Exposé Online banner

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

Flying Doesn't Help Cover artOut Cover artReed, Whistle and Sticks Cover art

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.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 21, 1994 releases, 1979 recordings, 1997 releases, 1977 recordings, 1998 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Andy Summers, Kevin Ayers, Peter Blegvad, Anthony Moore

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sahara - Sunrise & For All the Clowns – Formed from the ashes of Subject Esq., Sahara got lost among the mass of other mid-70s German prog groups (Grobschnitt, Novalis, SFF, et al.) in spite of their good distribution, though they didn't...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues