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Fred Frith/Ferdinand Richard: Fred & Ferd Dropera; Fred Frith: Gravity; Speechless; Cheap At Half The Price (all RECREC)

Mark Sinker, The Wire, September 1991

OH. EVERYTHING hasn't quite changed, after all. Frith's excellent retrospective last year, Step Across The Border, seemed to demonstrate how much more New York and Tokyo had taught him about communicating dissenting pleasures than Europa, west or east. Closer reacquaintance with the CD-issue back-cat does confirm how much his partners affect him (Frith solo, fine: Frith in charge of a group project, often iffier). But the Fred/Ferd two-man "opera" — from 1989 — also shows he's still vulnerable to a dull partner's dulling influence.

Total word count of piece: 361

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