Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recreation - 1972 - Music Or Not Music

Music Or Not Music


01. Music against music (1:59)
02. Music for your dog (2:25)
03. The night was clear, the moon was yellow (0:12)
04. Where is the bar, Clay? (2:11)
05. Caligula's suite in horror minor (1:37)
06. My grandmother likes Andy Williams, too (2:20)
07. We don't like it either (0:46)
08. Last train to Rhythmania (5:06)
09. ... and the producer got mad (2:44)
10. Glove story (2:33)
11. Laughin' people - meanwhile starvin' children (1:30)
12. Nothing's holy (5:26)
13. Concerto for elevator (2:20)
14. War business is a good job (5:12)
15. To end or not to end (1:18)

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

Ladies and gentleman, please attach your seatbelt as we expect a storm of madness, a hurricane of notes and a typhoon of progressive rock for the duration of the flight disc. Please note that there are no parachutes aboard this plane and you can jump but at your own risk, however for those brave (or crazy enough) to hang on till the dénouement, we have a one way ticket to the Hotel Progifornia - you will never want to check-out and leave your wallet to the first bum on the street.

Right from the first track you will know that you are in a special ride with the classical being superseded by a screaming Zeppelin-esque guitar. Some 15 short tracks (only three of them above the 3 minute mark and them three just barely over 5 min), most of them linked to each other will take you in a gigantic swirl of sounds, an endless barrage of tempo changes and strange time signatures.

While not really RIO or not being jazz-rock either, the feel is somehow a bit Canterbury (the humour certainly is), but I chose to place them in Avant-prog. To actually tell you which track are the best or most representative is almost impossible as all these tracks are fairly de-structured (it is still relatively simple when you have a CD at hand, but I pity the ones having bought the vinyl, trying to find out where the hell they are on the album. Clearly the structures evolved Zappa's Mothers albums even if they do not sound the same. Only the relatively structured Last Train To Rhythmania can actually give you a hint of how the album is progressing. The aptly titled "..And The Producer Got Mad" (I think I can understand why even if I could eventually guess is the he WENT mad ;-) is simply awesome, Glove Story finding the punch, to knock you on your arse. Nothing's Holy is another aptly titled track and might just be considered as the centrepiece of the album (a bit of Strauss) and the other stand out is War Business with its deadly bass line (and good guitar improvs) and short national anthems as interludes. Remember these guys, although a KB-lead trio, sound NOTHING like ELP, but a lot more towards Egg.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying, know you will be back and now welcome to Insanity Beach and it is only a very short swim to the desert island, where this album will be on your top ten.



  2. Recreation was next to Arkham probably the best known - more or less - early prog band from Belgium, trio - keyboard player Jean-Jacques Falaise, drummer Francis Lonneux, and guitarist Jean-Paul Van Den Bossche. In 1969 Barclay records released “Love Forever / Fallen Astronauts” (Barclay BLY 61665), a 7” from a band called RECREATION. This instrumental trio from the south was inspired by such bands as The Nice and Soft Machine. Their compositions were 100% based on keyboard melodies, although it was especially the b-side with his short guitar intro who created a buzz among lovers of psychedelic music. A year later they came up with a full album “Don’t Open…” (Triangle BE 920219) and then the press started to compare them with British successful trio Emerson Lake & Palmer, who also released their first lp around that time. Another two years later Recreation produced a second album “Music Or Not Music” (Barclay 920.356 T) leaving the ELP sound behind in favour of a very weird and experimental jazz-rock approach. Thanks to the addition of guitar on some songs (f.i. “Nothing’s Holy”) this lp was much more interesting for open minded rockers, than that one-dimensional first lp. The German label Bellaphon released both albums in Germany while in 2003 the Australian record label Progressive line gave them a CD release (PL 590).

    Their sound is dominated by heavy organ Hammond, bass, drums (and guitar,but only on the second album) Debut is somewhat similar to Nice and Rare Bird in conjunction with Trinity - Brian Auger - could be more varied. The second album is sensational! Short pieces are arranged in the form of an eclectic 40-minute suite,lots of sound effects, sudden changes in style and rhythm. Refreshment? recovery? To relax the music of the three is certainly not suitable, especially on her second and last album - "Music Or Not Music". One could translate directly but also Recreation. Since then came in recreating something out of it. Recreation created the music that is in any way new? In some way already. From well-known musical pieces from jazz, classical and rock, the three Belgians tinker together something quite own. Thus, the group takes its name quite rightly. Somehow, the whole thing is refreshing for that matter.

  3. Bass, drums and organ appeared on the 1971 debut album from Recreation hear. This is sometimes strange, text-less singing and in the background whispering, moaning and whimpering. Bass, drums and organ? No, according to The Nice, ELP, or even the music sounds not, although of course there are some phonetic similarities. More likely to make a sort of recreation of psychedelic jazz rock, or free organ prog, classic rock or edgy. The bass is booming usually quite sonorous then, jazzy or prancing around. The percussion makes for nimble rhythm. The focus of the music, however, is the organ. This may sound old-fashioned good times to the 60s, roars times almost hard rock, psychedelic billows or produced rather peculiar, electronically distorted, sometimes quite oblique soundscape and complex numbers, which radiate a strange slow, but at the same manic atmosphere psychedelic, yet rooted in the 60s and the music is a bit raw here. The former second side of the album take a three cover versions. "Summer In The City" by The Lovin 'Spoonful, "California Dreamin' by The Mamas & the Papas, and" Reach Out, I'll Be There "by the Four Tops to be taken by the Belgians as the shortage that even if the original always shines through clearly, something new emerges.

    Produced by Erick Van Huls, their sophomore release "Music or not Music" featured 15 tracks, many of them quite short and linked together in a continuing suite arrangement which made it difficult to figure out where some of the compositions started and stopped. With all three members sharing creative duties the all-instrumental set simply wasn't the lost classic slice of progressive magic some dealers would have you believe (the fact it was included in one of the Hans Pokora books merely added to the hype). The three members were all quite
    talented, but the majority of attention seemed focused on keyboardist Falaise. Musically this one was hard to adequately describe. The overall feel was progressive, but there were touches of jazz, conventional rock, outright experimentation, and even a playful, goofy side to some of the work. Nothing here was particularly commercial, toe tapping, or original, but for some odd reason it all seemed to hang together well.
    @Drago...good job!

  4. Wow, knew nothing of these guys! Amazing stuff....can't wait to give this a spin. Much obliged yet again, Drago!!!!