Search - Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser :: Friends & Enemies

Friends & Enemies
Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser
Friends & Enemies
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2

Looking back on guitar history during the 1970s and 1980s, it seems like Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith are separated by a generation. After all, Frith got his steely nerve from Henry Cow, who formed in the early 1970s, and K...  more »

      

CD Details

All Artists: Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser
Title: Friends & Enemies
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Cuneiform
Original Release Date: 5/12/1999
Re-Release Date: 5/15/1999
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative, Avant Garde & Free Jazz, Experimental Music, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 045775011721

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Looking back on guitar history during the 1970s and 1980s, it seems like Henry Kaiser and Fred Frith are separated by a generation. After all, Frith got his steely nerve from Henry Cow, who formed in the early 1970s, and Kaiser seemed to step into his own as a brilliant musician fully formed in the late 1970s. The pair has always been tight--and close in both age and temperament--as this two-CD set demonstrates. Kaiser and Frith alternate squiggles and wiggles and string tickles here, giving lots of attention to the details of improvised abstractions. They also sink their picks into an assembly of song structures that sometimes verges on the absurdly bouncy and beat-driven, even when at the core of their sound the pair could spin into the ether with ringing, caustic finality. Frith loves to tinker with the actual guitar, altering the machine's ability to project the expected sounds. Kaiser, by contrast, seems perfectly seated when controlling the projections and mangling, tangling, and laying them in disconnected lines. If you're in need of two generously packed reams of guitar genius, Kaiser and Frith offer one of free music's best opportunities, and this is pinnacle work for both. --Andrew Bartlett
 

CD Reviews

Mmmmm...twangggg
lexo-2 | 07/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being the complete recorded collaborations of Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser, and a wonder it is too; a pair of thoroughly stuffed CDs containing not only Frith and Kaiser's two previous albums together, but also the substance of a previously unreleased live album and some brand new (as of 1999) tracks. Frith and Kaiser are a remarkable pairing. By the time Kaiser picked up a guitar for the first time, Frith had already been playing in his first major band (Henry Cow) for a year. They formed a celebrated supergroup with Richard Thompson and John French and have each been manically active as players, composers, producers and general facilitators of stirring music for a long time. As a duo, they have a lovely dynamic: Kaiser tends to be all processed noises, a nerdy, middle-class white Hendrix unable to keep his foot off the Strangeness pedal, while Frith has a more sombre, European stateliness about his playing, but they clearly bounce off each other. The earliest stuff is the most abrasive. Shredding noise and indeterminate clanks are the order of the day. During the mid-period they explore Linn drums and cheesy keyboards, to not always very satisfying effect, but they also take time out to play some old-style blues. Kaiser, the master of genre, is the more faithful bluesman, but Frith's take on a Skip James tune is actually more rewarding, as his microtonal bends and clanging sound make the Mississippi sound like it flowed through back-country Bulgaria. The 1999 tracks are packed full of strange information. Kaiser doesn't play much full-on guitar these days, which is a sad loss. (Leave off the Grateful Dead tributes, Henry.) This album crams an indecent amount of remarkable music into a small space, and is as beautifully recorded as we've come to expect from Oliver DiCicco. Recommended for guitar fans who've outgrown the dull."