Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ange - 1973 - Le Cimetiere des Arlequins

Le Cimetiere des Arlequins

01. Ces Gens-Là (4:47)
02. Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier (3:25)
03. Bivouac - 1ère partie (5:32)
04. L'Espionne Lesbienne (2:52)
05. Bivouac Final (3:02)
06. De Temps en Temps (4:08)
07. La Route aux Cyprès (3:18)
08. Le Cimetière des Arlequins (8:46)

- Christian Decamps / Organ Hammond, piano, lead vocal
- Francis Decamps / organ special effects, Mellotron, vocal
- Jean-Michel Brezovar / solo guitar, flute, vocal
- Gérard Jelsh / drums, percussion
- Daniel Haas / bass guitar, acoustic guitar

Ange's second album was released in 73 on the Phillips label, but apparently, the label didn't invest much money in the group's recording sessions and the album sounds muffled in places and downright catastrophically bad in others (at least on the first Cd reissue). With a wild artwork, Ange's unchanged line-up recorded seven mostly shorter songs (even if three tracks combine into an 11-mins mini-suite), and the closer being an almost 9 minutes title traxck. .
This starts with Jacques Brel's Ces Gens-Là, which is one of the best covers of any Brel cover song done prog or not (bar Bowie's version of Amsterdam) as they really understood how to put this in rock instrumentation, even if it isn't perfect. This will be their first hit but one thing is clear, the original Brel song was better produced than this obscure prog record. Another proof of poor production is the Ajourdhuis tracks, which sounds completely muffled. Other stand-out tracks are Espionne-Lesbienne sandwiched between the two Bivouac pieces, which forms an 11-mins suite, with the central piece being a corrosive text. The flipside starts on an average electric De Temps En Temps and follows it on an acoustic Route Des Cyprès and closing the album, last but not least, the title track. Indeed thismini-epic is the main reason to believe that Ange progressed from Caricatures and here the demented sombre track offers plenty of doom and sterangeitude.
As far as I am concerned, this is their best album, along with the debut, a fact that most Ange addicts will dispute me with Délire and Jacotey. I suggest that newcomers to Ange start with this one, being slightly less aggressive (in a good Ange way) as to not scare them away with the more bizarre debut Caricatures and then move on chronologically. If you can find a remastered version of these early Ange albums it might be a good idea.

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