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Massacre - Killing Time (1981)



Massacre – awangardowe amerykańskie trio rockowe. Grupa powstała 14 lutego 1980 na życzenie Petera Blegvada w składzie Fred Frith (gitara, głos), Bill Laswell (gitara basowa) i Fred Maher (perkusja i instr. perkusyjne). Wszyscy trzej grali aktualnie w zespole Material i przez okres dwu lat oba zespoły koegzystowały ze sobą.

W 1981 r. grupa wydała nowatorski, instrumentalny album Killing Time, który wywarł olbrzymi wpływ na ambitniejsze zespoły rockowe. Album ten powstał pod wyraźnym momentami wpływem awangardowej grupy Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. Zawierał 13 przeważnie dość krótkich utworów o zwartej konstrukcji i wyszukanej rytmice. Mimo odniesionego sukcesu z zespołu odszedł perkusista Fred Maher. Pozostali dwaj muzycy zajęli się więc swoimi prywatnymi projektami.

Grupa reaktywowała się w 1997 r. z nowym, wybitnym perkusistą Charlesem Haywardem (były muzyk awangardowego tria This Heat) i w styczniu 1998 r. nagrała a potem wydała swój drugi album Funny Valentine, na którym znalazło się 11 stosunkowo długich kompozycji o zdecydowanie luźniejszej formie w stosunku do pierwszego albumu i bardziej improwizatorskich.

W 2001 r. ukazałe się ich trzeci, tym razem koncertowy, album Meltdown, który jest niezwykłym popisem technicznych i improwizatorskich umiejętności muzyków. Po nagraniu tej płyty Frith, Laswell i Hayward ponownie zajęli się swoimi indywidualnymi projektami.

W maju 2007 ukazał się ich czwarty album Lonely Heart. Dysk ten jest zapisem wybranych utworów nagranych na festivalu Sons d'Hiver w Paryżu i na Roskilde Festival w 2003 r. (wikipedia)



Massacre was an improvising and experimental rock band from New York City, formed in 1980 by guitarist Fred Frith, bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher. They performed live for just over a year and recorded a studio album, Killing Time (1981). Frith and Laswell reformed Massacre in 1998 with drummer Charles Hayward, and released three more albums, Funny Valentine (1998), Meltdown (2001) and Lonely Heart (2007). Their last album was recorded live at two European festivals in 2003.

Guitarist Fred Frith, who was a co-founder of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow, moved to New York City in 1979 after Henry Cow split up. There he met and began performing with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher, both of the jazz ensemble Material. In 1980, when Peter Blegvad was looking for an opening band for his Valentine’s day concert at Soundscape in New York, Frith volunteered and invited Laswell and Maher to join him as a power trio they called Massacre. The band was well received and soon began performing at venues all over New York City.

Massacre was a high-energy experimental rock band, manipulating rhythm and timbre freely. They intended to recapture the raw energy of early rock and roll, adding elements of improvisational jazz.

Their live sets consisted of both composed and improvised numbers, often short but always loud. They toured the United States and Europe in 1980 and 1981, and their performances at progressive rock venues in France were well received.

In 1981 Massacre released their only album Killing Time, comprising studio recordings made at Martin Bisi's studio in Brooklyn, New York City in June 1981, and live recordings from their Paris concerts in April 1981. They also featured on part of Frith's 1981 solo album Speechless. Massacre's farewell performances took place at Manhattan's Inroads performance space over the course of a July 4th weekend in 1981 (July 2-4), after which Maher left and the band split up.

In 1983 what was left of Massacre joined The Golden Palominos, founded by drummer Anton Fier. The closest thing to another Massacre performance came at a concert, Two Against One, in Boston in February 1985, when The Golden Palominos performed with only three members: Frith, Laswell and Fier on drums. They played as if they were Massacre, including a number of pieces from Killing Time in their set. This unit also played in Tokyo around the same time.

Massacre reformed in 1998 when Frith and Laswell asked This Heat's drummer Charles Hayward to join them. The new line-up released Funny Valentine in 1998 and two live albums, Meltdown (2001) recorded at Robert Wyatt's Meltdown Festival in London in June 2001, and Lonely Heart (2007) recorded during performances at two European festivals in January and June 2003. All three albums were released on John Zorn's Tzadik label. (wikipedia)



Of the many obscure and wonderful albums recorded by members of the downtown avant-garde elite in the early 1980s, this is one of the most obscure and most wonderful. Massacre (despite its heavy-metallish moniker) was a challenging but quirkily charming "power trio" consisting of guitarist Fred Frith, bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Fred Maher, all of whom had already established themselves as movers and shakers in the experimental-music world. Some of the tunes, such as the charmingly offbeat "Legs" and "Aging With Dignity" were clearly composed ahead of time -- probably by Frith, given his already-established penchant for combining weird instrumental textures and unusual time signatures with cute melodies. Others, just as clearly, are group improvisations. Those who think they don't care for improvised music are advised to give "Subway Heart" and "Tourism" a try before making any judgments. Again, the credit for the consistent appeal of these performances goes largely to Frith, whose bag of sonic tricks is bottomless and who (unlike most of his peers) seems genetically incapable of making an uninteresting note choice. It's difficult to imagine anyone with a taste for unusual rock & roll not being seduced by this rough gem of an album. (Rick Anderson)

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