Reviews

Domestic Stories
Song Cycle on Texts by Chris Cutler, 1992

A remarkable recording, no matter how you listen to it. ..., the material swirls from soft, neo-classical beauty to disjointed avant-jazz/rock experimentation, all in the best tradition of the Rock in Opposition movement.
Michael C. Mahan, ALTERNATIVE JAZZ (USA 1993)


... With spartan texts by Chris Cutler and the unhamessed reed playing of Alfred 23 Harth, this is antipop at its best: shifting meters and hookless songs that thumb their nose at both "rock" and classical paradigms, composed works with improvised embellishments that balance structure and freshness. Listeners who take the efford to "get it" will be rewarded handsomely.
Scott Becker, OPTION #50 (May-June 1993)


"Domestic Stories" is a compelling and challenging collection of odd pop and art rock. The post-cabaret vocals of Dagmar Krause scoff at the music´s veiled rock underpinnings, and an abundance of free-roaming instrumental passages blend to create a luxuriant tension.
Peter Margasak, CHICAGO TRIBUNE (May 6, 1993)


... Credit Glandien for coralling, assembling and remixing these tracks into a cohesive format - a device that seems to have eluded these artists´ free-form sensibilities in the past. The listener still has to grapple and react to the clash of musical influences and lyrical interpretations, but Glandien´s keyboards glue this cast´s patchwork improvisations into a tight framework, avoiding long, spaced-out meanderings. Timid newcomers may still find this type of music grating, while deep hardcore enthusiasts might grumble "white-bread avant-garde", but this group of musical explorers are, thankfully, still pursuing their own vision.
PLAYERS 31 (March 11, 1993)


Boasting the talents of Dagmar Krause, Fred Frith and Peter Blegvard, this collaboration between Cutler and Glandien could well be a Kew Rhone or Desperate Straits for the ´90s.
It couldn´t be further from the earnest scrapings of Henry Cow. Glandien anchors his outrageous sampling and sequencing to the rock rhythm or dense keyboard repetitions, occasionally making way for incorrigible saxophonist Alfred Harth, or for Frith to let rip on guitar or bass. "Domestic Stories" is an album of startling extremes and couplings; the fragile melodies and eccentric songs of Slapp Happy carried by Krause´s wonderful voice, seismic rumblings from Glandien´s sound laboratory, and some ferocious interplay. Glandien´s electronics are rarely less than gripping, and Cutler´s swaggering funk (yes funk) on "Red, Black, Gold" will cause palpitations among those hoping for more "Nirvana For Mice". Even admires will be in for a surprise.
John Gill, VOX (July 1993)


It is hard to decide which is stronger on this album, the music or the lyrics. Instrumentally, the material swirls from soft, neo-classical beauty to disjointed avant-jazz/rock experimentation, all in the best tradition of the Rock in Opposition movement. In this respect , "Unquiet Days In Eden" , "Red, Black, Gold" and "Owls at Dusk" stand out.
Michael C. Mahan, ALTERNATIVE PREE (July 1993)


... took awhile but I'm finally listening, with pleasure, to the many fascinating moments of Domestic Stories (thanks)."
John Oswald
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In "Domestic Stories" the Berlin Composer Lutz Glandien and the London Percussionist Chris Cutler meet not for the first time. In 1991–92 they had already collaborated three times – on the project "Strange Drums" for percussion improvisation and tape, the composition "TromPose" for percussion, trombone (Konrad Bauer) and tape, as well as the composition "Tuba mortale" for Triple-Tuba (Michael Vogt), percussion and tape. Still, it is easy to hear that this first cooperative CD of theirs achieves a completely new quality. Not only do they both explore new territories, but they each bring in their own background experiences, which could not be more different from each other, in a completely unexpected and innovative way.

Lutz Glandien began his musical career as a song-writer and pianist in the song group of the Technical University of Dresden. After many activities, in which his desire to compose music were increasingly realised, he finally took up composition studies at the "Hanns Eisler" Music Academy in Berlin. Since 1983, he has worked as a free-lance composer, sometimes at the Studio for Electroacoustic Music in Berlin, where, under the experienced hand of Georg Morawietz the "Domestic Stories" were created. His provocative works, often for such unusual media as tape or tuba, as well as his unconventional soundtracks soon brought him the reputation of an uncompromising avant-garde artist, who prefers to work in reclusion.

Chris Cutler's artistic biography is like a mountain hike. Together with Fred Frith he played for 10 years in the Henry Cow company, later he founded Art Bears, he belonged to the undergroud rockers Pere Ubu – in their best days – and he still sets accents for CASSIBER – bands on which further description would be superfluous. The list of players in "Domestic Stories" reads like a list of stars from the afore-mentioned groups - bassist and Guitarist Fred Frith, singer Dagmar Krause and saxophonist Alfred Hart.
(Wolf Kampmann)

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