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Album Review

One of the most respected experimental musicians on the British scene, percussionist Chris Cutler has collaborated with everyone from Fred Frith to David Thomas (as both a temporary member of Pere Ubu and of Thomas's Pedestrians) and was a charter member of the highly influential avant-garde bands Henry Cow and the Art Bears. p53 is a fascinating improvisational project involving Cutler, pianists Marie Goyette and Zygmunt Krause, sampler/computer processor Lutz Glandien and turntablist/guitarist Otomo Yoshide. The group's modus operandi is unusual, to say the least: on this live recording, the pianists play primarily gentle, pastoral (even tonal!) music, sometimes together and sometimes merely simultaneously, while the other three musicians romp around them wreaking gleeful havoc. Glandien frequently samples snippets of the pianists' playing and then manipulates those snippets in loud and bizarre ways, while Yoshide alternates between rather Frith-ish guitar noises and surprisingly subtle turntable scratching. Cutler chimes in from time to time with a regular drum groove, but mostly pounces and flits around the music's periphery. Is this stuff for everyone? No. But for those with ears to hear, p53 is one of the most enjoyable albums to come from the avant-garde scene in years.


Born: 04 January 1947 in Washington DC

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Chris Cutler has led a varied and surprising career as a drummer, record label executive, hard line socialist, and ethnomusicologist, among other labels, spanning over three decades of work and close to 100 records. Born in Washington, D.C., on January 4, 1947, but raised in England, Cutler began drumming in beat and psychedelic groups around 1966. His first group, Louise, played the clubs in London's psychedelic scene until disbanding three years later. With then-keyboardist of the band Egg, Dave...
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P53, Chris Cutler
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