Saturday, 21 April 2012
Crass - Ten Notes On A Summers Day - The Swansong Crassical review
Much has been written over the years, politically, musically and culturally, on Dial House and the work of Crass. “Ten Notes on a Summers Day” was described by the band themselves on the sleeve as:
“Crass’s last formal recording. We shall continue to make statements both individually and as a group, but no longer feel obliged to be limited by the inward looking format of the ‘band’”.
The album was written, according to Penny Rimbaud, in 1984 whilst he was working as a pool attendant, and was initially conceived as a poem.
The 20 minutes that make up “Ten Notes on a Summers Day” was originally, it seems, built upon a piano track that Rimbaud, who could not actually play piano, used as the template for what was to become the final product. The music itself is as far removed from what would traditionally be recognised as Crass, as could be plausible. There are no fraught, screaming vocals, no abrasive guitar and no hectic drumming. Instead “Ten Notes on a Summers Day” appears to be a collage of spoken word passages, lines of pastoral, orchestral harmony, discordant piano, and improvised electric guitar almost in the style of the late Derek Bailey. Indeed, the track as a whole has the sense of avant-garde jazz and Musique Concrete. The second section is purely instrumental, which, in the same vein as the first section, owes more to European free jazz and atonality, than the rasping, spitting vocal of their earlier work....
Read the full review at This Is Not A Scene