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Speechless by Fred Frith

This is a reissue of the original 1981 "Ralph Records," release by the former "Henry Cow" guitarist. Yet, since his epoch, early ‘70s "Guitar Solos" LPs - Fred Frith has evolved into an inspirational stylist. He seemingly defies musical boundaries and categorizations, which is an element surrounding this important re-release on the artist’s record label. Frith’s anti-pop/rock musings boasts an organic tinge, along with saxophonist George Cartwright and the "Massacre" band, featuring bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher, among others.

On this outing Frith incorporates tapes culled from New York City area street fairs, and demonstrations. Whereas, tracks (1-5) were recorded in France, featuring "Rock In Opposition" drummer/saxophonist Guigou Chenevier and saxophonist Margot Mathieu. Ultimately, Frith shines as a multitasking instrumentalist by using his guitars; keys and violin as vehicles for twisting catchy melodic hooks into avant based foundations. As this effort epitomizes the adventurous spirit witnessed during the formation of New York City’s downtown scene. Throughout, you’ll hear whimsical themes morphed into cyclic progressions via hard-rock underpinnings, zany interludes and unusual harmonic developments.

The listener can expect to hear the unexpected, amid pounding backbeats, variable rhythmic flows, and multihued soundscapes. All in good fun mind you, as Frith’s off-kilter methodologies translate into a fun-filled production, awash with a cartoon-like rationale. (Highly recommended.... )

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Fred Frith
  • CD Title: Speechless
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Reissue Original Release: 1981
  • Record Label: Fred Records/ReR Megacorp
  • Rating: Four Stars
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