Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Heldon - 1976 - Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale

Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale

01. Marie Virginie C (11:42)
02. Elephanta (8:29)
03. Perspective IV Ter Muco (Live, bonus track on CD) (5:25)
04. MVC II (6:13)
05. Toward The Red Line (15:16)
06. Marie Et Virginie Comp (Live, bonus track on CD) (9:36)

- Richard Pinhas / guitar, Moog B et III, EMS
- François Auger / drums, percussion
- Jannick Top / bass, Fracello (4)
- Didier Batard / bass (3)
- Patrick Gauthier / Moog (1)

"Un Reve sans Consequence Speciale" is my all-rime favourite Heldon album, and it is certainly the most aggressive of this French project's discography. For this one, Pinhas had a very effective partner in drummer/percussionist François Auger, who without doubt played a crucial role at enhancing Heldon's sonic power the way it is reflected in the album's repertoire. Other collaborators are synth player Patrick Gauthier, and bassists Didier Batard and Janick Top (of Magma fame). The featured presence of the rhythm section is based on a more pronounced role of the synthesized loops, and of course, Auger's intrepid drumming: some percussive stuff is frontally tribal, like a soundtrack for a wildest mystic trance. This album is pretty much like a constant ride though stormy weathered lands, with Pinhas' guitar lines and riffs assuming a higher level of aggressiveness than ever before: at times the guitar gets really violent, and as a Fripp-inspired guitarist, he keeps the guitar stuff very dissonant and floating. This intention is made clear from the opening track 'Marie Virginie C.' - the CD edition ends with a live rendition of this same number, which bears a slightly altered title. The 15- minute 'Toward the Line' is the longest track in the album, and it also represents firmly the line of work described before: this is as powerful as minimalistic rock with an electronic basis can ever get. 'Perspective IV Ter Muco' and 'MVD II' keep the same ideology, only with a decreased level of energy, but still these are strong numbers, designed, just like the other two, to shake the listener's aesthetic foundations rather than to make them enjoy (in a conventional sense of the word). The repetitive nature of this tracks' cadence may remind the listener of Can or Neu!, but with a more ballsy attitude - that comes from the Fripp influence, of course. 'Elephanta' is the only non- Pinhas number in the album. It was written by Auger, and it mostly consists of a hypnotic ritual of drums and assorted percussions "dancing" frantically to an eerie tempo, with Pinhas using his Moog as an extra percussive implement in order to give this ritual a more delirious texture. Well, I've got nothing else to say about this exciting album, except that it is a prog masterpiece. I know that Heldon is not your typical progressive band, and it even was labeled as "cyper-punk" by the French musical press; I also keep in mind that Heldon is not a band you might call particularly recommendable, since its style is overtly cryptic. But if we keep in mind that, generally speaking, modern experimentation is an essential ingredient of the greatest prog, and that Heldon's music is closely related to big prog names such as KC and Tangerine Dream, then I can only conclude that this is not only a very good progressive music album, but also a masterful example of the most experimental side of the prog movement. This is Heldon's most brilliant and cohesive album,

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