Monday, August 15, 2016

Dedalus - 1974 - Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico

Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico

01. Rumore Bianco 0:31
02. Emergenza 6:40
03. Discorso Su Due Piani 2:51
04. Spazio Di Sei Note 5:30
05. Esserci 7:15
06. La Bergera, Da Un Cante Popolare Anonimo 1:53
07. Con Più Frequenza 2:46
08. Accordanza 7:32
09. Improvvisazione Per Violoncello, Sassofono Tenore, Batteria E Percussioni 8:28

- Fiorenzo Bonansone / cello, piano, Fender piano, voice, accordion, synthesizer, Soprano ocarina, electric mandolin, plastubofono, bottle
- Marco Di Castri / Tenor & Soprano saxophone, guitars, harmonica, flute, Moroccan oboe, Plastubofono with reed, voice
- Enrico Grosso / drums, percussion, noise (1-6, 10-14)

Well one thing is for sure. DEDALUS showed on their debut album that they were certainly open-minded and willing to take risks and experiment but absolutely no one, especially the jazz-rock-fusion fans of their debut could have seen this one coming. For some reason, DEDALUS decided it was time to move on after one album of primo jazz-fusion workouts and go to even stranger pastures. In this case they took on a real career killer and tackled musique concrète and pointillistic surrealism. The result is an album that gets almost universally panned for it sounds absolutely nothing like the debut and i can only imagine how many jazz-fusion lovers over the years have fallen for the debut only to scratch their heads after listening to this one!
Part of the situation was that the bassist Furio De Castri parted ways after the debut. Instead of the sensible decision of replacing him, the remaining four members decided to let their freak flag unfurl full staff and really go for it in the experimental department which pretty much destroyed all momentum they had built and pretty much ended their musical credibility. Instead of syncopated jazz rhythms mixed with solo tradeoffs and spaced out freak outs, we get a series of clanging cans, breaking bottles, piano sweeps and various other noises such as cats meowing, operatic meanderings and whacked out outbursts. There are still traces of jazz here and there with drum rolls, sax runs and even violins but they appear sporadically. There are also scant outbursts of melodies that are fleeting but nonetheless present themselves.

For anyone to enjoy this they must really have had some exposure to some of the avant- garde music of the 50s and 60s. There reminds me a lot of John Cage and his surrealist musical vision and the strange musique concrète of Edgar Varèse but most of all i get a Karlheinz Stockhausen vibe whose pointillistic musical impressionism is the main focus here. Like a good impressionalist painter, DEDALUS paints sonic textures with bloops and bleeps and scant traces of an underlying motif. I like to think of this in general as a ride in a canoe with the chaotic swirls and eddys of water that surround the canoe as the main focus that lead to an underlying object but only as indirect evidence that has to be mounted to come to the final conclusion.

Yes, this is ridiculously convoluted and complex and most listeners will not give this the time of day, but i personally find this kind of music stimulating on rare occasions. I think of this as the musical equivalent to those rare nutrients that the body needs like molybdenum that are only needed in the smallest of doses but yet are essential for the overall health of an organism. There is something about listening to this on the rare occasion that is kind of like defragging your computer. It just kind of makes melodic music sound better! Maybe i'm just a disturbed individual for finding any joy in this whatsoever, but being familiar with the avant-garde classical artists that preceded has aided in my understanding. Admittedly, WTF were these guys thinking?!!! This pretty much ended a promising career and they should have at least put out a couple more stellar jazz-fusion releases before doing anything this alienating to their fans.

As a litmus test you can ask yourself if you can tolerate Area's "Caos" from Maledetti and if the answer is yes, then you can take that track and make a whole album out of it and it will give you a hint of what's going on here. I certainly wouldn't call this essential but this certainly is more than random noise going on. Like the invisible canoe on the flowing stream that creates wakes and hydrologic distortions, this music is the impression of an underlying unheard musical structure that demands your full attention and multiple listens to discern. There are occasional classical motifs that just briefly bubble up from the underworld. This album is tacked on to the end of remastered versions of the debut album. It may not be essential but is well worth it if it's a freebie and can satisfy one's utmost strangest musical urges when the mood hits, at least it does for yours truly.

Dedalus - 1973 - Dedalus


01. Santiago (9:13)
02. Leda (4:30)
03. Conn (3:48)
04. C.T.6 (14:02)
05. Brilla (5:39)

- Fiorenzo Bonansone / cello, electric piano, synthesizer
- Marco Di Castri / guitars, Tenor saxophone, percussion
- Furio Di Castri / bass, percussion
- Enrico Grosso / drums, percussion
- Rene Montegna from "AKTUALA" / African percussion

DEDALUS - not to be confused with another Italian 'DEDALUS' who mix folk with jazz - were a most enterprising 70's jazz-rock quartet from Turin who still keep a high public profile among collectors. Evoking SOFT MACHINE but with an emphasis on keyboards, they use the violin, synthesizer, guitar, sax, cello, bass and drums; their style is more experimental and spacer than other Italian jazz-rock bands (KALEIDON, DUELLO MADRE, PERIGEO). After a first album in 1973, they lost their bassist and went on as a trio for a second album; they then lost their drummer and split up. In 1990, they reappeared for a third album that featured the original line-up minus the drummer. After many personnel changes, the keyboard player reformed the band under the name The BONANSONE DEDALUS GROUP who released a fourth album in 2004.

The eponymous first LP was their most SOFT MACHINE-like album, featuring some particularly spacey experimentation. "Materiale per Tre Esecutori e Nastro Magnetico" (1974) contains some highly complex music in a contemporary classical vein à la John Cage or Edgar Varese; it is also marked by a stronger use of electronics (no doubt due to the loss of their drummer). The privately released "Pia Visione" (1997) tried to revive the original spirit of the band but with a very minimalist approach. As for "Nomos Apache Alpha" (2004), it has a strong classical chamber music feel as it is mainly cello and flute based.

One of those 70's psychedelic treasures catching the essence of jazz rock with heavy grooves and hypno/experimental effects. The first track is a quick, electric jazz trip with abundant but linear guitar solos. Some nice keyboards parts accompany the jam. "Leda" is a floating jazzy tune with hyperactive psychedelic tones thanks to the use of amazing, atmospheric organ parts. The second part of the composition features a rather dreamy, spacey, evanescent soundscape punctuated by acid-psych bass grooves. "Conn" consists of improvisations with jammin' sax parts and really bizarre sound collages from a wide variety of instruments. "C.T.6" contains an elegant technical solo guitar sequence closed to Mc Laughlin's style. Not easy to approach for neophytes but highly recommended for convinced fans of jazz rock weirdo like Embryo and classic fusion jams from Miles Davis.

News From Babel - 1986 - Letters Home

News From Babel 
Letters Home

01. Who Will Accuse? (2:38)
02. Heart of Stone (3:04)
03. Banknote (3:19)
04. Moss (3:58)
05. Dragon at the Core (4:39)
06. Dark Matter (4:20)
07. Waited/Justice (5:09)
08. Fast Food (3:13)
09. Late Evening (4:58)

- Lindsay Cooper / bassoon, sopranino & alto saxes,
piano, other keyboards
- Chris Cutler / drums, electrics, percussion
- Zeena Parkins / harp, prepared & electric harps, accordion
- Dagmar Krause / vocals
- Sally Potter / vocals
- Phil Minton / vocals
- Bill Gilonis / bass, guitar
- Georgie Born / bass
- Robert Wyatt / vocals (1, 2, 4, 7 & 9)

This is such a wonderful album. The MOOD is what gets me. Song after song -- sobering melancholy. Woodwinds, brilliant drum work, and harp. The whole thing feels like winter, alone. A night before the fire in a wooden cabin at the world's end. Robert Wyatt's presence really helps.
"This life is bare and cold, and I am old and tired of truth," he sings. "Must we forever make our history in this cold country?" Nuclear snowflakes have already fallen. (Who Will Accuse).

"The Hearts of Stone" rocks a bit more, sounding a bit more like Art Bears. Some exotic-ish dance music also ekes in, along with klezmer & a bit of cabaret. Not as touching as the opener, but it'll do.

"Banknote" employs a Clavinet and features a new singer. "I nailed a banknote to a tree, but it did not nourish me..." Here a theme of environmental investigation begins, with the alienated individual searching the forest for meaning.

"Moss" continues this search. These are Chris Cutler's best lyrics. When Robert Wyatt sings "I was not deceived" like the most disappointed Man on Earth, you know that God is Dead. The outro features piano with harp accompaniment, bringing back memories of a childhood when things used to MATTER.

The subject matter changes completely on "Mass," a funky number featuring Clavinet bass lines and harp-plucking accompaniments. Bits of this song could work well as sampled hip-hop beats. The male singer sounds very cool, and the texts focus on one of Cutler's favorite "Science"-type subjects -- the Black Hole. The ending speed-up is excellent.

"Dark Matter" is a nifty waltz & another "Science" number. If it sounds a bit off-kilter, it's because the gravity was deflected by unseen forces. I like it.

Robert Wyatt appears again for "Waited," a return to the melancholic feel of the earlier tunes (no more "Science" for this album, ah!). It is a studied Dirge, interrupted at intervals for a flurry of percussion, melodic saxes, and other things. The ending takes its sweet time plodding along in true Dirge style.

"Fast Food" chronicles what I do every day for lunch, eating alone at Arby's, wearing headphones, and satisfied. I love these lyrics. The music is at first mysterious, becoming rock n' roll, then klezmer, and back again in a cycle.

The final song acts as the closer - soft and mysterious - mystical. Sadly, it's not that great -- the pace is very tentative, the lyrics are pretty overwrought, and it seems to wander aimlessly much of the time. But the finale seems to bring everything together as Dagmar's voice is replaced by Robert's. I don't know what it means -- but it sounds powerful.

This is definitely News from Babel's best album, the first being far too heavy-handed. Here, in a much more emotional landscape, their beauty flourishes.

News From Babel - 1983 - Sirens And Silences / Work Resumed On The Tower

News From Babel 
Sirens And Silences / Work Resumed On The Tower

Sirens and Silences:
01. Odysseus (2:56)
02. Auschwitz/Babel (4:07)
03. Klein's Bottle (3:17)
04. Black Gold (3:09)
05. Devils (1:16)
06. Dry Leaf (2:51)

Work Resumed on the Tower:
07. Arcades (of Glass) (7:44)
08. Victory (5:19)
09. Anno Mirabilis (4:08)

- Lindsay Cooper / bassoon, sopranino & alto saxes, piano, other keyboards
- Chris Cutler / drums, electrics, percussion
- Zeena Parkins / harp, preoared & electric harps, accordion
- Dagmar Krause / singing

- Phil Minton / singing, trumpet
- Bill Gilonis / bass, guitar
- Georgie Born / bass

Not exactly a band in the traditional sense, NEWS FROM BABEL were a studio project that combined the talents of woodwin player Lindsay Cooper (HENRY COW), American harpist Zeena Parkins, and drummer Chris Cutler as well as vocalist Dagmar Krause (both from ART BEARS). Being direct descendants of these RIO bands, their style is very much 'out there' although not as wild or intense. Coming together after HENRY COW's dissolution in 1978, the foursome released a couple of albums and then broke up in 1986.

Very much in the RIO tradition, both albums are filled with energetic and playful cacophony, unusual chord progressions, odd-time signatures (where drummer Cutler's distinctive style shines), vocal squeals and shrieks, but also unexpected sensuous and fluid passages that take on chamber music-like tones, all nicely complemented by Zeena Parkin's harp. Their first release, "Sirens and Silences/Work Resumed on the Tower", features guest Phil Minton whose unusual voice goes hand in hand with the radical/political nature of the lyrics. On their second album, "Letters Home", Robert Wyatt handles most of the vocals with the occasional contribution by Minton, Dagmar Krause and newcomer Sally Potter. All music was written by Cooper, all lyrics by Cutler.

Their type of RIO could appeal to a wider audience but the ones most likely to appreciate are fans of HENRY COW and especially ART BEARS.

NFB can be consider as Henry Cow Mk4, Slapp Happy Mk3 or Art Bears Mk2, as the continuation between the projects is rather obvious and even constant. Taking off where Art Bears left off, the appearance of Bostonian Zeena Parkins has changed the musical bents as well. With the debut album SAS/WROTT (made from two chapters), Dagmar Krause's voice is a strong reminder and link to art Bears but inevitable Slapp Happy as well. In the second album, Letters Home, Robert Wyatt takes the main vocals duties and is doubled by Sally Potter. But of course this project is yet another spin-off from Henry Cow's wind and keys mistress Lindsey Cooper (the lone composer) and percussion master Chris Cutler (the lyricist). The music is severe yet playful, cacophonous but also unexpectedly sensuous at times, abusing unusual chord progressions and odd-time signatures, shrieky vocal squeals to make haunting chamber music, nicely complemented by Zeena Parkin's harp.
The first part of the album, Sirens And Silences, is relatively difficult of access as NFB develops a somber chamber rock (not too far from Univers Zero) where unusual bassoon and sax-playing along with sometimes dissonant harp are setting the mood as cold and rigid and an almost-medieval tinge, reinforced by the mostly-acoustic instruments. Krause's vocals are not really helping either (especially given Cutler's strongly aware lyrics), as I was never a fan of her timbre as well as the type of singing she chooses. Work Resumed On The Tower is a much better (and more riveting) piece, with a wider musical scope and often brinks on the dissonant, while never really overstepping the borderline. Arcades Of Glass (incredible tension from the harp) and Anno Mirabilis (some finally exciting singing and its extreme sax wind-extracting as background) while Victory uses some greater musical dynamics as they enter Eastern European gypsy folk. This debut album ends much better than it started.

The ReR label has reissued both albums in a 2 on 1 retrospective, gave it illustrations (intriguing and appropriate drawings for the debut and haunting photos for the second) makes it the obvious acquisition. Please read the individual album reviews to get fuller impressions.

Richard Pinhas - 1982 - L'Ethique

Richard Pinhas 

01. L'Ethique Part 1 (6:21)
02. Dedicated to K.C. (6:57)
03. Melodic simple transition (4:14)
04. Belfast (5:00)
05. L'Ethique Part 2 (4:08)
06. The Western Wail Part 1 (7:46)
07. L'Ethique Part 3 (4:48)
08. The Western Wail Part 2 (4:31)
09. L'Ethique Part 4 (1:46)
10. Southbound (6:39)

- Richard Pinhas / guitars, synthesizers
- Georges Grunblatt / Minimoog (8)
- François Auger / drums (10)
- Clément Bailly / drums (2, 4, 6 & 7)
- Bernard Paganotti / e-bass (2, 4 & 6)
- Patrick Gauthier / Minimoog (2, 6 & 10)
- Jean Philippe Goude / Minimoog, percussion (1, 5 & 7)
- Gilles Deleuze / voice (1 & 7)

 I'm going to quote the Wayside Music site because they say it better than I can. "During a fairly incredible 7 year run that began in the mid 1970's, Richard Pinhas released a large string of influencial albums; 7 by HELDON and 5 under his own name, all of which attempted in one way or another to meld (Avant-garde) Rock music with Electronics. "L'Ethique" was his final release of that 12, recorded in 1981 and originally released in 1982. It was his final solo album before his musical retirement throughout the 1980's and it's one of his great "classic period" works. It also features the only studio recordings by the short lived Richard Pinhas Band.This group featured a great cast of musicians who had all previously played in MAGMA. Clement Bailly (drums), Patrick Gauthier (synthesizers) ( also of HELDON and WEIDORJE) , Bernard Paganotti (bass) (also of WEIDORJE) and Richard on electronics, synthesizes and guitar." I also would mention J. Philippe Goude (minimmog, percussion) and Francois Auger (drums) just because i'm big fans of both.Yes it would be another 10 years until we'd get another album from Pinhas after this one.
"L'Ethique (Part 1) has this electronic beat with bass and percussion as synths join in.The guitar comes in soloing around 3 minutes. It settles right down after 4 1/2 minutes and we get spoken word samples and atmosphere taking over. "Dedication To KC" opens with guitar as drums and bass join in. It turns KING CRIMSON-like before a minute and those angular guitar excursions kick in before 2 1/2 minutes.This really reminds me of BI KYO RAN. Intense stuff. It changes after 4 minutes as the intensity levels off then it picks back up before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Melodic Simple Transition" builds and we get an uptempo beat in an electronic soundscape. I like it ! "Belfast" has these different electronic sounds that come and go in a rhythmic pattern. Drums after a minute and bass too.This is so good as those electronics continue.The guitar after 2 minutes is lighting it up. "L'Ethique (Part 2)" sounds great with the guitar grinding away in the background. "The Western Wail (Part 1)" is minimoog crazy early on then the drums join in.This is uptempo with lots going on. Percussion too as the guitar joins in. It settles down before 5 minutes then the rhythm stops before 6 1/2 minutes as we get random drum patterns, guitar and more.

"L'Ethique (Part 3)" has these sounds that echo along with samples and atmosphere. It's getting louder and drums join in.It settles down around 4 minutes to a spacey mode. "The Western Wail (Part 2)" is dominated by synths. Beautiful stuff right here. "L'Ethique (Part 4)" is a short elecrtronic piece. "Southbound" is my favourite because they just rock out like a Metal band. The drumming from Auger is relentless as is the guitar from Pinhas. Gauthier is on bass here adding depth. A powerful and intense track.

An interesting album where those spacey soundscapes take a back seat as the guitar, drums and bass come to the fore.

Richard Pinhas - 1980 - East-West

Richard Pinhas 

01. Houston 69: "the crash landing" (5:41)
02. London: "sense of doubt" (2:48)
03. Kyoto: "Kyoto number 3" (2:55)
04. XXXXX: "la ville sans nom" (4:05)
05. Home: "Ruitor" (4:00)
06. New York: "West side" (3:39)
07. Paris: "beautiful May" (7:17)
08. Keflavik: "the whale dance" (3:04)
09. Houston 69: "Houston 69" (4:31)

- Richard Pinhas / guitars & electronics, Polymoog, Moog
- Georges Grunblatt / Polymoog
- François Auger / drums
- Didier Batard / e-bass
- Patrick Gauthier / Polymoog (1 & 7 & 9)
- Norman Spinrad / vocal & composition (1 & 9)
- Dominique E. / vocal (6)
- Steve Shehan / percussion (3)

For his last album of the 1970s, guitarist / provocateur Richard Pinhas incited a kinder, gentler form of musical dissent, just in time to exploit the dumbed-down expectations of a more accessible decade. It's not exactly techno-pop (although the song "West Side" comes uncomfortably close), but the album certainly represented a conscious effort to simplify the once radical manifesto of his erstwhile band HELDON.
Nine brief tracks (actually less: one was needlessly repeated) were squeezed into the album's 38-total minutes, with most of the cuts arranged in the radio-friendly four-minute range, including a DAVID BOWIE cover ("Sense of Doubt", from his "Heroes" album), and at least one misguided stab at the singles market. Needless to say, it was a major change of pace for an artist who only six years earlier had released an album appropriately titled "Électronique Guérilla".

A saving grace is the lack of digital instrumentation. Sampling technology would homogenize the music industry in the 1980s, but here the analog synths still retained their distinct character, and the textured rhythms even more so. "Sense of Doubt" carries its shambling beat in what sounds like a kitchen broom snagging on cheap linoleum; "Paris: Beautiful May" has a liquid castanet accent underneath its lilting synth melody and Fripp-like guitar sustains. (All the tracks, by the way, are identified geographically: New York, Kyoto, Paris and so forth. The Bowie song is linked to London, instead of the more obvious Berlin.)

And then there's "Houston 69", the only selection to feature an actual drummer: old comrade François Auger. But was the repetition of the track at the end of the album a makeshift bid for artificial closure, or compensation for the overall shortage of material? Maybe the song was included twice because it's the best thing here by far, with the restless momentum and alarming vocoder-vocals resembling a stripped-down, economically remodeled update of Heldon.

Elsewhere the album is synthetically repetitive, but in a too lazy and mechanical way. This isn't the hypnotic pulse of classic TANGERINE DREAM, although maybe Pinhas was simply dogging the footsteps of his German role models into the brave new commercial world of the 1980s.

Whatever his motivation, there's something a little disturbing about hearing such an outspoken musical agitator poaching on territory previously claimed by the likes of VANGELIS or JEAN MICHEL JARRE. But the lack of any real challenge at least has a silver lining: it's the perfect first step for newcomers to the more seditious discography of Pinhas and Heldon.

Richard Pinhas - 1979 - Iceland

Richard Pinhas

01. Iceland Part 1 (1:07)
02. Iceland Part 2 (9:38)
03. The last king of Thule (2:26)
04. Iceland Part 3 (7:46)
05. Indicatif radio (1:04)
06. The last king of Thule Part 2 (5:30)
07. Short transition (0:35)
08. Greenland (8:54)
09. Wintermusic (24:53)

- Richard Pinhas / guitars & electronics
- François Auger / drums (8)
- Jean Philippe Goude / Minimoog (8)

 This late '70s solo album by ambient synth pioneer Richard Pinhas may not be the coolest album hereabouts, but musically it's definitely one of the coldest: in terms of heat-loss reaching the absolute zero degree nadir of Progressive Electronics.
The best ambient music (as defined by ENO and others) is meant to be inseparable from its surrounding environment, and here's a perfect case in point. The inspiration for the album wasn't the tiny island nation in the North Atlantic, but a more general evocation of the light and space of higher latitudes, from Spitsbergen to Point Barrow by way of Siberia.

Part One of the divided title track sets the mood with a short series of chords hanging frozen in mid-air, setting up a shivering monotonic sequencer pattern overlaid like hoar frost with synth 'strings' and sound effects. Each note is so finely sustained that the actual warp of the master tape is audible, something I had always heard as a flaw in the vinyl until I upgraded to compact disc. Like the world it depicts the music is austere but beautiful, and seemingly untouched by human hands.

"The Last King of Thule" (the title references the mythical northernmost inhabited region of ancient Earth) reveals an altogether harsher landscape, with an urgent, almost industrial rhythm track and lots of atonal Fripp-like guitar soloing. A pair of shorter soundscapes (one of them a mere 35-second transition) won't provide you any relief from the chill, but a glorious exception to the album's arctic mood can be found in the final track, "Greenland": a wonder of simple yet hypnotic sequencers, real drumming (thank you François Auger), and lush orchestral synths, warm enough to melt the polar ice caps.

Even more impressive, and almost as long as the original LP, is the CD-only bonus "Wintermusic", a study in icy abstraction borrowing from the minimalism of FRIPP & ENO (two idols of Pinhas from early in his career). The length of the piece may look self- defeating, but give it time: there's a meditative calm at the heart of all the unending, overlapping drones, making a fitting extended epilogue to one of the more effective albums from the analog synth era.

Richard Pinhas - 1978 - Chronolyse

Richard Pinhas 

Variations Sur Le Theme de Bene Gesserit
01. Variation I (2:22)
02. Variation II (2:15)
03. Variation III (1:36)
04. Variation IV (1:44)
05. Variation V (1:35)
06. Variation VI (2:05)
07. Variation VII (4:33)
08. Duncan Idaho (6:12)
09. Paul Atreides (30:23)

- Richard Pinhas / synthesizers, Mellotron, guitar

Guest musicians:
- Didier Batard / bass (9)
- Francois Auger / percussion (9)

Credit with "Dedicate it to all the SF freak" has been described in this album that hits the second work of Richard Pinhus announced in 1978.
The musician and listeners of Prog Rock are guessed that the rate of the book on SF and the fan for material was high in the 70's.

It was an element that Pinhus's the having especially worked especially imagines internal space though a lot of material overflowed in the world including various stories as for the element of SF. It might have been a challenge to the world where not the element like the fantasy and the space opera, etc. but New Wave and cyberpunks were reminiscent.

It is originally quoted from the name of the stage that appears in "The Iron Dream" where Heldon by which he was working is drawn by Norman Spinrad. Whether the original world was sent to the world by catching music from the viewpoint of Kon a very Pinhus futuristic element if it thinks from such respect and uniting the sound of his violence guitar might be understood.

When this album was made, Pinhus obtained the idea from one work. "Dune" that hit the work of the representative of Frank Herbert was a work that had been written in 1965. Pinhus establishes the creation of the tune based on this work.

This work was a work that took various thought while drawing the human race's groping and evolution. "Paul Atreides" is a boy who corresponds to the hero of the story. And, "Duncan Idaho" is a military aide of the clan of Atreides. And, "Bene Gesserit" is a name of the race of the woman who has ESP.

It is a very reformative album that develops the composition of the tune with analog machine parts that makes "Rhizosphere" of the former work a radical further in the flow of his creation. And, it is a very popular album with a very high-quality work simultaneously in the work of his Solo album. And, the fact for which this album had been made before "Interface" is deep the interest.

Richard Pinhas - 1977 - Rhizosphère

Richard Pinhas 

01. Rhizosphere Sequent (4:50)
02. A Piece For Duncan (5:41)
03. Claire P. (4:47)
04. Trapeze/Interference (6:48)
05. Rhizosphere (17:51)

- Richard Pinhas / synthesizer, guitar
- Francois Auger / drums (5)

Electronic music pioneer and leader member of the legendary Heldon, Richard Pinhas also has a prolific career in solo. In 1977 e he released his first essay called "Rhizosphère" (whose name is inspired by G. Deleuze philosophy). The content is largely made of cerebral-obsessional electronic loops. Guitars are more discreet and the music is progressively getting more and more into a lysergic post-modern space odissey. The magnetic and seductive "Chronolyse" (1978) is a little classic and a good example of Richard Pinhas' hability to explore the complex droning quality of electronic sound textures. The hypnotic and entrancing "Events and Repetitions" (2002) can be considered as the French answer to Eno/Fripp collaboration in the minimalist ambient spectrum. The last opus "Metatron" (2006) perfectly combines Richard Pinhas guitar style (in the vein of Robert Fripp's weird manipulations) to sonic cyclical electronics. Outside of his solo career richard pinhas also founded the project «schizotrope» and released several CDs in collaboration with numerous artists such as Peter Frohmader (Fossil Culture, 1999), Pascal Comelade (Obliques Sessions II, 1999). Highly recommended for those who like sci-fi psych jamming, Heldon's propulsive neurotic-electronics and Eno/ Fripp duet.

'Rhizosphere' is machine music that sounds like it was recorded by one of those Drones from 'Tatooine' in 'Star Wars' in 1977.
Unlike his concurrent 'Heldon' band - there are no guitars used at all. This is purely electronic with a complete absence of vocals. 'Rhizosphere' displays all the technology and gadget twisting of 'Jean Michel Jarre' from the previous year with his groundbreaking 'Oxygene'. Thankfully it's mostly a lot darker in execution.

'A Piece for Duncan' verges on New Age Ambience in the style of Steve Hillages 'Rainbow Dome Musick'. Squeaks and bloops playfully doodle around the surface as a simple pretty echoing keyboard patters out a relaxing little tune.

Quite frankly, this whole album is far more listenable and pleasing than 'Heldon' to my weak and feeble ears that have been damaged beyond belief during the past 25 years of listening to 'difficult' music. As you can see it also displays a bizarre and wonderful front sleeve. It's meaningless, of course, but represents a surrealistic approach to the recording.

Swirling keyboards make up 'Claire P.' with a hypnotic and kaleidoscopic feel throughout. This is quickly followed by 'Trapeze Interference'. Being much darker and quite sinister, it's actually similar to early 80's Industrialists 'Konstruktivists' with its wind-tunnel, doom laden chords.

The 18 minute 'Rhizosphere' is a large slab of electronica played with a huge amount of heavily treated percussion, where every sound is squashed through electronic effects. Mostly 'flanger'. It is however, just a greatly expanded version of the excellent introductory track. It's all very 'Klaus Schulze' circa 1976. On a negative note, it gets too repetitive over it's lengthy duration with too few changes in direction to hold the listeners attention. The gradual but dramatic change in tempo is the only thing that warrants such a long track. Unfortunately it drags things down a bit.