Sunday, May 10, 2015

Igor Wakhevitch - 1970 - Logos

Igor Wakhevitch

01. Ergon (3:59)
02. Mineral - Vegetal - Animal (4:40)
03. Homo-Sapiens Ignorabimus (4:43)
04. Initiation I (2:43)
05. Initiation II (6:28)
06. Delirium (2:23)
07. Danse Sacrale (6:08)
08. Point Omega (mort ou resurrection) (2:03)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards, synthesizers

An Olivier Messiaen pupil, Igor is one of the more esoteric artistes of the French 70's, with his legendary six avant-garde (almost musique concrète) albums, of which Logos is the first. This first project was actually the music for a modern ballet of Schmuki to be performd at the Avignon Festival of that same year. Oddly enough, despite the highly experimental nature of his music, all six albums of his were released on major labels, but I doubt that they hardly exposed to the mainstream public. His debut was released on the Pathé major label (for France, anyway) and featured an "atomic or molecular artwork, on top of also gusting the entire Triangle pop-rock group (also on the Pathé label) as a back up band.

Opening on a very 2001 Space Odyssey piece with eerie choirs and electronic music that could be labelled as "concrete", Ergon gives a good idea of Igor's fascination and fixation. The following piece describing the three reigns (Mineral-Vegetal and Animal) is no less abstract a description, when one could've imagined more organic soundscapes. Only sporadic drumming holds you back from sliding into insanity. If you can imagine Floyd's studio disc of Umma Gumma soundscapes on acid, you're getting close to Igor's fantasies. The HS Ignorabimus is closer to a space rock with a classical violin. The following Initiation (cut in two parts for time constraint reasons on the vinyl) is no more accessible, resembling to some bizarre sect initiation done by a drugged out shaman. The album-longest Danse Sacrale is definitely where you hear that Igor was thinking "rock" as well, because you finally get the full Triangl group for a few minutes, with Jeanneau's piano, Lorenzini's guitar and Fournier's bass on top of Prévotat's drums. They sound a bit like a cross of Magma and the future Art Zoyd band. The short closing Omega piece is an extremely doomy rock piece as well.

Please note that if you're familiar with Triangle's pop-rock discography, you'd have a hard time recognizing the same band. One can only dream about what the band would've achieved had they been more artistically ambitious rather than commercially ambitious. Anyway, Igor's Logos is a highly-lauded experimental affair, but it is mostly bound to remain in the shadow of obscurity. I guess the present album would be even more interesting when viewing the ballet it came with, but it doesn't hurt the music if it stands alone.

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