The Squid's Ear Magazine


Drake, Bob: Medallion Animal Carpet (Recommended Records)


 

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product information:

Personnel:



Bob Drake-guitar, vocals, bass, drums, violin

Chris Cutler-drums

Jason DuMars-saxophone


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UPC: 752725010627

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: CTA7
Squidco Product Code: 661

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1999
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded in North America by Bob Drake.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Bob Drake is a virtuoso bass player, guitarist, producer, studio engineer and composer. In the past he's played with US prog rock outfit 'Thinking Plague', and post-punk popsters 'Hail', and as a producer he's handled everyone from Ice T to Engelbert Humperdink.. He still plays and records with the super complex '5UU's', who have released two CD's on ReR.
Installed in his rural studio in the Pyrenees Drake is able to produce solo CDs entirely to his own design. His last release, 'Little Black Train', was described by TOP magazine as "what might have happened if the Magic Band was asked to provide the soundtrack for the film Deliverence". The Wire said; "Furiously compressed instrumentals, violent changes in tempo and texture, roots, avant garde and minimalism all come under Bob Drake's all encompassing brief".
Bob's new CD takes it even further, forcing the unlikely marriage of post-hillbilly songs, fingerpicking guitar and Faust-inspired electronic noise. You know you are in for an unusual experience from the opening seconds. The music approaches gradually, like a distant train, and then arrives in a sudden burst of wild uncontrollable energy. There are unbelievable transformations in style and direction, like a hyper manic version of Bonnie Prince Billy, alternating with Beefhart and Zappa tuning in to The Beatles. Episodes of trance dance music are inter cut with a church service straight out of a spaghetti Western, and elsewhere ancient rock 'n' roll is spiked with raucous post modern noise. Everything is speeding up or slowing down, or stopping dead unexpectedly only to launch off at breakneck speed in another twisted direction.
For the last quarter of the record the complexities are put to one side, and we are invited to a bluesy, violin soaked cajun' all night party, with Bob's choirboy vocals hollering at us through the chaos. Weird production effects abound- at one time the drums appear on the far left of the stereo picture and the guitar far right - so even when the genre stabilises, you are never quite sure of your bearings.
This is bold, adventurous but still rootsy music. Take a deep breath."-ReR OneSheet


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.

"Chris Cutler started messing about with banjo, guitar and trumpet at school, settling for drums and playing shadows and other instrumental covers in his first band in 1963. Subsequently he played in R'n'B and Soul Bands, winding up in 1967 playing in London's psychedelic clubs. At the start of the seventies, with Dave Stewart, he co-founded The Ottawa Music Co, a 22 piece Rock composer's orchestra, eventually joining British experimental group Henry Cow with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects until it's demise in 1978. In 1977 Henry Cow, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and Frankie Armstrong formed a big-band and toured around Europe. After Henry Cow, Cutler went on to co-found a series of mixed national groups Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, P53 and The Science Group. He was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds and now works sporadically with John Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad and Stevan Tickmayer.

Other lasting collaborations have included Aqsak Maboul (Belgium), Lussier/Derome and Les Quatre Guitaristes (Canada), The Kalahari Surfers (Africa), Perfect Trouble (Germany), Between (Sweden), N.O.R.M.A., (Italy), Telectu (Portugal), Mieku Shimuzu (Japan),The Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), The Film Music Orchestra, 'Oh Moscow', Gong, The Work and Towering Inferno (UK), The Residents (USA), and stateless Tense Serenity and Mirror Man. There have also been countless improvisational groupings and solo performances. Recent projects include Radio pieces with Lutz Glandien and Shelly Hirsch, Live Soundtrack for Carl Dreher's Vampyr (with Italians Musci and Venosta), his Timescales project and work with David Thomas and Linda Thompson.

He also founded and runs the independent label and distribution service ReR/Recommended and, until 1991, the East European specialist label Points East. He is editor of the New Music magazine Unfiled and author of the theoretical book File Under Popular as well as of numerous articles and papers published in 14 languages. He lectures intermittently on theoretical and music related topics. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings."

-Chris Cutler Website (http://www.ccutler.com/)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



Bob Drake-guitar, vocals, bass, drums, violin

Chris Cutler-drums

Jason DuMars-saxophone

Related Categories of Interest:

Recommended Records
RIO (Rock in Opposition)
Song Based Music
Guitarists, &c.
Rock and Related
Before April-2006
Instant Rewards

Search for other titles on the label:
Recommended Records.


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The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

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