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Acnalbasac Noom was Slapp Happy's second LP, recorded in 1973, and engineered by Kurt Grauner in Faust's legendary Wumme Studio using Faust as the Slapphappy house band; it was originally rejected by Virgin Records, who made the group re-record the album with different musicians as Casablanca Moon, though through time Acnalbasac is still the definitive and preferred edition.
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Label: Our Swimmer
Catalog ID: WELLE 102LP
Squidco Product Code: 28735
Recorded at Wumme, in Western Germany, in 1973.
Anthony Moore-guitar, keyboards
Peter Blegvad-guitar, vocals
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• Show Bio for Peter Blegvad
"Peter Blegvad (born August 14, 1951) is an American musician, singer-songwriter, writer, and cartoonist. He was a founding member of German/English avant-pop band Slapp Happy, which later merged briefly with Henry Cow, and has released many solo and collaborative albums. He is the son of Lenore and Erik Blegvad, who were respectively, a children's book author and illustrator.
Peter Blegvad's life began in America – he was born in New York City and originally raised in Connecticut. When he was 14, the Blegvad family moved to England in 1965, unhappy with the social climate of America following the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the threat posed by the Vietnam draft to Peter and his younger brother Kristoffer. Blegvad was educated at St Christopher School, Letchworth, a boarding school where he met his musical collaborator Anthony Moore. Moore and Blegvad played in various bands during their schooldays, alongside fellow musicians such as Neil Murray (then a drummer, later a well-known hard rock bass guitarist).
In 1972, Blegvad followed the itinerant Moore to Hamburg, Germany, where the two formed the avant-pop trio Slapp Happy with Dagmar Krause, Slapp Happy recorded two albums for Polydor Germany with krautrock group Faust as their backing band. Polydor released the first, Sort Of in 1972, but rejected the second, Casablanca Moon. This rejection prompted Slapp Happy to relocate to London where they signed up with Virgin Records and re-recorded Casablanca Moon, released in 1974 by Virgin as Slapp Happy. (The original Casablanca Moon was later released by Recommended Records as Acnalbasac Noom in 1980.) In 1974 Slapp Happy merged briefly with avant-rock group Henry Cow, recording two albums in 1975, Desperate Straights and In Praise of Learning.
Shortly after recording In Praise of Learning, first Moore and then Blegvad left Henry Cow due of incompatibilities with the other musicians in the group. Blegvad has confessed that the technical demands of Henry Cow's music were beyond him ("It was discovered – not to my surprise – that I actually couldn't play Henry Cow music. The chords and the time signatures were too complicated. And... just generally, Anthony and I felt kinda lost...") but it was also clear that there were crucial differences in artistic approach. Blegvad would later reveal (in an interview for the Hearsay fanzine) that "the piece that got me kicked out was "Living in the Heart of the Beast". I was assigned the task for the collective to come up with suitable verbals, and I wrote two verses about a woman throwing raisins at a pile of bones. Tim Hodgkinson just said, I'm sorry, this is not at all what we want. And he wrote reams of this political tirade. I admired his passion and application but it left me cold. I am to my bones a flippant individual, I don't know why I was created thus or what I'm trying to deny, but it clashed with the extreme seriousness. People who take themselves very seriously make me giggle, unless they're pointing a weapon at me or my loved ones". Due to Krause's decision to remain with Henry Cow, Slapp Happy dissolved and the three members went their separate ways (although the group would periodically reunite in 1982, 1991, 1997, 2000 and 2016–17).
Blegvad returned to New York to work as a cartoonist, but maintained his interest in music. In 1977 he reunited with Henry Cow bass player John Greaves to collaborate on the album Kew. Rhone. – an unusual cross-genre release combining elements of minimalism, avant-garde jazz and progressive rock. The album was also notable for its personnel, which included celebrated New York jazz musicians Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, and Andrew Cyrille among the performers. As a musical document Kew. Rhone. remains both ambitious and unclassifiable; Blegvad's literate and playful lyrics are well-matched by Greaves' complex song structures. Blegvad would later continue his collaboration with Greaves in 1995 on Unearthed, a collection of spoken word pieces set to Greaves' music.
In the 1980s, Blegvad released a number of commercially unsuccessful albums on the Virgin Records label, including The Naked Shakespeare and Knights Like This, both of which show the influence of external producers. By contrast, Downtime, an independent release in the late 1980s features mainly very simple demos, often recorded cheaply in professional studios' "downtime". King Strut and Other Stories (Silvertone, 1990) is a collection of short stories set to simply arranged, professionally produced music played in many cases by noted session musicians. The album features XTC's Andy Partridge while Orpheus – The Lowdown (2003) is a whole album in collaboration with Partridge. Many of Blegvad's albums feature former members of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow.
Blegvad is a deft and literate lyricist whose lyrics frequently feature word games, literary references and complex and extended rhyme schemes.
From 1992 to 1999, The Independent ran Blegvad's strangely surreal comic strip, Leviathan, which received much critical praise for blending some of the most interesting elements of Krazy Kat with a coming-of-age-esque story akin to Calvin and Hobbes. Some of the strips have been collected in the 2001 volume The Book of Leviathan. In 2013 the book was published as Le livre de Leviathan in French and received the "Prix Révélation" at the 41st Angoulźme International Comics Festival in 2014. Other comics and illustrations by Blegvad have appeared in The Ganzfeld and Ben Katchor's Picture Story 2.
He has also conducted two- and three-week writing courses at Warwick University, England, in association with the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY), and the new University of Warwick venture for gifted and creative children, International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY).
In 2011, Atlas Publishing (trading as "The London Institute of 'Pataphysics") published Blegvad's The Bleaching Stream, described as an "interview format biography."
Blegvad's work for BBC Radio 3 includes numerous "eartoons" for the weekly poetry strand The Verb, and a number of radiophonic dramas with Langham Research Centre and with Iain Chambers. These include guest+host=ghost, featuring Nick Cave; Use It Or Lose It which won a Radio Academy Award in 2012; Chinoiserie; Eschatology, starring Harriet Walter and Guy Paul; and The Impossible Book (2016).
His 2015 drama with Iain Chambers for Radio Australia, The Eternal Moment starring John Ramm and Emma Powell, was shortlisted for the 2015 Prix Europa.
Krause, Moore and Blegvad reformed Slapp Happy in November 2016 to perform with Faust at the Week-End festival in Cologne, Germany. The two groups also played together on 10–11 February 2017 at Cafe Oto in London. On 24 February 2017 Slapp Happy, without Faust, performed at Mt. Rainer Hall, Shibuya in Tokyo."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Blegvad)
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• Show Bio for Gunther Wusthoff
• Show Bio for Dagmar Krause
"Dagmar Krause (born 4 June 1950) is a German singer, best known for her work with avant-rock groups including Slapp Happy, Henry Cow, and Art Bears. She is also noted for her coverage of songs by Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. Her unusual singing style makes her voice instantly recognisable and has defined the sound of many of the bands with whom she has worked.
Dagmar Krause was born in Hamburg, Germany on 4 June 1950. She began her professional career at the age of 14 as a singer in Hamburg clubs on the Reeperbahn. In 1968 she was invited to join the City Preachers (de), a contemporary folk/protest she once half-jokingly described as a German version of The Mamas & the Papas. She contributed vocals to their 1968 album Der Kürbis, das Transportproblem und die Traumtänzer (The Pumpkin, the Problem of Transport and the Dream-dancers), a spin-off from a German TV show. The City Preachers broke up in 1969, but their lead singer Inga Rumpf and Krause reunited in 1970 to record I.D. Company, the name of a studio project where each vocalist sung lead on and determined the direction of one side of the LP (Krause's side indicated her future direction with its avant-garde slant).
Hamburg had a thriving avant-garde scene that attracted numerous European musicians interested in pursuing aesthetic freedom and experimental music. It was here that Krause met, and later married, British experimental composer Anthony Moore. In 1972, Moore, Krause and Moore's visiting American friend, singer-songwriter Peter Blegvad formed Slapp Happy, a self-described "naive rock" group which mixed simple pop structures with obfuscatory lyrics drawing equally from semiotic and symbolist traditions. Slapp Happy was the beginning of Krause's international musical career. They recorded two albums in Germany for Polydor with Faust as their backing band, Sort Of (1972) and what subsequently became known as Acnalbasac Noom (not released at the time). Then they moved to London where they recorded a new arrangement of Acnalbasac Noom for Virgin Records, released as Slapp Happy, also known as Casablanca Moon (1974). The original Acnalbasac Noom only saw the light of day in 1980 when it was released by Recommended Records.
In 1974, Slapp Happy merged with Virgin label-mates Henry Cow, a politically oriented avant-rock group, and they made two albums, Desperate Straights (1974) and In Praise of Learning (1975). But differences in approach caused Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad to withdraw Slapp Happy from the merger. Krause, however, elected to remain with Henry Cow and that spelt the end of Slapp Happy.
Krause's singing added a new dimension to Henry Cow's repertoire and their tricky time signatures enhanced her vocal powers. Henry Cow toured Europe for two years, during which time they released a live album Concerts (1976) which included Krause singing duos with Robert Wyatt. But in May 1976 she was forced to withdraw from Henry Cow's hectic tour schedule due to ill health and returned to Hamburg. In October 1977, still unable to tour she left Henry Cow, but agreed to sing on their next studio album Hopes and Fears.
Hopes and Fears began in 1978 as a Henry Cow album but differences of opinion in the group about its content resulted in it being credited to Art Bears, a new band consisting of Krause, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith. Art Bears went on to make two more albums of songs, Winter Songs (1979) and The World as It Is Today (1981).
In 1979, she collaborated with Kevin Coyne on the album Babble, released on the Virgin Records label. The work courted controversy when Coyne suggested, in the theatre presentation of the piece, that the destructive relationship between the two lovers could have been based on The Moors Murderers. Two performances at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London were cancelled at short notice by Newham Council following negative press reports in The Sun and The Evening Standard. The show was eventually staged, for four nights, at Oval House in Kennington. Reviewing the show for the NME, Paul Du Noyer wrote:" Babble is a particularly thorough, painstaking exploration of the reality of one relationship, stripped of romance and artifice. The format employed is correspondingly stark. Against a stage-set of light-bulb, table and chairs Coyne and his partner Dagmar Krause stand at either side; the only accompaniment comes from Bob Ward and Brian Godding, playing electric and acoustic guitar in the gloom behind. "
In 1983, Krause joined a new band News from Babel, featuring core members Krause, Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper and Zeena Parkins. They recorded two albums Work Resumed on the Tower (1984) and Letters Home (1985). After News from Babel, Krause was involved in a number of projects and collaborations. She performed on the Michael Nyman/Paul Richards art song, "The Kiss" with Omar Ebrahim on the Michael Nyman Band album The Kiss and Other Movements (1985). She also featured on Music for Other Occasions (1986) with Lindsay Cooper, Domestic Stories (1992) with Chris Cutler and Lutz Glandien, Each in Our Own Thoughts (1994) with Tim Hodgkinson, and A Scientific Dream and a French Kiss (1998) with Marie Goyette.
In 1984, Dagmar sang backing vocals on "Here & There" by The Stranglers. The song appeared on the b-side of their single, "Skin Deep". It was subsequently added to the 2001 remastered edition of the parent album, Aural Sculpture.
In 1991, Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad reunited to work on a "Camera" (Italian for "Room") a specially written television opera, made by the UK production company After Image and commissioned by Channel 4 Television. It was based on an original idea by Krause, with words by Peter Blegvad and music by Anthony Moore. Krause played the lead character "Melusina" and the opera was broadcast two years later on Channel 4. Slapp Happy reformed briefly in 1997 to record Ça Va and they toured Japan in 2000.
In 2010, Krause joined Comicoperando, a tribute to the music of Robert Wyatt whose line-up has included Richard Sinclair, Annie Whitehead, Gilad Atzmon, Alex Maguire, Chris Cutler, John Edwards, Michel Delville, Karen Mantler and Cristiano Calcagnile.Solo work
Dagmar Krause's fascination with Weimar-era cabaret and her love for the work of playwright Bertolt Brecht and his musical collaborators Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler produced some of her most satisfying work. In 1978 she starred in a London art-theatre production of the Brecht and Weill play Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and in 1985 she sang Brecht and Weill's "Surabaya Johnny" on the Hal Willner-produced Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill. John Dougan wrote at AllMusic that Krause's "elegant alto was perfectly suited to the emotionally and politically charged music of Brecht and Weill".
In 1986, Krause made two solo albums: Supply and Demand: Songs by Brecht/Weill and Eisler and Tank Battles: The Songs of Hanns Eisler. These albums were also sung in German and released as Angebot und Nachfrage and Panzerschlacht: Die Lieder von Hanns Eisler. Lyrically they continued the trend of earlier songs of social conscience Krause had performed, for example on Henry Cow's "Living in the Heart of the Beast". Supply and Demand and Tank Battles are seen by many as Krause's best work, while the latter is considered to be one of the finest interpretations of Eisler's work. She performed selections from these albums live at various venues, most notably the Edinburgh Festival, which was documented on Voiceprint Radio Sessions (1993).Singing style
As a vocalist, Dagmar Krause is considered an acquired taste. Her singing style is highly original and idiosyncratic. Her "husky, vibrato-laden alto" voice can range from a sweet melodious croon to the love-it-or-hate-it Armageddon style typified on albums like Henry Cow's In Praise of Learning. Part of the intrigue of Krause's singing are her German-inflected vocals, "... but whether she sings in German or English (which she often does on the same record), she retains her impeccable phrasing and ability to inject the most oft-heard lyric with almost palpable emotion."
In a review of The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009), critic John Kelman at All About Jazz, wrote that "the kinds of intervallic leaps and harmonic sophistication required of a singer [in Henry Cow] make Krause an undervalued and underrated singer in this history of modern music." "-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagmar_Krause)
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^ Hide Bio for Dagmar Krause
1. Casablanca Moon
2. Me and Paravati
3. Mr. Rainbow
5. The Drum
6. A Little Something
1. The Secret
3. Half-Way There
4. Charlie 'N Charlie
5. Slow Moons Rose
sample the album:
"Acnalbasac Noom -- meant to be the German-English-American avant-pop group Slapp Happy 's second album -- was originally recorded in 1973 but did not see release originally until 1980. Recorded with legendary German art-rock group Faust accompanying the Slapp Happy core of Anthony Moore on keyboards, Peter Blegvad on guitar, and Dagmar Krause on vocals, and with Faust's brilliant producer Uwe Nettelbeck at the helm, Acnalbasac Noom was initially rejected by the group's label Polydor as not being commercial enough. As a result, the band left Polydor, signed with Virgin, and released this album's tracks in a completely re-recorded version for their official second album, the self-titled Slapp Happy from 1974. Far from being simply an "alternate version" of that album, Acnalbasac Noom is a completely different beast from Slapp Happy. Simultaneously low-key and high-brow, the versions found here are damaged art-pop par excellence; the combination of Slappy Happy and Faust create asound that defies era, sounding at times like anything from the artsier side of their contemporaries in the British folk-rock movement to damaged '90s indie-pop, the more accessible end of Yoko Ono 's 1970s to an alternative universe Lynchian cabaret-lounge act. It's not often that an unreleased or "lost" album marks the pinnacle of a group's career, but with Acnalbasac Noom there's a strong argument to be made. Limited edition of 1,000 copies on translucent green vinyl."-Our Swimmer
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