Tenko

Slope: Gradual Dissapearance

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    4
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AllMusic Review by

An all-star cast from the New York '80s avant-garde scene pitched in on this studio project, with Tenko assisting in the overall production effort by Fred Frith and engineer Kramer. The results are nothing special, for the most part music stiff enough to leave a residue of starch on the turntable. The players either trample the vocalist or, worse, hide out in the shadows somewhere, playing on the verge of tentative. The best moments involve moments of duo and trio interaction, which like everything else on the record is kept to a limited length. "A Watchdog of the Labyrinth" combines her with Ned Rothenberg on alto saxophone, plus a bit of snare drum from the maestro. "Somewhere, Far Away" is a nice duet with pianist Wayne Horvitz. "Sleep Walker" combines Tenko with Frith and Christian Marclay spinning turntables, and definitely has its moments. Several tracks that feature a combination of gurgling, muttering, squawking, and otherwise agitated vocalists are a bit wearing.

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