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THE WORK: The Worst of Everywhere (double CD)
Tim Hodgkinson and Bill Gilonis formed The Work soon after the demise of Henry Cow. While punk-new wavish in its noise and energy, it was also grittily unorthodox and noisily catholic in its approach to performance and aesthetics. Always raw but often quietly sophisticated in its assembly of compositions, this collection remains experimental and innovative enough to satisfy psyche as well as soma. Originally compiled for a double cassette release it collects and collages a wide range of rough but clean live recordings - of all sorts - that slot well together. The results arenít offered as documentary markers but used instead as heterogeneous material for onward tape composition. Itís a record not a document, although - through the inevitable effluxion of time - it has become a kind of meta-document, illuminating a particular sensibility that arose in the opportunity-space that flourished in the mud churned in the warzone between prog and punk. Thereís life and energy here, and a defiant experimentalism, but thereís also an attempt to talk to a New Wave public in its own contested language. Lo-fi in the right way, this is like a gig, in the sense that the material unfolds, with surprises, rough patches, luminous flashes and lacunae, as you are swept along in the stumbling of creation. Guests include Catherine Jaunieux, Bob Ostertag and Chris Cutler. Recorded between 1980- 82 in Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia - and compiled and first released in 1982, while the iron was still molten.