The Squid's Ear Magazine


Drake, Bob : Arx Pilosa (Recommended Records)

Another twisted, complex and irresistible album from multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Bob Drake, practically presenting a history of the rock genre in 20 short pieces that twist and turn in inventive, humorous, peculiar, mesmerizing, and masterly songs.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Bob Drake-all instruments, voice


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UPC: 752725037228

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: CTA AP01
Squidco Product Code: 22648

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2016
Country: UK
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at La Borde Basse, in Caudeval, France, between June 2014 and February 2016 by Bob Drake.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This is such a remarkable piece of work I don't know where to begin. Anyone who liked the idea-rich, sonically breathtaking and compositionally daring pop music of the '60's, will recognise in these 20 perfectly crafted songs a similar mixture of pop-sensibility and radical innovation, only now recast in contemporary terms - and not as pastiche or imitation but on its own extraordinary terms. If you have hesitated thus far, now would be the time to enter the intensely musical world of the Drakian Academy, where unassuming virtuosity and state of the art studio practice are merely means to greater ends. I know we've all heard everything these days, but you haven't heard this. Beautifully packaged with a 32p folio of exquisite illustrations by the incomparable Joe Mruk."-Recommended Records


Artist Biographies

"Bob Drake was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 6, 1957, and spent his youth in Watseka, Illinois. There he taught himself how to play guitar and drums, but after hearing Yes's Fragile in 1972, Drake decided he wanted to be a bassist and bought himself a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar, which he still uses today. Henry Cow also had a big influence on him: "[T]hey were doing something I felt was a lot closer to what I was imagining I'd like to do - 'complex' intricate songs and arrangements, noisy things going on which fit organically in the music, and less emphasis on 'perfect' studio overcooked impersonal perfection."

Drake experimented with recording techniques and "warped rock", but soon found that no one was interested in "new and strange music" in his rural Midwestern home town. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1978 where he worked for a while as a sound engineer on B horror movie sets. He also spent time recording local underground bands and playing bass guitar and drums with some of them. Drake put an advertisement at a local music store requesting a guitar player "into Henry Cow, Yes ...", and met up with experimental rock guitarist and composer Mike Johnson. Drake and Johnson played in a few cover bands before forming Thinking Plague in 1982. By 1990 Thinking Plague had recorded three albums and established a name for themselves in progressive circles.

In the late 1980s the Denver music scene "just evaporated" as musicians seeking "greener pastures" moved elsewhere. Drake, "flat broke" at the time, moved to Los Angeles where he found a job as a recording engineer. There he established a name for himself working with several mainstream artists like Ice Cube, Tina Turner and Engelbert Humperdinck. During this time he also formed an alternative rock group, Hail with ex-Thinking Plague's singer Susanne Lewis, and joined Dave Kerman's avant rock group, the 5uu's. Hunger's Teeth, the 5uu's' third album was praised for its "challenging music" and "production values", and made Drake a "sought-after engineer and collaborator".

Drake released his first solo album, What Day is It? in 1994. It was a limited edition (1,000 copies) self released record that Drake pressed himself. He later made five more solo albums, which were all released on ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler's UK independent record label, Recommended Records. In 1994 Drake and Kerman moved to an old farm house owned by Cutler and Henry Cow's sound engineer EM (Maggie) Thomas in Caudeval, southern France. They converted it into a studio which they called Studio Midi-Pyrenees. Later Drake worked closely with Cutler on a number of projects for Recommended Records, including the remastering of several albums and box sets, for example The Art Box (2004) and The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009). He also joined Cutler's avant-rock band The Science Group in 1997, in which he played and engineered/produced the group's two albums.

Drake continued to work on and off in the 2000s with Thinking Plague and the 5uu's. In 2007 he formed his own group, Bob Drake's Cabinet of Curiosities to perform material from his solo albums live on stage. The group comprised Drake (guitar, vocals, violin, banjo), Kerman (drums), David Campbell (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) and Jason DuMars (soprano/alto saxophones, keyboards). They played at NEARfest in Pennsylvania in June 2007 with guests Olivier Tejedor (keyboards) and Lynnette Shelley (vocals)."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Drake_(musician))
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Dret Tancat Saves The Multiverse 2:51

2. Afterlife Revolution 1:39

3. Cryptic Mountain 1:37

4. The Strangeness Of You 1:53

5. Letter Of Complaint 1:35

6. The Molosse Of Monument Hill 1:37

7. Have A Lovely Day 1:48

8. The Findings Of The London Dialectical Society 1:42

9. Acting Bears 1:50

10. All My Sheddings 1:52

11. La Fontaine De L'Eglise 2:25

12. Me And Apocalypse Fox 1:32

13. Summertime Is Here 1:15

14. Selected Utterances (From The EgyptianPyramid Texts) 1:17

15. The Vine On the House On Ambrose Lane 1:16

16. Waters, Eaux & Aquae 2:19

17. Audience With Stripycoat 3:23

18. The Parthenon Replica 3:18

19. Seven Fabulous Jackals 2:15

20. The Greenish Meadow 0:37

Related Categories of Interest:


Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Song Based Music
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Rock Forms

Search for other titles on the label:
Recommended Records.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Drake, Bob
The Room In The Tower
(Crumbling Tones)
A great set of 11 succinct songs and instrumentals from multi-instrumentalist, prog icon Bob Drake of Thinking Plague, The Science Group, VRIL, and Peter Blegvad fame, vignettes that play with pop formats in insidious ways around recurring Drake themes including a Planet of Dogs, three rustic tales, and a perturbing room in the tower, all noted in a colored foldout poster with lyrics.
Cutler, Chris
Compositions And Collaborations 1972-2022: In A Box [10 CD / DVD / BOOKLET BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
An amazing collection and reflection on the work of percussionist, composer and connector Chris Cutler of Henry Cow fame and founder of the highly influential Recommended Records label and distribution service, through 10 CDs, 1 DVD and two books of documentation, artwork, photographs, published and unpublished texts in a sturdy box, with over five hours of unreleased materials.
Drake, Bob
Legendary Lore Of The Holy Wells Of England
(Recommended Records)
A unique exposition of an 1893 text by Robert Charles Hope exploring the legends of England's "holy wells", the water of which was purported to have healing properties, adapted to atmospheric songs by Drake and performed on a 1940 Hammond model BC organ and a Challen upright piano; delicate and descriptive songs that detail the legends and the hope they inspired.
Drake, Bob
Planets & Animals
(Recommended Records)
Bob Drake continues to tug on the heart-strings of prog in short but smart songs that reference the best of the last few decades of prog/psych/avant rock forms, Drake as always handling all parts in a great balance of guitar, electronic & acoustic instruments, including some newly invented instruments; includes a fold-out poster in Bob Drake style from Joe Mruk.
Drake, Bob
The Gardens of Beastley Manor
(Recommended Records)
Bob Drake takes his listeners on a 22 piece instrumental journey through a "Beastley" garden of confident melodic foundation anBob Drake takes his listeners on a 22 piece instrumental journey through a "Beastley" garden of confident melodic foundation and experimental forays, captured by day and night, a tour de force of conception and execution.
Drake, Bob
The Skull Mailbox
(Crumbling Tones)
Other Recommended Releases:
Blegvad, Peter
Bandbox [6 CD BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
Starting with Blegvad's "Downtime" LP, this box traces the evolution of the Peter Blegvad Trio into a quintet with Karen Mantler and Bob Drake, released in a solid box with a double CD of alternate versions, unreleased material and live performances, plus a 72 page book of photographs, memorabilia, drawings, documents and recollections; the ultimate reissue!
Drake, Bob
Antiquities [6-CD BOX SET]
(Recommended Records)
Collecting multi-instrumentalist & vocalist Bob Drake's albums Little Black Train, The Skull Mailbox and Other Horrors, XIII Songs and a Thing, The Shunned Country, and Bob's Drive-In in a solid box set, with a bonus CD, a specially curated collection of outtakes and oddities from this amazing avant-rocker, a member of Thinking Plague, 5uu's, Hail and The Science Group.
Drake, Bob
13 Songs and a Thing
(Recommended Records)



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