Henry Cow, In Praise Of Learning (Original Mix)

David Stubbs

By David Stubbs

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The fine, fractured sound of art school.

Often regarded as a stern proposition thanks to their anarcho-syndicalist instrumental style, Henry Cow are, in fact, colourful and highly rewarding once you actually engage with them. 1975's In Praise of Learning saw the introduction of vocalist Dagmar Krause and leanings towards a neo-Brechtian cabaret style on tracks like “War” — a direction Krause, along with Chris Cutler and Fred Frith, would pursue further as Art Bears. However, their densely knit instrumentation, featuring oscillators, the trumpet of Mongezi Feza, bassoon, oboe and electronics still makes for a rich weave, as well as a musical metaphor for an Ideal For Living.