Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fred Frith - Gravity (1990)

Gravity is a 1980 solo album by English guitarist, composer and improviser Fred Frith from Henry Cow and Art Bears. It was Frith's second solo album and his first since the demise of Henry Cow in 1978. It was originally released in the United States on LP record on The Residents's Ralph record label and was the first of three solo albums Frith made for the label.

Gravity was recorded in Sweden, the United States and Switzerland and featured Frith with Swedish Rock in Opposition group Samla Mammas Manna on one side of the LP, and Frith with United States progressive rock group The Muffins on the other side. Additional musicians included Marc Hollander from Aksak Maboul and Chris Cutler from Henry Cow.

Gravity has been described as an avant-garde "dance" record that draws on rhythm and dance from folk music across the world. Allmusic called it one of the most important experimental guitar titles from Fred Frith.

01. "The Boy Beats the Rams (Kluk Tluce Berany)" – 4:54
02. "Spring Any Day Now" – 3:04
03. "Don't Cry For Me" – 3:28
04. "The Hands of the Juggler" – 5:31
05. "NorrgĂ„rden Nyvla" – 2:54
06. "Year of the Monkey" – 4:11
07. "What a Dilemma" – 3:11
08. "Crack in the Concrete" – 1:24. "Come Across" – 2:47
09. "Dancing in the Street" (Gaye, Stevenson, Hunter) – 3:20
10. "My Enemy is a Bad Man" – 1:22
11. "Slap Dance" – 2:32
12. "A Career in Real Estate" – 4:42
13. "Dancing in Rockville Maryland" – 3:04

Bonus tracks on 1990 CD re-issue

14. "Waking Against Sleep" – 2:08
15. "Terrain" – 3:50
16. "Moeris Dancing" – 5:03
17. "Geistige Nacht" – 5:18
18. "Life at the Top" – 1:40
19. "Oh Wie Schon Ist Panama!" – 5:02

musicians include:
Fred Frith – guitar, bass guitar, violin, keyboards, drums (tracks 1,5,7)
The Muffins
Chris Cutler – drums (tracks 3, 15-18)
Lindsay Cooper – bassoon, oboe (tracks 15,16)
Tim Hodgkinson – alto saxophone (track 15)
Dagmar Krause – voice (track 17)
Tom Cora – bass guitar, percussion (track 19)
Samla Mammas Manna
and others...


marram62 said...



Bill said...

Sorry to bust in here uninvited, but based on your fine selection (I designed a cover for Fred Frith in the 80's), you might find this interesting.

We refer to it as "Analog Music from a Lost World" -- previously unreleased post-punk experimental rock from 1981, unlike anything else recorded before or after.

"It’s out there but a really good listen...some awesome experimental work." — Richmond Playlist

"It’s challenging music made by a collection of people who know what the f_ck they’re talking about when it comes to records...fantastic record...holds its own unique feel and straight weirdness. What more could you want?" -- anuncontrollableurge.com

"...enjoyed it immensely! Odd, odd sounds, but funky in a twisted way." — snapcrackleandpops.blogspot.com

"...a comment i had from an anonymous friend made me to move my old fat ass and write about this unique lost treasure, post-punk mixed with avant-rock, filled with spastic rhythms and synths in a very New York-ish manner, something like a No Wave Beefheart, if he was a female..." — buginthecity.blogspot.com

"It's amazing!" -- Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock

"...pretty weird: mixtures of grrl band vocals, psych rock and spaced-out guitar, and 60s style poetic verse.
Pretty weird, in the good way." — g-spotlight.blogspot.com

"Once again, those lovely folks over at WFMU beat us all to the punch with another chunk of previously unknown avant/post-punk brilliance circa 1981, proving that no matter how much you root around, there's always another truffle waiting to be dug up..." -- nonotnyet.blogspot.com

“...lovely and odd...” -- No Rock and Roll Fun.com

"It reminds me at times of early Sonic youth. To be honest I love anything which contains deranged female warblings. You can listen to or download the whole thing from the Free Music Archive website. Well worth an hour of your time." -- burningworld.blogspot.com

"...some hefty grooves, and plenty of 'holy shit" moments'. It's a spacious but highly rewarding listen, and I wouldn't be surprised if some label makes an effort to press this on vinyl in the near future." -- ongakubaka.blogspot.com

"Hopefully, some enterprising reissue label will snatch this one up, as it's too good to exist only in the ephemeral form of a download." -- Mutant Sounds

Jason Sigal, Managing Director at WFMU said:
"This is amazing stuff and we would be honored to feature it in wfmu's curated portal on the free music archive. I'm very sorry for our slow response, we have a lot of stuff to wade through to find gems like these."


Elliot Knapp said...

This album's a true peak among mountains from an artist like Frith. Recently reviewed it on my blog here. Thanks for posting it!