The Art Box

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The Art Box
ArtBears AlbumCover ArtBox.jpg
Box set by Art Bears
Released 2004 (2004)
Recorded 1978–1980, 1984,
1998–2003
Genre Avant-rock
Length 281:33
Label Recommended (UK)
Producer Art Bears and others
Art Bears chronology
The World as It Is Today
(1981)
The Art Box
(2004)
Art Bears Revisited
(2004)
Art Bears Revisited
2xCD album containing Discs 4 and 5 of the box set.
2xCD album containing Discs 4 and 5 of the box set.

The Art Box is a six-CD box set by English avant-rock group Art Bears. It contains all Art Bears album and single releases, plus new material, including live and unreleased Art Bears tracks, and unreleased remixes and reworkings of Art Bears material by other musicians. The box set also contains a book of photographs, artwork, articles, interviews and commentary on the CD tracks, the work process, the band and their tour of Europe in 1979. The Art Bears material was recorded between 1978 and 1980, while the work by other musicians was recorded between 1998 and 2003. The box set was released in 2004 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the band's formation.[1] A double-CD entitled Art Bears Revisited containing Discs four and five of the box set was released later in 2004.

Discs one, two and three are remastered versions (by Bob Drake) of the first three Art Bears albums, Hopes and Fears (1978), Winter Songs (1979) and The World as It Is Today (1981). Discs four and five, entitled Art Bears Revisited, contain remixed and reworked Art Bears pieces by various musicians, plus two Art Bears singles and an unreleased Art Bears track. Disc six contains more remixed and reworked Art Bears pieces by various musicians, including a 1984 cover of "The Song of Investment Capital Overseas" by Duck and Cover, plus five live Art Bears tracks, four of which were never officially released before.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media9/10[2]

Dave Lynch at AllMusic described Art Bears' music as "an adventurous mix of avant rock experimentalism, smatterings of noise and dissonance, British folk flavors, medieval imagery, and leftist, anti-corporate politics".[1] He said that The Art Box "is a comprehensive document of a band that represented what the best rock music should be: utterly uncompromising".[1] Dominique Leone wrote in Pitchfork Media that Art Bears made music "almost as ahead of the curve today as it did twenty years ago", and said that they deserve the "deluxe reissue treatment" of a 6-CD box set.[2] In a review at BBC Music, Peter Marsh wrote that Art Bears "recorded some of the most carefully crafted (and indeed timeless) music you're ever likely to hear".[3] He added that while he felt that many of the remixes "seem unnecessary at best", he liked the live tracks where Art Bears perform songs "never meant to be performed".[3] Marsh particularly liked Fred Frith's guitar solo on "Coda to Man and Boy".[3]

Art Bears personnel[edit]

Disc 1: Hopes and Fears[edit]

Contains all the tracks from the original release of the first Art Bears album, Hopes and Fears (1978)

Track list[edit]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."On Suicide" (Brecht, Eisler)Henry Cow1:26
2."The Dividing Line" (Cutler, Frith, Cooper)Henry Cow4:11
3."Joan" (Cutler, Frith)Henry Cow3:05
4."Maze" (Cutler, Frith)Henry Cow5:05
5."In Two Minds" (Cutler, Frith)Henry Cow8:45
6."Terrain" (Frith)Art Bears3:49
7."The Tube" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears3:05
8."The Dance" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears5:09
9."The Pirate Song" (Cutler, Hodgkinson)Henry Cow1:28
10."Labyrinth" (Cutler, Hodgkinson)Henry Cow2:15
11."Riddle" (Cutler, Frith)Henry Cow2:49
12."Moeris Dancing" (Frith)Henry Cow5:08
13."Piers" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears2:10

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Tim Hodgkinson (tracks 1–5, 9–12) – organ, clarinet, piano on "The Pirate Song"
  • Lindsay Cooper (tracks 1–6, 8–12) – bassoon, oboe, soprano, recorder
  • Georgie Born (tracks 1–5, 9–12) – bass guitar, cello, vocals on "Maze"

Recording information[edit]

  • Tracks 1–5, 9–12: recorded by Henry Cow at Sunrise Studio, Switzerland, 15–29 January 1978
  • Tracks 6–8, 13: recorded by Art Bears at Kaleidophon Studios, London, 15–18 March 1978

Disc 2: Winter Songs[edit]

Contains all the tracks from the original release of the second Art Bears album, Winter Songs (1979)

Track list[edit]

All tracks composed by Fred Frith and Chris Cutler.

No.TitleArtistLength
1."The Bath of Stars"Art Bears1:45
2."First Things First"Art Bears2:50
3."Gold"Art Bears1:41
4."The Summer Wheel"Art Bears2:47
5."The Slave"Art Bears3:38
6."The Hermit"Art Bears2:59
7."Rats and Monkeys"Art Bears3:24
8."The Skeleton"Art Bears3:11
9."The Winter Wheel"Art Bears3:06
10."Man and Boy"Art Bears3:21
11."Winter/War"Art Bears3:05
12."Force"Art Bears0:54
13."Three Figures"Art Bears1:51
14."Three Wheels"Art Bears3:35

Recording information[edit]

  • Recorded at Sunrise Studio, Switzerland, 22 November – 5 December 1978

Disc 3: The World as It Is Today[edit]

Contains all the tracks from the original release of the third Art Bears album, The World as It Is Today (1981)

Track list[edit]

All tracks composed by Fred Frith and Chris Cutler.

No.TitleArtistLength
1."The Song of Investment Capital Overseas"Art Bears2:38
2."Truth"Art Bears2:56
3."Freedom"Art Bears3:25
4."(Armed) Peace"Art Bears2:30
5."Civilisation"Art Bears4:52
6."Democracy"Art Bears2:22
7."The Song of the Martyrs"Art Bears4:09
8."Law"Art Bears0:51
9."The Song of the Monopolists"Art Bears1:48
10."The Song of the Dignity of Labour Under Capital"Art Bears2:27
11."Albion, Awake!"Art Bears4:08

Recording information[edit]

  • Recorded at Sunrise Studio, Switzerland, August–September 1980

Disc 4: Art Bears Revisited disc 1[edit]

Contains remixed and reworked Art Bears pieces by various musicians, plus two Art Bears singles (tracks 17–18)

Track list[edit]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."The Violin in Winter"Jon Rose3:49
2."Tranne Lacrimae (Bar Tears)"Ossatura4:12
3."On Suicide"Otomo Yoshihide/Ground Zero5:49
4."Artico & Baci"Massimo Simonini3:37
5."The Tube"When/Lars Pedersen2:44
6."Rats and Monkeys Remix"Warrick Sony/Kalahari Surfers/DJ Ballard3:15
7."Time/Bye"John Oswald5:01
8."Three Bears Room"Chris Cutler4:49
9."The World as it Hopes in Winter"Roberto Musci/Giovanni Venosta/Massimo Mariani3:55
10."The Bath of Stars"/"The Skeleton"The Residents4:51
11."Tokusa-No-Kandakara (91 Pieces Of 'C')"Yasushi Utsunomiya3:02
12."The Skeleton"Herb Heinz2:59
13."Long Winter"Martin Archer5:03
14."Winter/War/Force"Jon Leidecker/Wobbly4:09
15."Everything Again"Fred Frith4:14
16."Coquelicot"Jocelyn Robert7:17
17."Collapse" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears4:51
18."All Hail" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears4:08

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Jon Rose (track 1) – violin, piano
  • Elio Martusciello (track 2)
  • Maurizio Martusciello (track 2)
  • Fabrizio Spera (track 2) – drums
  • Luca Venitucci (track 2)
  • Sachiko M (track 3) – sine-wave sampling
  • Eto Naoko (track 3) – prepared piano
  • Kikuchi Naruyoshi (track 3) – tenor saxophone
  • Yasushi Utsunomiya (track 11) – sub vocal
  • Kiyomi Yamada (track 11) – vocal, violin, fieldworks
  • Tetsuji Hayashi (track 11) – shou, hichiriki
  • Kouryu Koukiji (track 11) – sub vocal
  • Sakura Koukiji (track 11) – dog voice
  • Mitsutarou Inagaki (track 11) – honey bee sound
  • Herb Heinz (track 12) – Midi boxes, guitar
  • Martin Archer (track 13) – digital piano, electronics
  • Jocelyn Robert (track 16) – field recordings

Recording information[edit]

  • Track 1: recorded Summer 1998
  • Track 2: recorded live at Roma, 1979 (Art Bears tracks); live at Bourges, May 1998; at Roma, December 1998
  • Track 3: recorded at GOK Sound, Tokyo, 10 November 1998
  • Track 4: recorded at Massimo Simonini's home, January 2000
  • Track 5: recorded at M.O.R.I.A., Oslo, February 1999
  • Track 6: recorded, March 1999
  • Track 7: recorded, March 1999
  • Track 8: recorded, January 1996
  • Track 9: recorded at Loa Studios and Fx Studio, Milano, January 2000
  • Track 10: recorded, January 2000
  • Track 11: recorded at Studio Nirvana, 2000
  • Track 12: recorded at IS Productions, Oakland, California, July 2000
  • Track 13: recorded at Telecottage & Sound Kitchen Studios, Sheffield, Summer 2000
  • Track 14: recorded, August 2000
  • Track 15: recorded at Tonstudio Jankowski, Stuttgart, 13 July 2000
  • Track 16: recorded at CannedGods Mobile, September 2000
  • Tracks 17–18: recorded at Kaleidophon Studios, London, Winter 1979

Disc 5: Art Bears Revisited disc 2[edit]

Contains remixed and reworked Art Bears pieces by various musicians, plus an unfinished Art Bears piece, completed for the box set (track 18)

Track list[edit]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."Armed Peace Remix"Roger Kleier2:36
2."Song of the Monopolists"Bob Drake1:16
3."The Three Wheels Remix"Andrea Rocca2:45
4."Gold"Vitor Rua1:27
5."The Fourth Wheel"Brian Woodbury4:10
6."The Three Figures"Chris Cutler1:06
7."First Things First : The Mix That Should Not Be"Bob Drake2:56
8."Monopolists Democracy"Stevan Tickmayer4:24
9."All is Encompassed in the Night (part 1)"Annie Gosfield1:35
10."All is Encompassed in the Night (part 2)"Annie Gosfield1:35
11."All is Encompassed in the Night (part 3)"Annie Gosfield1:37
12."The Summer Mix (part 1)"Biota4:08
13."The Summer Mix (part 2)"Biota2:47
14."The Summer Mix (part 3)"Biota4:10
15."The Summer Mix (part 4)"Biota3:09
16."Democracy Remix"Thomas Dimuzio4:26
17."Some Truth"Christian Marclay4:51
18."Carved in Stone (Rebirth)" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears1:46

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Bob Drake (track 2) – Solina organ bass pedals
  • Andrea Rocca (track 3) – ambient noises, electric guitar
  • Vitor Rua (track 4) – bass flute, prepared piano, virtual orchestra, electronics
  • Stevan Tickmayer (track 5) – virtual instruments
  • Brian Woodbury (track 6) – bass guitar, piano, Microkorg synthesizer/Vocoder, Roland XV-3080 module, vocals

Recording information[edit]

  • Track 1: recorded, 22 January 2003
  • Tracks 2,7: recorded at Studio Midi-Pyrenees, Summer 2003
  • Track 3: recorded at Roma, Summer 2003
  • Track 4: recorded at Telectu's Studio, Lisboa, September 2003
  • Track 5: recorded at The Rusty Scupper, Los Angeles, August 2003
  • Track 6: recorded at Studio Midi-Pyrenees, September 2003
  • Track 8: recorded in Stevan Tickmayer's work room, April 2003
  • Track 9-11: recorded at the Djerassi Artist's Residency Program, Woodside, California, Autumn 2002
  • Track 12–15: recorded at Dys Studio, Bellvue, Colorado, Spring/Summer 2001 and Fall/Winter 2002/2003, edited, January 2003 at Eye In The Sky, Laporte, Colorado
  • Track 16: recorded, August 2003
  • Track 17: recorded at Noise Media, Brooklyn, Summer 2003
  • Track 18: recorded at Sunrise Studio, Switzerland, November/December 1978, at Tonstudio Jankowski, Stuttgart, 13 July 2000 and at Studio Midi-Pyrenees, 29 June 2003

Disc 6: Free Box CD[edit]

Contains remixed and reworked Art Bears pieces by various musicians, plus five live Art Bears pieces (tracks 4–7,11)

Track list[edit]

No.TitleArtistLength
1."And the Comedy Bears"Bob Drake0:42
2."The Song of Investment Capital Overseas" (Cutler, Frith)Duck and Cover3:42
3."Summer/Freedom"John Oswald2:48
4."The Riddle" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears2:21
5."First Things First" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears1:55
6."March From the Dance" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears1:05
7."The Hermit" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears2:47
8."The Winter Mix"Biota4:35
9."Wheels"Fred Frith3:12
10."Tokusa-No-Kandakara II"Yasushi Utsunomiya3:37
11."Coda to Man and Boy" (Cutler, Frith)Art Bears7:17

Additional personnel[edit]

Recording information[edit]

  • Track 1: recorded at Studio Midi-Pyrenees, Summer 2003
  • Track 2: recorded live at the Brecht Ensemble, East Berlin, 16 February 1984
  • Track 3: recorded March 1999
  • Tracks 4–7: recorded live, probably at Charleville, France, 16 April 1979
  • Track 8: recorded at Dys Studio, Bellvue, Colorado and edited, October 2003 at Eye In The Sky, Laporte, Colorado
  • Track 9: recorded at Tonstudio Jankowski, Stuttgart, 13 July 2000
  • Track 10: recorded at Studio Nirvana, August 2001 – March 2002
  • Track 11: recorded live at Cantù, Italy, 30 May 1979

Art Bears Revisited[edit]

Discs 4 and 5 above were also released in 2004 on a double-CD entitled Art Bears Revisited.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lynch, Dave. "The Art Box". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b Leone, Dominique. "Art Box". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Marsh, Peter (27 January 2004). "Art Bears, The Art Box". BBC Music. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2015.

External links[edit]