HENRY COW

Stockholm & Göteborg

(ReR Megacorp) Used CD $10.00

Volume six from the 2008’s 40th Anniversary Box set fills in some of the history between In Praise of Learning (1975) and Western Culture (1978) – most notably Tim Hodgkinson’s “Erk Gah,” a fiendishly complicated epic that avoids any hint of riff, solo or modular assembly. At the other extreme are the two wide-ranging improvisations built around extended technique, aleatorics, quotations, more-or-less randomly inserted prepared materials and a disregard for genre rules. Between, constantly shifting ground, are a straight-ahead version of Phil Ochs’ “No More Songs,” an unreleased composition by Fred Frith, and a version of the “Ottawa Song,” which, it turns out, dates from a Hamburg concert from around the same time. Sealed