1/  Up For It/Song For Che/Closing Circles     (Massacre/Haden/Massacre)     20.37
                 and Loose End
  2/  Hover                                      (Massacre)                    3.48
  3/  For Food and Scatter                       (Massacre)                    10.25
  4/  Figure Out                                 (Massacre)                    25.23
  5/  The Empire Strikes Back                    (Massacre)                    2.06
  6/  Over                                       (Massacre)                    5.14

          Recorded live on June 27, 2001 at Robert Wyatt’s Meltdown Festival, Queen
            Elizabeth Hall, London
          Concert Sound and DAT Recording by Oz Fritz
Fred Frith: electric guitar; Bill Laswell: electric bass; Charles Hayward: drums, voice, melodica.

          2001 - Tzadik (USA), TZ 7606 (CD)


Massacre are part of, or certainly at one time were part of, the New York downtown music scene, and their new live album meltdown has been put out by John Zorn's Tzadik label. However, it was recorded at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in June 2001 as part of the Robert Wyatt curated Meltdown Festival; and very glorious stuff it is, too. Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass, and the brilliant Charles Hayward on drums stir up a storm of improvised jazz-punk-funk that swirls, bubbles, burbles and clatters along over eclectic and intriguing rhythms. Interestingly enough, at times I'm reminded of the more experimental end of prog-rock [regular Tangents readers will probably know I don't mean this as a criticism], particularly on 'up for it', the opening track on the CD, which is particularly fluid and inventive. The whole CD is astonishing, and proves that Laswell still has interesting music in him when he stops churning out funk/dub/hip-hop collaborations like Points of Order [inner-rhythmic], about which the less said the better.

Rupert Loydell (courtesy of the Tangents website)