Thursday, January 14, 2016

Francois Breant - 1979 - Sons Optiques

Francois Breant 
1979 
Sons Optiques


01. Les journaux annoncent le guerre Generique 3:37
02. Vacances a Concorneau 3:04
03. De retour a Paris 4:09
04. Scenes de foule et de pursuite pendant le Carnaval 3:52
05. Dilemme de Jeanne au restaurant Chinois 4:01
06. Survol del Rio 3:07
07. Et retrouvailles avec Bruno 9:41
08. Baiser au crepuscule et Fin 4:14
09. Les souffleurs de Verre* 3:50
10. L'age d'or a Montlhery* 5:27

Francois Breant / piano & digital keyboards;vocalizes
Eric Letournex / alto saxophone
Jean-Luis Chautemps / tenor saxophone
Albert Marceur / percussion
Emmanuel Lacordaire / drums & percussion
Guy Delacroix / bass
Pascal Arroyo / bass
Didier Lockwood / violin
Marc Perru / guitar



François Bréant is one of those unavoidable characters around the French music industry having been around for soo long that many cannot imagine the scene without him. Indeed in the late 60's he was the keyboardist of CRUCIFERUS that recorded the legendary and dark A Nice Way Of Life (now one of the most sought-after French record) along with future Magma Bernard Paganotti. He was then found playing with the later days ERGO SUM (again with marc Perru) then with the jazz-rock NEMO group (not the modern neo band) in 73. He often played with many MAGMA members on different projects but never actually played with the group itself. During the second part of the 70's he became one of the main back up to French singer BERNARD LAVILLIERS whose poignant texts and lyrics as an ex-convict and true leftist rebel figure made him somewhat of a cult figure on the French scene, even when Lavilliers got interested in Brazilian music. In the late 70's, Bréant profited from a break in Lavilliers' career to record two solo albums filled to the brim with KBs and electronica and the unavoidable Zeuhl overtones , the first one (mainly through ALBET MARCOEUR's help) is often close to RIO, while the second is much more electronica-oriented.

Today, Bréant man still leads the band that backs Lavilliers with his friends of ever (Arroyo and Perru have been with Bréant since the Ergo Sum & Cruciferus days) and they certainly are accounting for a lot of the singer's continuing success. Bréant has also signed many music of films theatre plays and ballets and works as an arranger of many French and African stars, the best known being Salif Keita (Mali)

Bréant's first solo album came after years of being around the French prog scene, an dit was recorded with his usual partner in crimes, Perru, Arroyo and Lacordaire, but a few added high-profile "guests" like Didier Lockwood and Albert Marcoeur. Both his albums claim links between sound and visuals. Sons Optiques is a difficult to classify oeuvre because it touches soooo plenty of styles of music, that none seem to be a perfect fit on your shelves. Personally I would put this one not too far from Zeuhl and RIO, but then again the jazz rock and symphonic prog labels re both applicable. Both albums were issued on the very collectible EGG label. Bréant will play an array of keyboards, but will favour many times the piano over synths. Bréant's albums might also be reminiscent of JP Goude's or Wideman's records
Recorded in the famous Hérouville Chateau and produced by master producer Laurent Thibault, Breant's Sons Optiques is anything but accessible, although some passages might appear ridiculously easy. But many of the tracks are pushing RIO-like, the opening one, even ogling towards Univers Zero. There is a fairly constant Zeuhl reminder (although not quite as much as in the follow-up VEL), but what gets this album's special feel is the incredible mix of influences, a bit like what you'll find on producer Laurent Thibault's album later that year. The concept throughout the album is a sound description of different stages in a child's life during the WW2 and was set as an original soundtrack for an imaginary film Succès De Foule is an incredible track that comes very close to Isao Tomita's very early works on Snowflakes Are Dancing and the closing Baiser Au Crépuscule is almost Henry Tomita Cow-esque.

Added on are two early 80's tracks that have been reworked in 01, for the release of this album. How much were these two track rewritten is anybody's guess, but they do sound out of context with the rest of the album, even if it's clear it isn't the same recording sessions. Souffleurs De Verre is very much a piano piece while the Montlhéry track has an almost semi-dance groove. Nothing horrible, but not bringing in added value on the original album. Much recommended..

3 comments:




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