Left Hand Right Hand
Hidden Hands. Staalplaat. 36t-59:09+72:46
As the exceptional writer of the anthology liner notes ex Cabaret Voltaire Stephen Mallinder writes of Left Hand Right Hand, founded in the mid 80's by the percussionist and polyinstrumentalist brothers Andrew and Tim Brown, represent an unusual fusion of hypnotic oriental trance music, like the Master Musicians of Joujouka, with a postindustrial sensibility, combining opposites of free form improvisation and discipline ‘with a sense of direction’. A mostly instrumental approach, which has similarities with the work of 23 Skidoo and early Clock DVA, but it remains substantially unclassifiable, merging in a surprising variety of remnants of urban funk, no wave, deconstructed noir jazz, obscure electronica, ethno-tribal music, and above all a strong-willed variety of solutions (see the dramatic, almost Morriconian use of a wordless female choir in the epic Raised to the Ground) that the group has remarked by performing on several occasions with the support of original projections in cinematographic spaces and events. Numerous prominent personalities have alternated in the formation alongside the two Browns, from the constant presence of Charlie Collins (Clock DVA, The Box) and Karl Blake (Lemon Kittens, Shock Headed Peters) to the significant contributions of Paul Ackerley (Zahgurim), Sally Doherty (The Sumacs) and then Lol Coxhill, Q from In the Nursery and various others. The two CDs contained in the original cardboard box from Staalplaat offer a wide selection from the group's discography, a cassette from Tak Tak Tak in 1990 and albums Legs Akimbo (1992, Hand to Mouth) and In Mufti (1995, on the Italian Musica Maxima Magnetica) plus a couple of singles - with the addition of some unreleased and live snippets. The ideal compendium to get acquainted with one of the best kept secrets of the British underground.
Vittore Baroni, Blow Up, September 2022