Henry Cow - Unrest


  1. Bittern Storm Over Ulm
  2. Half Asleep: Half Awake
  3. Ruins
  4. Solemn Music
  5. Linguaphonie
  6. Upon Entering The Hotel Adlon
  7. Arcades
  8. Deluge
  9. The Glove
  10. Torchfire
Henry Cow
Henry Cow
Henry Cow
Henry Cow
Henry Cow
Henry Cow

Tim Hodgkinson - organ, alto sax, clarinet, piano
Fred Frith - stereo guitar, violin, xylophone, piano
John Greaves - bass, piano, voice
Chris Cutler - drums
Lindsay Cooper - bassoon, oboe, recorder, voice

released in 1974


1973- After recording LEGEND in May/June, Henry Cow toured UK with Faust, Sept/Oct. Also in October, wrote and performed music for production of "The Tempest" by John Chadwick. A Fragment of this work appears on UNREST as "Solemn Music". On Nov. 4, we recorded a totally improvised side for the Greasy Truckers' compilation LP at the Manor Studios. In December, Geoff left, unhappy with increasingly total and scheduled group life.

1974- January. Lindsay joined. In February, with Lindsay still bleeding from the extraction of four wisdom teeth, we went into the Manor to record UNREST.

At the start of the UNREST sessions, we didn't have enough composed material for a whole album, so we had to come up with ideas in the studio. We'd listened to Faust, but now we had to use the studio as a compositional tool.

After working on our pre-composed material (tracks 1-4), we started recording studio improvisations onto multitrack tape. This involved the use of ambient as well as close miking, so that the whole recording area became, to a certain extent, a unified acoustic space in which people could move around during takes. But we also had separate channels wherever possible, to maximize the possibilities for changing things afterwards.

These multi-track recordings then became raw material to be twisted about, using such processes as over-dubbing written parts, editing, looping and mixing down before superimposing other material, - often with the tape running at different speeds.

This was a new experience for everyone. Because we weren't working to a plan, it involved a kind of collective decision-making. This is why Phil Becque left us to it and why Henry Cow is credited as mixing engineer for tracks 5-8.

Tracks 9 and 10 are improvisations, closer to their raw form because not "re-composed", but still transformed by the use of equalization, reverbs and level changes. They were mixed by Tim Hodgkinson at Cold Storage Studios in 1984.

liner notes from the CD "Unrest".