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Right from the first track you will know that you are in a special ride with the classical being superseded by a screaming Zeppelin-esque guitar.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.

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),