Thursday, August 17, 2017

EGBERTO GISMONTI ‎– Sonhos de Castro Alves (1982, LP, Brazil)

Egberto Gismonti has brought the sophisticated classical music to the folkloric and popular sphere. There are few Brazilian Musicians who have achieved the same level of international recognition that Egberto Gismonti has. His experiences in merging the folkloric Brazilian background to the language of classical music have attracted many enthousiasts, mostly in Europe. In spite of his international success, Egberto hasn't forgot his home land. As a matter of fact, he helps us carrying our culture beyond our wildest dreams. It is all there inside his recordings, his performances. When you listen to Gismonti, you can actually see what he has gone through, his childhood in the peaceful village of Carmo, his days in the Xingu indians territory, his family and his insights from so many years of carreer and travelling... (continue)

Sonhos De Castro Alves
was composed by Gismonti for a contemporary ballet show from Bahia. This LP was distributed only during the shows and made in an ultra limited copies for promotional use only (it was made around 1.000 copies of this).
Side A

Side B

Egberto Gismonti: piano, synthesizer
Mauro Senise: flute, sax
Silvio Mehry: 2 piano on 'Teatro'
Zeca Assumpcao: contrabass
Nene: drums, percussion
Pepe Castro Neves: voice
Dulce Bressane: voice
Songs written by: Egberto Gismonti
エレクトロニクスとの融合を果たし、さらなる無限の音響景色に漕ぎだした『Fantasia』と同年に録音されるも、業務用のプロモ盤のみが少数制作されただけで一般向けには発売されなかった幻の一枚。内容は、奴隷解放を叫んだ19世紀ブラジルの詩人、Castro Alvesを取り上げた現代バレエの劇伴音楽。全体を厚く覆うアブストラクトな響きの煙霧に、土俗的なパーカッションや、壊れた回転木馬みたいな曲芸アンサンブルの断片が現れては消えていく夢の世界。そんな揺れ動く音像にミニマルなピアノの調べが浮遊する後半にかけては、もう完全に夢の向こう側といった趣き。舞台風景を写したインナースリーヴ付き。大推薦盤!

Quality Rip

LA MAISON DU JARDINIER - s/t (1980, LP, Belgium)

La Maison du Jardinier was the project of Belgian pianist Jean-Luc Saucin, who wrote all compositions and arrangements on their unique, self-titled LP. The band included jazz and folk musicians from various horizons as well as underground activists Alain Neffe and Ernest Hembersin (Cortex, Bene Gesserit, Human Flesh). The style is comparable to other avantgarde Belgian jazz à la Univers Zéro or Julverne, that is: playful, pastoral jazz with elaborated arrangements, great melodies and top-notch interprets, not unlike some of the best Willem Breuker’s Kollektief records of the 1970s. The use of vintage synthesizer adds a unique touch, sometimes close to psych-rock or kosmische musik. It seems Alain Neffe contributed to the last track only, imitating wind on synthesizer and “sea-gull squawks” on vocoder – the latter effort did not make it to the final mix, though. La Maison du Jardinier’s LP was produced by Daniel Sotiaux, Igloo’s regular sound engineer at their inception. In fact, Igloo Records was the merging of two Brüssels, Belgium, independent labels from the 1970s. Launched in 1978 by Sotiaux, Igloo first published sound poetry and avantgarde composers like John Van Rymenant and Jacques Bekaert. Then around 1980, Igloo incorporated the activities of a jazz label called LDH and Daniel Léon became the manager. Note the mention on the record’s label: ‘I declare this record free from any copyright. Public performance, broadcasting and copying allowed when source mentioned’. Thanks to Alain Neffe for first hand information.(Continuo's)
Side A
A1 En Mâchant Des Carottes (2:00)
A2 Gaviotte (2:40)
A3 Un Taon Par Poire (1) (3:35)
A4 Un Taon Par Poire (2) (0:30)
A5 Baragouinage (2:30)
A6 Boulette (4:20)
A7 Souisaïde Rocker (3:40)

Side B
B1 Intervalles En Hutte (1) (7:05)
B2 Intervalles En Hutte (2) (4:25)
B3 L’Escargot Amoureux (0:35)
B4 Body Love (4:40)

Jean-Luc Saucin: piano, electric bass, synthesizer
Jean-Michel De Graeve: alto saxophone
Philippe Saussez: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Jean-Pol Danhier: trombone
Adelsson De Friese: flute
René De Smaele: trumpet, bugle
Ernest Hembersin: guitar
Alain Neffe: synthesizer, vocoder
Daniel Saintes: electric bass
Jean-Pol Ganty: voice
Frank Vandersteen: drums

LP released by Igloo, IGL005, Belgium, 1980

Sunday, August 13, 2017

ENNIO MORRICONE‎ - Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977, ITALY)

John Boorman had a hard act to follow when he made Exorcist II: The Heretic. It’s fair to say that he didn’t do very well, with the resulting movie being savaged by critics and widely hated by audiences. Ennio Morricone had a hard act to follow, too – the first film’s eclectic mix of Mike Oldfield and Krzyzstof Penderecki quickly becoming nothing short of iconic – but he fared somewhat better, in one of his first mainstream Hollywood scores. He produced a core of excellent, highly varied themes and seemed to understand what needed doing better than pretty much anyone else involved with the film. The popular album has been released on CD before but has been out-of-print for a while, so this new issue from Perseverance Records (at a good price, too – lower than is usually charged by most of the speciality film music labels for straight reissues) is a welcome one.

The album opens with the spectacularly gorgeous “Regan’s Theme”, a seductively beautiful poppish piece for female vocalist and small orchestra. But this is an eclectic score (and album), and things transform completely in “Pazuzu”, a sort of crazed version of African tribal music. The terrific “Interrupted Melody” has that slightly off-kilter beauty that Morricone has done so well, so often. “Little Afro-Flemish Mass”, perhaps the greatest track title there’s ever been on a soundtrack album, is an unsettling, occultish piece for all sorts of weird and wonderful instruments and vocalists. There’s also the great “Magic and Ecstasy”, pure instrumental rock, a classic from a composer who’s provided no shortage of those. Indeed, the whole album is just fantastic, worthy of a place in any soundtrack collection – it showcases Morricone’s gifts at creating gorgeous melody alongside his ability to compose genuinely unsettling music, but despite the dominance of the latter, everything remains completely listenable throughout.

Friday, August 11, 2017

AMOEBA SPLIT - Dance Of The Goodbyes (2010, Spain)

As paradoxical (or even absurd) as it may sound, speaking of Canterbury jazz-prog made in A Coruña, a major city at the North Eastern coast of Spain, in the 21st Century is, indeed, a matter of fact, an actual reality - its specific name is AMOEBA SPLIT. Formed in late 2001 after the demise of the psychedelic rock group RAMA LAMA FAFAFA, AMOEBA SPLIT was born with an aim to deliver an adventurous progressive rock approach in the marginal side of Galicia's rock scene. The subsequent additions of musicians in charge of sax and flute determined that the new band had to be headed toward a jazz-rock orientation, which in turn became a Canterbury-ish feel in no small degree influenced by SOFT MACHNE, MATCHING MOLE and HATFIELD & THE NORTH. February 2003 was the time when AMOEBA SPLIT recorded and released a self-produced demo, which comprised tracks. Instrumental developments are band's forte, but still there's room for sung tracks (with English lyrics), whereby vocals are delivered by the female flutist. 
A number of troubles and inconveniences emerged throughout the years, including line-up changes and sabbathical periods without performing live. Luckily, the remaining members' sustaining will and involvement in other projects enabled old and new members to keep themselves busy and inspired, which resulted in inspiration for writing new tracks and rearranging the already existing 3 tracks from the aforesaid demo. In 2007, the band entered the studios and ultimately managed to work on it intermittently for 3 years: September 2010 saw the release of the band's proper debut album "Dance of the Goodbyes". Guitarist/violist Martín BLANES had left the band by the time the album was still in the recording process, hence making the band a quintet, but still the band was itself capable of showing its enhanced energy across the album's overall mood. This album is such a big, pleasant surprise in the current progressive scene that continues to develop and maintain in Spain. Progarchive

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ANAID ‎– Four Years (1991, France)

Four Years
French group created in 1981 and disbanded in 1990. Reformed in 2013.
Anaïd was created in the north of France by Jean-Max Delva, Emmanuelle Lionet and Christophe Delvallé, playing in small local bars and clubs. In 1983, when Delvallé left and guitarist Patrice Meyer and keyboardist Patrick Morgenthaler join, the band began playing bigger venues and festival, sometimes with prestigious guests like Didier Malherbe (ex Gong) and Frank Cardon (ex-Art Zoyd).
Their first recording in 1986 adds new members Sophia Domancich and Hugh Hopper, but in concert, they were trimmed down to a duo (Delva and Lionet), a trio (with Hopper) or a quartet (with Hopper & Pape Dieye). In 1988 Pierre-Marie Bonafos, Christian Hossaine and Jean-Marc Houssepian join the group, and record the album "Belladona".
In 1989, a new line-up is constituted, with core members Delva and Lionet with Rick Biddulph, J-L.Ditsch and P-M.Bonafos. They play a lot of concerts throughout 1989 and 1990 before disbanding.
In 2013 Emmanuelle Lionet and Jean-Max Delva start the band again in a trio form, with their son Alexis Delva on guitar. They soon expand to a quartet inviting bassists Laurent Feix then Jimmy Chauteau (in 2015). In 2016, bassist Ludovic Métayer joins Anaïd as full member of the band, who records their new album "Libertad".

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Azalia (4:45)
2. Belladonna (9:20)
3. Arabesque (5:40)
4. Vêtue De Noir (7:15)
5. Ikebana (4:40)
6. Heartbreak (4:20)
7. Spa (7:15)
8. Nord-Sud (4:40)
9. Clémentine (5:05)
10. Sea And Saw (5:20)

Line-up / Musicians
Jean-Max Delva / vibraphone, drums, percussion
Emmanuelle Lionet / vocals
Rick Biddulph / bass, guitar
Pierre-Marie Bonafos / saxophones [ alto, soprano & tenor]
Jean-Luc Ditsch / drums
Christian Hossaine / drums
Jean Marc Houssepian - acoustic bass
Hugh Hopper / bass
Patrice Meyer / electric guitar
Patrick Morgenthaler / keyboards
Sophia Domancich / piano

Anaid is composed of Emmanuelle Lionet (vocals), Jean-Max Delva (vibraphone), former Soft Machine member, (and Canterbury legend) Hugh Hopper (bass), Patrice Meyer (guitar), a keyboard player and a drummer. Their music has been compared to the first ZAO and to COS because of the powerful female vocalist, and sometimes to Gong (Expresso II period) because of the preponderance of vibraphone as well as the specific "tonal harmonies and melodies." They have also been linked to National Health regarding their thematic complexities, the swift and frequent breaks, and the often lush sonic atmosphere.
Anaid released two albums, Vêtue De Noir in 1986, and Belladonna in 1989. Both of these LPs were re-released on a CD compilation by the AYAA label France in 1991, entitled Four Years (Vêtue De Noir was included in part, and the complete Belladonna). Progarchive: 

AnteNata ‎– AnteNata (2005, Italy)

The Italian group Antenata approaches songwriting, chamber rock, sound poetry and electroacoustic improvisation from an oblique perspective. Interferences. Lyrics inspired by the experiences of contemporary female poets. Definitely a document of the late-'90s Italian new music current. The group evolved from a meeting between Sabina Meyer and Daniela Cattivelli. Their original intention was to give musical life to the poems of a few female poets who have led unusual lives: Ingeborg Bachmann, Patrizia Cavalli, Marina Cvetaeva, Meret Oppenheim, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Patrizia Valduga and Simone Weil. The project started out as a duo but soon grew to a sextet and included musicians who, in the early '90s, were actively involved in drawing international attention to the Italian non-academic experimental music scene. This music cannot be confined to a single genre; its influences crisscross between progressive rock, contemporary music, jazz, improvisation, and electronic music." Ambiances Magnetiques