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Sirens & Silences//Work Resumed on the Tower
News from Babel
Sirens & Silences//Work Resumed on the Tower
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Remastered and repackaged re-issue.


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CD Details

All Artists: News from Babel
Title: Sirens & Silences//Work Resumed on the Tower
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rer
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 1/22/2007
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Alternative Rock, Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 752725022927


Album Description
Remastered and repackaged re-issue.

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CD Reviews

The Greatest Band You've Never Heard
Michael W. Draine | Acton, MA United States | 01/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In 1973 the European art rock bands Henry Cow and Slap Happy joined forces to record the classic album LEGEND, with valkyrie-like vocalist Dagmar Krause imbuing the political lyrics with incredible passion and power. The merger of the two groups presaged the formation of a consortium known as Rock In Opposition (RIO), which included France's Etron Fou Leloublan, Sweden's Samla Mammas Manna, Italy's Stormy Six, Belgium's Univers Zero. When Henry Cow split up in 1978, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Fred Frith, drummer/lyricist Chris Cutler, and Dagmar Krause convened to form Art Bears, releasing three brilliant song-oriented albums. Just when RIO's leftist politics and anti-commercial stance seemed part of the past, 1983 brought News from Babel, with Dagmar Krause (vocals), Zeena Parkins (harp, accordion), Henry Cow veterans Lindsay Cooper (woodwinds, keyboards) and Chris Cutler (percussion, lyrics). The group's musical roots lay in jazz and Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht's cabaret music, which Dagmar would later interpret on SUPPLY AND DEMAND. Chris Cutler's highly literate lyrics explore the themes of personal alienation and political injustice with images worthy of the Book of Revelations, Dagmar investing his verse with a profound sense of tragedy. Dagmar sings only two songs on 1986's LETTERS HOME, with Bill Gilonis, filmmaker and frequent Lindsay Cooper collaborator Sally Potter, and Robert Wyatt (who can be heard performing live with Dagmar on Henry Cow's CONCERTS CD) handling vocals on the other seven tracks. Just as WORK RESUMED ON THE TOWER refers to George Steiner's book AFTER BABEL, LETTERS HOME alludes to Sylvia Plath, both titles aptly evoking images of a world on the brink of destruction. Unlike the 1990 Recommended Records (ReR) CD release which combined WORK RESUMED ON THE TOWER and LETTERS HOME on one disc, this slipcased set consists of three CDs, allowing each album to stand as singular statements. This set also contains the rare "Contraries," previously unreleased on CD, originally issued as a silkscreened 7-inch to ReR subscribers. "Contraries" is afforded its own disc, to approximate the 45 experience. The only News from Babel song written by Zeena Parkins "Contraries" is a welcome inclusion, as the track feeds my pining for more of the non-prolific Dagmar Krause's exquisite voice. While the 1990 single CD stood out as a state-of-the-art audiophile release, the remastering job yields more detail and air, capturing the decay of Zeena Parkins' crystalline harp notes. Dark and majestic, News from Babel remains ahead of their time."