The Ex - Joggers & Smoggers (1989)


The long-standing Dutch anarchist punk group's magnum opus double album in many ways recall the extended collages of the Crass albums, whereby the sessions were not strictly performed by the entire group, but were in fact collections of solo tapes, ad-hoc collaborations, and improvised sketches. There are plenty of full-throttle Ex avant-punk tracks, however, and collaborators include numerous players from the free improvisation world, as well as members of Sonic Youth, who contribute their parts by tape and even apparently via telephone on one piece featuring Kim Gordon. Joggers and Smoggers marks a tuning point in the group's sound; from this point they would embrace more fully the aesthetics and methods of avant-garde jazz, free improvisation, and delicate European folk. Over the four sides, this is an excellent introduction to the labyrinthine world of one of the most inspired and inventive groups in European post punk. Highly recommended release from their expansive catalog, along with their collaborations with Tom Cora and the more strictly avant-rock album Mudbird Shivers, this is among their most focused and courageous work.


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