks at the institution of marriage from Chris Cutler's hardline Marxist perspective. Perceived in some quarters as a virtual Art Bears reunion because Frith, Cutler and Krause are all present, it has more in common News From Babel and Cassiber, which is still excellent news indeed. Cutler wrote the lyrics and Lutz Glandien composed the music, using computer and sampling technology to great effect alongside the more traditional instrumentation of the older RIO players.

It's an intriguing album, with the lyrics and music full of allusions both obvious and obscure. Dagmar Krause brings the texts to life, singing about figures like Eve and Salome, while ex Cassiber musician Alfred 23 Harth provides an instrumental foil and brings some real warmth to the proceedings with his wonderful sax and clarinet embellishments. Fred Frith adds his own brand of RIO mojo on guitar and bass, but he and Harth are essentially guest performers; instrumentally it's Cutler and Glandien's album and they gel magnificently. Chris Cutler is always a highly inventive drummer, and the arrangements on this album offer him plenty of space to stretch out and use the full range of his techniques. Lutz Glandien makes intelligent use of samplers and computers, creating interesting soundscapes and adding to the sonic picture without distracting attention from the songs themselves. Song based RIO albums can sometimes get bogged down in their own density and complexity, but the writing, arrangements and performances on this album are all well judged and there's a lightness of touch running through most of it that makes the heavier passages all the more effective.

Fans of Art Bears, News From Babel and Cassiber will have some idea of what to expect but will also get some surprises. Afficianados of Cutler's drumming and Dagmar's voice will find the album especially rewarding, and anybody who enjoyed Harth's work with Cassiber will appreciate his occasional presence. Those less familiar with RIO/avant prog will find this one of the genre's more accessible albums, intellectually stimulating without being overbearing and containing instrumental passages of great if unorthodox beauty. Recommended.

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 Dust (with Thomas DiMuzio) by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Live, 2002
4.95 | 2 ratings

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Dust (with Thomas DiMuzio)
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars The second Cutler/DiMuzio collaborative album is a true masterpiece which takes the intriguing premise of Quake to a wholly unprecedented new level. Using only Cutler's electric drum kit, some electronics and a sampler (used to process Cutler's drums in real time as well as an instrument in its own right), the two musicians conjure one of those rare albums that sails through caverns measureless to man. Although nominally divided into 19 tracks, the album consists of two long improvisations, one live in New Mexico and the other a studio piece recorded in France.

Requiem is the live improvisation that takes up the first half of the album, tracks 1 - 6. This picks up where Quake left off, and the result is utterly beguiling; it's almost impossible to discern any of the normal features of music - melody, rhythm or even recognisable instrumental sounds - but it's a piece that grabs the attention and doesn't let go. The two performers establish a remarkable tension that persists for the duration of the piece, never resolved but contantly evolving. For an abstract piece of electronica it's also unexpectedly moving, and it serves as a remarkable requiem (although to who or what it is dedicated is unclear). For most of the piece there are no readily identifiable drum sounds, and even when they do emerge they are not played in a conventionally rhythmic style. As much as they are musicians, Cutler and DiMuzio are careful and attentive listeners: to the world around them, to their immediate environment and to each other. The results of their painstaking approach reach their zenith on this 21 minute piece, which reveals more of itself on every listening.

The second half of the album, Universal Decoding Machine, is the result of a very different process. This was recorded in a studio in France, with EM Thomas wandering around outside with a binaural microphone feeding in natural sounds to be treated, and engineer Bob Drake modifying the sound at the mixing desk. The piece was subsequently treated and reassembled post production by DiMuzio, creating an interesting contrast with the sponatnaeity and intimacy of the first half. Cutler's drums are sometimes clearly audible, and he even strikes up a relatively conventional backbeat on track 13, which is actually quite shocking when first heard. The sounds of birdsong, flowing water and other natural sounds create a sense of space and light that is the mirror image of Requiem's feel of enclosed underground spaces.

Dust is anything but easy listening and is far closer to contemporary electroacoustic avant garde music than it is to rock, but it is a work with a human heart beating at its core and which is not as dry and emotionally detached as a lot of contemporary classical music. It's an intensely rewarding 41 minutes of music for those who are prepared to listen to it as carefully as Cutler and DiMuzio did to each other while creating it. Essential.

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 Quake (with Thomas DiMuzio) by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Live, 1999
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Quake (with Thomas DiMuzio)
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Chris Cutler and experimental electronic musician Thomas DiMuzio (who has played with 5UU's among others) first worked together in 1994, and since then they have worked sporadically as a duo. This album was recorded at two live events in 1999, and showcases a remarkable collaboration between two highly accomplished improvising musicians.

Chris Cutler uses pick ups, contact microphones and effects pedals in his electric drumkit, and is able to produce a surprising variety of sounds and textures, as can be heard on his album 'Solo'. Thomas Dimuzio uses his sampler to manipulate Cutler's performance in real time, and also uses short wave radio and CD sources to add to the mix. This is music which is informed as much by contemporary electro-acoustic practice as it is by rock, and it is full of unexpected sounds and surprises. For most of the album's playing time it's difficult to believe that a drum kit was used at all, although when it does make its presence felt (such as part 4 of When Cracks Appear) it does so to thunderous effect. If it were possible to record continental plates shifting or mountains forming, this is what they would sound like; vast, stately and moving at their own pace with inexorable force. Unlike a lot of contemporary electronic music this is not based around endless drones, but constantly shifts and changes as the two players react to each other. It's also crammed full of detail and repays repeated and careful listening.

Thomas DiMuzio belongs to that select group of musicians who use the sampler as an instrument in its own right, and has expanded the boundaries of what is possible in a live performance. Chris Cutler is a perfect musical foil for him, and between them they create music which has few precedents and is truly innovative. This is particularly recommended to fans of more adventurous electronic music, but anybody with a taste for the adventurous and experimental should hear this.

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 Solo by CUTLER, CHRIS album cover Live, 2002
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Solo
Chris Cutler RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Syzygy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars Like Fred Frith's Guitar Solos (released almost 30 years earlier) Chris Cutler's Solo has a title that is at once accurate and misleading. Yes, it consists of a series of solo performances on the drumkit by Chris Cutler, but at almost no point do you hear anything that even resembles a conventional drum solo. Like Frith, Cutler has long been interested in modifying and extending the range of his main instrument, and he has developed a unique electrified kit. To quote from the sleevenotes: "There are no samples, pads or triggers, just acoustic drums amplified and modified with standard electronic processors; there's a table with a few tambours, a frying pan and an egg slicer - also amplified, - a miscellaneous collection of sticks, brushes, screw-rods, beaters, violin bows, battery operated cocktail mixers, some ping pong balls, a fire bell and a massager. All this is run into a small 16 channel mixer and out through various standard pedals and guitar effects. That's it." He goes on to mention a couple of other sound sources, including a CD player (usually with a disc of found sounds or sound effects) which is occasionally added to the mix, and on one of the pieces a minidisk recording of a walk through Nancy was used as an obbligato.

All of the pieces on the album were recorded as live improvisations in a variety of settings, and although the album is subdivided into 24 tracks there are essentially 3 relatively long pieces (15 minutes plus) interspersed with 2 brief 3 minute snippets. Chris Cutler was something of a latecomer to solo performance, his first being in Japan in the 1990s, although he is a veteran improviser who has worked with many of the leading lights in the field. He is uninterested in studio improvisation except as a part of the compositional process, and finds that the differing acoustic properties of the venues he plays in and the audiences themselves are significant in shaping the music that is performed, and on the album there are striking differences that are immediately obvious when the recording switches from one location to another, something that most live albums would play down. The electrified kit gives him an opportunity to indulge his "...special fondness for sustained tones, layering and variable pitching; things we drummers miss in our regular instruments."

The music itself is rooted in contemporary elecro-acoustic techniques, although there is a definite 'rock' sensibility perceptible in most of the pieces. You rarely get to hear a conventional backbeat, but the drumkit regularly makes its presence felt through all the differing layers of sonic intervention. For much of the time we're out in the wilder reaches of RIO territory, with all manner of unpredictable sounds emerging from the mix. It's not exactly melodic most of the time, but the shifting moods and textures give the music a sense of linear progression in addition to occasionally unbelievable depth. Each of the longer pieces mutates and twists into unpredictable new forms, giving the impression of a journey which, when it ends, leaves you wondering how exactly we got 'here' from 'there'. The most successful piece is the last, the remarkable 'A Walk Through Nancy', in which a minidisk recording of a walk through the town is audible throughout much of the performance. Although there is nothing so obvious on the recording as snatches of French conversation(the most readily identifiable sounds are birdsongs), this piece has a real sense of place and atmosphere along with a satisfying sense of completeness.

Solo is an album that, like Fred Frith's Guitar Solos, contains some remarkable and compelling music, but which ultimately comes across as more of a showcase for range and scope of the elcetrified kit than as a fully realised album. Nonetheless it's fascinating to hear, and if you've ever heard any of Chris Cutler's improvisations with other musicians it gives a real insight into his unique style and technique. One of the pieces, A Walk Through Nancy, is on a par with with the best of any of his other projects, and the remainder of the album is always interesting to listen to. 3.5 stars really, something of a specialised item but deeply rewarding.

(All quotes taken from the sleevenotes)

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