Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recreation - 1971 - Recreation (Don't Open)

Recreation (Don't Open)

01. Burning Chapel
02. Running For Life
03. Sexual Lover
04. Summer In The City
05. California Dreamin'
06. Reach Out, I'll Be There

- Francis Lonneux / drums
- Jean-Jacques Falaise / keyboards
- Jean-Paul VanDen Bossche / guitars, bass

This early 70's Belgian trio is one of the best-kept secrets from Belgium, but I am determined to shed a bit more light on them. This instrumental KB-led trio is completely different from the usual ELP clichés that one might have. They took their name from the 10AM and 2PM breaks that allow kids to roam and play on the school grounds. Jean-Jacques Falaise is clearly the leader of the trio and his KB abilities shine throughout their two albums, but he also plays a competent guitar. Francis Lonneux is the drummer and Jean-Paul Vanden Bossche is the bassist and clearly these guys had decided to include humour in their music, something that is quite common among Belgian bands. As mentioned before the music is not like ELP, but instead draws heavily from Jazz, classics but also many different other sources.

Their self-titled debut (71) has a superb sleeve artwork depicting human bodies falling through giants KB scales and consist of just six tracks, while the second album Music Or Not Music (72) holds 15 of them, but both albums have a similar feel not far away from Canterbury, jazz-rock and symphonic prog.

Recreation's debut album is to say the least a timid one, but one can clearly sense that these guys have all it takes (except self-confidence maybe) to be a future great. This KB-lead trio is the antithesis of other KB trios such as ELP or Egg (well maybe a bit Egg crossed with French group Travelling) giving a rather hard to define sound between Canterbury (Soft Machine at times), jazz-rock and classical reprises and Vanilla Fudge. The nightmarish and Dali-esque artwork is great evocation of what you are about to hear in this album, but also the next one.
If the opener Burning Chapel is an underachiever (we vainly wait for the track to explode, expand and explore), Running For Life is clearly a step in the right direction, while Sexual Lover is clearly explorative even in a psychedelic musical sex orgy - a very Fudgey affair if you ask me. The second vinyl side is made of three fully rearranged covers, the first of which, you really have to pay attention to find the original slowed down (again the Fudge thing) Lovin' Spoonful classic - a masterstroke. Up next is a daring (but doomed) rendition of the hit California Dreamin - but who could have replaced those gorgeous vocal harmonies. As daring, bold audacious as it may be, this is partly successful- therefore implying also a failure - the Fudge would've not missed this one!!! Reach out is another strongly psyched and progged-out cover.

Although not perfect, this debut album holds much promise for the future and it will be bright (but short since they only made one more album),

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