Communist art-rockers Henry Cow transcended Uncle Meat’s brand of acid-rock, avant-classical, and freak-jazz thanks to Chris Cutler’s skittery, and decidedly British, drumming. Although more than a few early prog outfits suffered from ham-fisted drummers reliant more on rockish thud than arty grace, Cutler made his quintet’s beatific math-meets-improv fusion actually swing. Henry Cow disbanded in 1978—a decade after forming—and Cutler continued working his impressionistic magic with spinoff band the Art Bears. Later, Cutler would play with such legends as the Residents and Pere Ubu. Recent years have found Cutler expanding his percussive language with low-tech electronics and other such toys, essentially serving as a post-techno one-man band. And Cutler’s recent Quake—released on his excellent, 23-year-old Recommended label—is a nearly ambient yet remarkably detailed report of his singular electro-acoustic explorations. Cutler plays at 8:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 1054 31st St. NW. $10. (202) 342-6230. (BB)