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Corrected Slogans


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  • In the '70s, it became not entirely uncommon for groups with particularly Marxist sensibilities to join forces in a sort of musicians' collective. Virgin Records labelmates Henry Cow and Slapp Happy merged this way (although various parties later admitted that the Cow simply wanted to steal singer Dagmar Krause from Slapp Happy), and in 1976, the long-dormant Texas anarchists the Red Krayola hooked up with a British non-musical conceptual art collective known as Art & Language. The two groups appear to have split the duties down the middle, with lyrics and music coming from both sides. Red Krayola leader Mayo Thompson does most of the singing in his usual near-operatic squall, although other members contribute recitations. The wildly complex lyrics are among the most literate and thought-provoking of their time, with a refreshing lack of simplistic sloganeering and an almost Dadaist sense of whimsy. The 20 tracks range from very brief to rather expansive, with musical backing ranging from minimalist piano to what sounds like an oompah band on acid. Clearly, Corrected Slogans is not for everyone, and it's weird even by the Red Krayola's standards, but for those in the right mood, this can be endlessly fascinating. ~ Stewart Mason
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