(ec) nudes Vanishing Point (CD, £12.25)
This timely reissue re-launches a musical Rosetta Stone of sorts; a bridge between the pre-punk experimentalism and the high-energy, post-punk, devil-may-care spirit that was already on its way out in the early '90s. A last-gasp trio consisting of American singer and multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio, Swiss guitarist Wadi Gysi and drummer and lyricist Chris Cutler, the (ec) Nudes made only this one recording, but they managed to cram everything they knew into it: complexity, simplicity, furious pace, lyricism, eccentric arrangements, strange sounds, rich orchestrations (lots of overdubbing) and some seat-of-the-pants soloing. Amy, previously employed by the Musak corporation; Wadi, formerly an untamed improviser and Cutler - with Henry Cow on one side and Pere Ubu on the other - locked themselves into a very intense period of rehearsal and then immediately committed everything to tape; at which point, having suddenly to think about - and agree what to do with what they had - and mix it, stopped dead in their tracks. Fortunately someone had the smart idea of handing everything to Bob Drake to mix, and this album is the result - retaining, happily, the febrile atmosphere of breathless impatience that attended its making. After this release and a couple of whirlwind tours, the trio went (amicably) their separate ways, reconvening now and then for different projects but never chancing their luck with another CD. If this record were offered to us now, we'd release it. So we are glad to see it back in print; it may even have improved with age.
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