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Friends & Enemies

Friends & Enemies

by Fred Frith, Henry KaiserFred Frith


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In 1979, guitarists Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser made an album titled With Friends Like These... on the Metalanguage label. It was one of the defining documents of the downtown avant-garde scene, a collection of improvised duets on which both players essentially redefined the sound of the guitar, Frith with his physically altered (and sometimes beaten) instruments, and Kaiser with his virtuosic and harmonically adventurous technique. Four years later they reunited to make Who Needs Enemies?, again on Metalanguage, and on this second album they expanded their arsenal to include the Linn drum and sequencer. Metalanguage went belly up not too long after, and until now the only in-print remnant from those two albums was a condensed single-disc package on SST. The Cuneiform reissue improves on the SST item enormously, first of all by including the entirety of both albums, secondly by adding another full album's worth of previously unreleased live material, and thirdly by adding on top of that another half hour of new studio performances. In short, this set offers everything Frith and Kaiser have recorded together, and at mid-price. Absolutely a must for noise fans, skronk hounds, and adventurous guitarheads.

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/15/1999
Label: Cuneiform
UPC: 0045775011721
catalogNumber: 750117
Rank: 176018


Disc 1

  1. It Moves...
  2. The Changing of Names
  3. It Sings
  4. Believing What We Read
  5. But Does It Swing?
  6. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
  7. The Golden Eighties
  8. Everyday Objects
  9. The Kirghiz Light
  10. Special Rider Blues
  11. Drowsy Maggie
  12. An HK Guitar Solo
  13. Strandloper
  14. Major Nichols
  15. The Live Trace
  16. See Over
  17. Fourth Rail
  18. Squirrely

Disc 2

  1. Twisted Memories Give Way to the Angry Present
  2. Black Glass
  3. Third Rail
  4. Three Languages
  5. One of Nature's Mistakes
  6. Roy Rogers
  7. The Confession
  8. Objects Everyday
  9. Wool and Water
  10. The Trace
  11. Life in Hell
  12. The Incarceration
  13. An FF Bass Solo
  14. John S. French
  15. Fifteen Blues
  16. Dog Puppet Born Out of a Sock
  17. Reading Glasses
  18. A Portrait of the Artists As Two Old Men

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