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MP3 Dave Soldier & Soldier String Quartet - Sequence Girls

The original punk rock chamber music group, with early hip hop accents, straight from 1980''s Lower Eastside of New York City.

8 MP3 Songs in this album (38:45) !
Related styles: Classical: Postmodern, Avant Garde: Avant-Americana, Mood: Weird

People who are interested in Kronos Quartet Philip Glass Talking Heads should consider this download.

This 1986 CD, featuring compositions by Dave Soldier, ushered in the combination of punk rock and hiphop to chamber music. The title piece, Sequence Girls, was based on early Sugar Hill rap tune by Sequence, while three pieces were transcriptions of Delta blues songs by Skip James, Muddy Waters, and Charlie Patton, which retained the weird rhythms and phrases of the original. Five Little Monsters are extremely short movements, each of which evokes a particular youth subculture of the period and sounds a bit like a classical version of the contemporaneous Lower Eastside group DNA.

The pieces on Sequence Girls are really compositional fantasies by a young Dave Soldier in a time and place that tied myriad knots from Wagner to the Ramones and Beastie Boys and gospel music. The players had already worked in an extremely broad range of styles even prior to group: later the quartet went onto collaborations and recordings with the likes of John Cale, Guided by Voices, Van Dyke Parks, Tony Williams, and to premiere over one hundred contemporary work including many by the downtown New York scene of the 1980''s and 90''s such as Elliott Sharp, Leroy Jemkins, and Fred Frith.

Nevertheless, the heart of the group was in performance in rock and avant garde jazz clubs like CBGBs and the Knitting Factory, where they would play Soldier''s often highly complex pieces by memory with amplifiers, fuzz boxes, and drum kit, usually played by Michael Suchorsky from Lou Reed''s band. The quartet also functioned as a Miles Davis- type incubator for future string explorers, including Regina Carter and Ratzo Harris, with players that went on to form a large fraction of the present contemporary music string quartets, and served as alternative to the West Coach approach of the Kronos Quartet: though none of the later groups perhaps ever reached quite the level of energy and outrageousness of the Soldier String Quartet.

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