01. A few reasons to stay, a few reasons to split (14:28)
02. Barcelona tango (2:38)
03. Schizo (20:12)
Pascal Comelade - All instruments & electronics
Richard Pinhas - Guitar
(No information about the instruments they played)
Released 1975 by Pôle Records LP (0008)
Continuing on the prog electronic route, I thought I'd say a few words about Pascal Comelade. This guy has travelled the musical worlds in search of everything from avant guarde noises and spectral cave atmospheres to the laid back floating castle soundtracks that would have even the most grumpy of panthers lulling off to a sedate and relaxing dream-world.
Fluence is his first album, and even if the information is pretty scarce concerning who played what - the strange and levitating feel of this album almost certainly eradicates any further need for facts. I don't need anybody to tell me who's playing castanets on the second cut here - that's for damn sure!
Now coming off my recent Ragnar Grippe exploration - talking about originality in music, Comelade is perhaps the perfect successor in my line of reviewing, as he together with Igor Wakhevitch and Richard Pinhas spearheaded the French evolution of the progressive electronic movement. Sure it started in Germany with ominous slow space excursions, which furthermore fuelled the great big avant rock scene happening that we now call Krautrock (Which incidentally is one of the biggest reasons behind the electronic genre being here on PA methinks. It played a huge part in much of the rock experimentation happening all over Europe - as most of these guys were true pioneers on these fridge like instruments that most other musicians didn't know the first thing about - let alone how to get any sort of noise out of.), but as the sounds of the moog and synth were adapted into common practice all over Europe, the genre suddenly unfolded itself to be much wider and more complex than what most people think it was and is.
The first cut here called A few reasons to stay, a few reasons to split is one of the most eerie pieces of music I've heard in a long while. Consisting of these floating levitating organs that hover slowly over the ground - like a majestic bird of prey caught in a glitch in the matrix - forever multiplying, rotating, going back to the point where they started, - they act as something airy and intangible. Eerie, wafting organ sculptures that to some people may come off sounding rather monotonous, but once caught in the upwinds of these electronic tailwinds, something just happens, and I personally feel entranced and hypnotized to the point where I loose myself - forget my name and just float away like a small leaf in a draft. I always think of Franco Battiato's strange micro tonal Sequenze e frequenze, whenever I listen to this. Joined at the hip, France and Italy are - even if they aren't aware of it...
Then comes the middle track which acts as something of a clown. A sonic comedian suddenly popping up between two giants - washing out the distinct taste of birds and winds in your mouth - now ready for a whole new thing, with clear and refreshed taste buds. It is no more than a twee Spanish tango, but it fulfils its purpose - getting you ready for the dramatic ending.
On the last track, we are treated to the delicate sounds of Richard Pinhas - kindly dropping by to fiddle around with his guitar. Funny thing is, that most of you people out there who have listened to this man play guitar, you're probably not going to describe his talents and way of approaching said instrument as delicate. I know I wouldn't. This is why I was completely caught off guard by the overt tranquillity of this piece. Named Schizo - lasting about 20 minutes of your life, this one safely takes you up, cradles you, rocks you back and forth with the gentle touch of a 100 mothers. The closest thing I can get to explaining the sound and feel of this thing, is stating just how much I'm reminded of the love scene in Zabriskie Point - y'know the Antonioni movie, where two youngsters roam around in the desert to the smooth and sensuous sounds of Jerry Garcia's guitar. If you know this scene, then imagine the music being incorporated into these light and beautiful electronic textures, and you effectively get Schizo. I love this track. I love it I love it I love it!!!!!
Recommended not only to the prog electronic nuts out there, but also to fans of gentle experimenting music, that seems to be the safest way for us humans to fly with all the grace and beauty of a soaring bird. This is beautiful stuff, and had it not been cluttered up by the small clown in the middle, it would have gained a masterpiece status from yours truly.