Tom Cora / The Ex / Ex & Tom Cora

Scrabbling at the Lock

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AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane

After producing an extensive discography through the '80s which contains some of the best avant-rock and post-punk put to record in the decade, the staunch Dutch independent group is paralleled by Fugazi in maintaining a strident autonomy in both business and aesthetic approaches. During the '80s they produced some of the most hard-hitting political punk, but by the beginning of the '90s were starting to experiment in new tangents that incorporated the influence of folk and free improvisation. Teaming up with the extraordinary avant-garde cellist Tom Cora of Skeleton Crew and Roof for his baffling solo cello improvisations, this formation explored the delicate modalities of European folk. A beautiful, candid recording that marks an inspired new tangent for the Ex which sparked themes that would run through their recordings for the remainder of the decade -- where folk and free improvisation would collide elegantly with their soaring autodidactic avant-rock.

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