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World's Leading Terrorist State
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NEWS FROM BABEL
Sirens and Silences/Work Resumed on the Tower/Letters Home
"This is the first time that these two long out-of-print LPs have appeared separately on CD. Both have been carefully re-mastered and re-packaged. This slipcase edition contains an extra illustrated CD of the 7" single,
, which was issued originally only to subscribers to the original release of
. News from Babel was Chris Cutler's second song project, following Art Bears in 1979. Lindsay Cooper, also late of Henry Cow, was the main composer and Zeena Parkins completed the group, making her recording debut, on acoustic harp. '
I first met Zeena when she was in The Janus Circus; she was an accordion-playing bear (that costume was wild to be in; I tried it) and a lion tamer there. Then I discovered she was also a harpist, and we made the plan to do a record there and then
.' --Chris Cutler. The incomparable Dagmar Krause took the singing chair for the first LP, and was joined on the second by Robert Wyatt, film director Sally Potter and Phil Minton. Most of the recording was done at This Heat's Cold Storage, engineered by The Work's Bill Gilonis, who also played a little bass and guitar. There was still a close knit community of musicians back then. Chunks of 'Letters Home' were recorded in the thick of the Brixton riots, which the band were blissfully unaware of until it came time to go home, when they stepped straight into the middle of them. Henry Cow's second bassist, Georgie Born, also appears. She has since retired to academia -- her weighty anthropological studies of IRCAM and the BBC are notorious and she teaches at Cambridge University. These records were, like Art Bears' records, conceived for the studio and were never meant to be performed. Harp, bassoon, piano, accordion, saxophones and voice was even then an eccentric line-up for what was essentially a kind of rock group -- or at least thought of itself that way."
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