This record features David Moss in duets with Fred Frith, Tom Guralnick, Bill Laswell, Arto Lindsay, Fred Mahr, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, David van Tieghem, John Zorn.

  1/  Full House                                 (Moss,Lindsay)                1.55
  2/  Impound This Touch                         (Moss,Frith)                  3.04
  3/  Tunes                                      (Moss,Laswell)                2.37
  4/  State of the Whirles                       (Moss,van Tieghem)            3.57
  5/  Heads Up                                   (Moss,Lindsay)                1.54
  6/  The Man With the Rain-Colored Legs         (Moss,Tacuma)                 3.05
  7/  Hand Tech                                  (Moss,Zorn)                   2.41
  8/  Possible Fruit                             (Moss,Lindsay)                1.48
  9/  Fashion Like Edges                         (Moss,Marclay)                1.34
  10/ Liquids of Choice                          (Moss,Minton)                 1.06
  11/ Drum Men                                   (Moss,Maher)                  3.48
  12/ When I Was 18                              (Moss,Marclay)                2.09
  13/ Drastic Fishers                            (Moss,Frith)                  3.21
  14/ Trade-Ways                                 (Moss,Guralnick)              4.00
  15/ Shout & Twist                              (Moss,Lindsay)                0.42
  16/ 3-Way Switch                               (Moss,Laswell)                3.00
  17/ All The News                               (Moss,Minton)                 3.00
  18/ Husk When Time                             (Moss,Zorn)                   1.49
  19/ Amendment 5                                (Moss,Marclay)                1.12

          Recorded October 1983 and January 1984 at Martin Bisi Studio, Brooklyn
          All pieces recorded live: no edits, no overdubs, except tracks 1,4,6 & 11
          Recording engineer: Martin Bisi
          Mixed by David Moss and Martin Bisi
          Produced by David Moss
          Executive Producer: Volker Biesen
David Moss: drums, percussion, voice, Bertoia Sound Sculptures, water, wood, metal, plastic, pods, small electronics, Linn Drum programming (6); Fred Frith (2,13): guitar; Tom Guralnick (14): bass, tenor and soprano saxophones; Bill Laswell (3,16): 6-string bass; Arto Lindsay (1,5,8,15): vocals, guitar; Fred Maher (11): drums; Christian Marclay (9,12,19) : manipulated records on 4 turntables, turntable inserts (11); Phil Minton (10,17): voice; Jamaaladeen Tacuma (6): Steinberger bass; David van Tiegham (4): percussion; John Zorn (7,18): reeds, game calls, saxophones.

          1984 - Moers Music (Germany), momu 2010 (Vinyl)
          1988 - Moers Music (Germany), Moers 02088 CD (CD)


The idea of doing "avant-garde" pop songs was very much in the air in downtown New York City in the early '80s. Witness bands like DNA, the first incarnation of the Golden Palominos, and John Zorn's Locus Solus project. Add David Moss' Dense Band to that list. The leader was primarily a drummer, though his strong second suit was a cartoonish, deep voice which, though it could be entertaining enough, over time had a tendency to veer into obnoxiousness. Here, he collaborates in 19 brief (all four minutes or less) duo performances with a number of luminaries from that scene, most of which appear to have been freely improvised. They range from pure noise to rock-tinged pieces to funk (the duo with bassist extraordinaire Jamaaladeen Tacuma being a highlight of the session, though the drum machine sounds painfully dated) and beyond. Moss obviously has a blast; his willingness to emote and then some is constantly on display. He yammers, croaks, chortles, burps, wheedles, and, generally, commits a variety of vocal sins. His natural ebullience often wins out against the desire to reach into the speakers and slap him; when it does, the result is good, playful fun of the avant-garde kind. Moss' drumming style is quick, light and full of clatter, eschewing standard rhythms, though never becoming entirely coloristic. On the best of these duets (with Tacuma, Fred Frith, and brother drummer Fred Maher), a satisfying mix is achieved which, by and large, causes the listener to overlook the many excesses elsewhere. Pop songs? Not quite, but an interesting attempt.

Brian Olewnick (courtesy of the All Music Guide website)