Ivor Cutler

Ivor Cutler of Y'Hup

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Ivor Cutler's first release was this seven-song EP in the late 1950s, the "Y'Hup" of the title being a fictional, isolated island of Cutler's own imagination. Though perhaps milder and more reserved than his most acclaimed work, it shows the approach for which he'd become known very much in place. Droll and bemused in its humor, Ivor Cutler of Y'Hup alternates spoken word interludes with even stranger musical tunes that find Cutler backing his own singing with harmonium. Cutler's brand of wackiness might be too subtle and deadpan in its quasi-surreal outlook for some listeners; "Size 9 1/2" even has a spoken word aside referring self-consciously to its surrealistic lyrics. Still, these ditties are funny, if in a somewhat muted fashion; with Cutler in his poker-faced silliness finding grist for cockeyed humor in the most mundane of life's features. (Best moment: At the end of "Pickle Your Knees," when Cutler suddenly brings the number to a cold close by singing "and that's end of my song.") All seven tracks from this rare EP are can also be found on the 2005 CD compilation An Elpee and Two Epees, which also includes his 1961 album Who Tore Your Trousers? and his 1961 EP Get Away From the Wall.