The Sentinel

micro-blog from music lovers sharing their passion

Tag Archives: Avant-Garde

Andrew Liles – The Ether Reel

Creepy and melancholic at the same time; in true Nursey fashion. Thank you Andrew Liles. From his 2004 album ‘My Long Accumulating Discontent’.

Negativland – The Playboy Channel

Fantastic track from their classic 1987 album ‘Escape From Noise’, with guest noisemakers jello Biafra playing ‘flushing toilet’, and Mark Mothersbaugh on various instruments/sounds. Short, sweet, and lovely,

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Ella Guru

By the time one gets to the 4th track of 1969’s ‘Trout Mask Replica’, it feels like the album has started to hit its stride (foolish, but understandable on first listen), as ‘Ella guru’ is grooving; albeit in a ramshackle, rickety, jagged fashion.Like the rest of the album, the simple set up of drums, bass, guitar and vocals teases out astonishing, gnarled and debased music of Blues origin. So much has been said about ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and most of it’s true. Praised and hugely rated, but in no way overrated; an absolutely extraordinary Avant-Garde free Rock album.

Art Bears – Man & Boy

Rummaging and chaos overlap a sombre piano; before Dagmar’s vocals float into proceedings (manipulated, cut-up, reversed). It’s a disorientating experience; though one not unfamiliar to fans of the band. This is from their 1979 album ‘Winter Songs’.

Nurse With Wound/Cyclobe – Angry Electric Finger 2 (Part 5)

In the early noughties, Nurse With Wound sent out some raw ingredients to be cooked up by three performers. 1 was Jim O’Rourke, 2nd was, and the 3rd was Cyclobe. The version worked on by this duo seems to travel to a lot more destinations than the other two .* We’re talking about the outer reaches of music, where it becomes pure sound. Anything familiar with either of these acts will know what to expect, and the alliance more than lives up to expectations. This is from 2004.

*however, please check out the version; it’s also wonderful.

Henry Cow – Beautiful As The Moon; Terrible As An Army With Banners (Live 1976)

Incredible footage of a band who, judging from this and bearing in mind the composition,  rehearsed like mad. This is when Slapp Happy front Woman Dagmar Krause joined in with proceedings (which led to the wonderful Art Bears), and the band took their RIP sound right out there. Cutler’s drumming is just phenomenal; and he looked like as much as an octopus as he always sounded on record. This is a 1976 live version of a track from the bands 1975 album ‘In Praise Of Learning’.

News From Babel – Auschwitz/Babel

Austere avant-rock from the four piece here. A band who were part of the Henry Cow family tree; and took the sound of Art Bears back towards the chamber sound that Henry Cow were known for. Witchy and severe music from 1984’s ‘Work Resumed On The Tower’.

Volcano The Bear – Burnt Seer

Weirdo English folk with strong hints of This Heat and, of course, Robert Wyatt. This is from their 2007 album ‘Amidst The Noise And Twigs’ from Beta-Lactam records.

The Residents – Lizard Lady

Lysergic cartoon pop from an alternate reality where the hit parade is littered with terrifyingly comic bangers. From their 1978 EP that never was ‘Buster & Glen’.

Kemialliset Ystävät – Maksaruohoja

A strum-along number from the wonderful Kemialliset Ystävät with the usual amount of cosmic debris you would expect from them. Never straightforward, always colourful. This is from their 2010 album ‘Ullakkopalo’, where they really started to stretch out their sound.

Laurence Johns

Curator of Counter-Culture, Personal Development Consultant & Writer

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UK Post-Rock, Laptop Electronica, '90s Rap


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