Sunday, November 13, 2016

ZNR - 1976 - Barricade 3

Barricade 3

Face « Serpent »
01. Proumier Assai Per S'Amourousis D'Un Moustre
I. Prélude Aux Mémoires D'Un Chien 0:48
II. Première Tentative 0:45
02. Trop De Douceur Ou Les Trois Soeurs: 2e Soeur 0:38
03. L'Armoire 1:37
04. Le Grand Compositeur Vu De Dos (4:50)
I. Boston Mexicain N° 1 2:35
II. Boston Mexicain N° 2 0:04
III. Boston Mexicain N° 3 1:10
05. La Pointe De Tes Seins Est Comme Un Pétale De Pavot
I. 1er Movement 3:25
II. 2e Movement 0:00
III. 3e Movement 3:40
06. Solo Un Dia 2:45
07. La Vieio Mostro: Part II 1:45
Face « Rat »
08. Espelisoun D'Uno Ribambello D'Evenimen Espetaclous Valentin Bilot 1:15
08. Armistice Couronné De Feuillages 2:23
10. Le Grand Compositeur Vu De Face 2:55
11. Seynete 3:45
12. Editioun Especialo D'Uno Griho De Jardin 5:35
13. Annie La Telie 0:03
14. Naïve Description De La Formation D'Un Sentiment 2:05
15. Avril En Suède

- Hector Zazou / synths, electric piano, bass, vocals, violin
- Joseph Racaille / piano, vocals, electric piano, violin
- Patrick Portella / clarinet, bass clarinet
- André Jaume / saxophone
- David Rueff / violin, flute
- Fernand d'Arlès / drums, percussion
- Gilly Bell / synths, violin

Originally released in France by Jean-Marc Bailleux and 'Isadora' in 1977.
Reissued in 1981 by Recommended Records as RR7.
Side A is called "Face Serpent"
Side B is called "Face Rat"
Comes in a quite thick plastic sleeve and includes a fold-out sheet with artwork [Drawing] by Don van Vliet [Captain Beefheart].
Early copies also include a small size insert with titles and graphics from the original cover.

ZNR was a Avant-Prog French duo that consisted of composer Hector Zazou and Joseph Racaille both on keys, vocals and on some guitars, reeds and violins by special guest musicians. The band played short, odd songs with bizarre titles similar to that of their main inspiration, Erik Satie. Their main style was that of a chamber rock band with quirky flourishes spread throughout their music. The duo released two albums, one in 1976 titled Barricade 3 and one in 1980 called Traite De Mecanique Populaire, before disbanding. Their first album was dominated by synth with their second was nearly entirely acoustic. They are highly recommended to fans of Samla Mammas Manna and the more unusual side of Chamber Rock.

ZNR was just the name of the French duo Hector Zazou/Joseph Racaille, both great keyboard players and composers.The project evolved after the demise of the Avant-Rock band Barricade, for which Zazou (then named Roquet Belles Oreilles) played bass and Racaille participated on the piano lines.The collaboration between the two musicians begun in 1975 and a year later ''Barricade 3'' (the album title refers to the two projects Barricade split into after disbanding with ZNR being the third one in line) sees the light, recorded at the Studio of Gilly Bell in Ventarben in January and released on Isadora Records.

The album shows the desire of the two musicians to produce some dreamy, deep and highly intellectual musicianship, influenced by the fundamentals of Chamber and Electronic Music as well as Jazz, for which they were helped by several musicians on violin, clavinet and sax parts with just a lone guitar/rhythm section appearance.The original release was split into two pieces, ''Face Rat'' (side A) and ''Face serpent'' (side B), offering some very esoteric minimalistic atmosphere, always driven by the Zazou/Racaille duo and their performances on pianos and analog synths like the VCS3 and the ARP 2600, under a very Chamber/Electronic mood.Most of the short pieces included in the album features an occasional appearance of either violins, clavinets or saxes, making the sound very close to the RIO movement of the time.Some of them even contain vocals (sung either by Zazou or Ricaille) in a tremendous poetic and very French way.Just a few of them sound rather dull, as if coming out of an 80's computer game, due to the monotonic beats and the sometimes surrealistic sound of synths.

The description of the album might suggest a very abstract and free-approached release, but the truth is ZNR's ''Bariccade 3'' is a rather tight and flat album with no particular mood changes and the minimalistic approach of Zazou and Racaille has often plenty to offer, if you are into this stuff.Overall recommended.