Anthony Moore — Flying Doesn't Help
(Blueprint BP177CD, 1979/1994, CD)
Anthony Moore — Out
(Voiceprint VP165CD, 1977/1997, CD)
Anthony Moore — Reed, Whistle and Sticks
(Blueprint BP281CD, 1972/1998, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-03-01
Before hooking up with Peter Blegvad and Dagmar Krause to form Slapp Happy, Anthony Moore was experimenting with some very innovative musical techniques. Reed, Whistle and Sticks is one of the results of that experimentation. He utilized the now common technique of “looping” – recording a series of sounds, then repeating those sounds. Of course, in 1972, the recording was done on tape, not digitally as it is today. He recorded the dropping of bamboo sticks onto the floor, then looped and layered the recordings, producing irregular repetitions of random events. There are occasional shouts and whistle noises punctuating the clicking of the sticks. For no reason I can fathom (maybe to encourage shuffle play, thus increasing the randomness), on CD the 36-minute piece is divided into 99 untitled tracks ranging from four seconds to 1:19 in length. Listening to the sounds (I hesitate to call it music) is a very strange sensation, a little disorienting, both natural and impossible in nature.
Moore left Slapp Happy after their first collaboration with Henry Cow (the excellent Desperate Straights – though he appears on some of In Praise of Learning) and Virgin signed him as a solo artist, evidently hoping for a hit single. He produced the charming 1977 collection of slightly warped pop called Out, resulting in no hits and a lost contract. Instrumental help came courtesy of Andy Summers (pre-Police), Peter Blegvad, Kevin Ayers, Amanda Persons, and others. Musically I’m reminded of Eno’s Warm Jets or Tiger Mountain and Robert Wyatt’s vocal tunes – a kind of loose, light-hearted pop, a little too cerebral for the mainstream.
Two years later, Moore produced a second solo album along the same general lines for the Do-It label. Both pop albums have a number of highlights, though if I had to pick one, I’d give the slight edge to Out; the experimental album I would recommend only to the truly adventurous. All of these (as well as two more obscure Do-It solo albums dating from 1981 and 1984) are now available on Voiceprint or its Blueprint subsidiary, an illuminating sidebar to the incredible Henry Cow/Slapp Happy catalog.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more