Bal Pour Un Rat Vivant (16:34)
A1. Bandiera Rossa
A2. Los Cuatros Generales
A3. Elle Était Belle. Elle Aimait Bach Et Chopin. Et Les Beatles. Elle Était Très Intelligente. Et Mois Aussi
Le Bal Du Rat Mort (16:57)
B1. Hommage Au Maire De Tours (Hymne Pour Le Front De Libération Des Scatophages) (2:10)
B2. Petite Musique Pour Un Blockhaus (5:06)
B3. Pongistes De Tous Les Pays... D'après "La Ligue Anti-Prussienne" (2:22)
B4. Fou, Roi, Pantin - Suivi De: Pour Le Front De Libération Des Kiosques À Musique (7:02)
Francis Lemonnier / saxophone, vocals
Serge Catalano / drums, percussions
Michel Musac / guitar
Olivier Zdrzalik / bass, vocals, organ, piano
Pascal Chassin / guitar
Raymond Katarzynski / trombone
Pierre Thibaud / trumpet
Fred Gérard / trumpet
Joss Baselli / accordion
Jeanne de Valène / vocals
Important historical French underground from the early 1970's. The original band was established in May 1970 by Serge Catalano (drums), Francis Lemonnier (sax, vocals) both from Red Noise, along with Michel Musac (guitar), Olivier Zdralik (bass, vocal, keys) and Pascal Chassin (guitar). Numerous musicians passed through the band, including: Richard Aubert (violin) and drummers: Gilbert Artman and Michel Bourgheix.
Komintern were close in style to the early Maajun (Mahjun), and many other French Zappa inspired bands, with hints of East Of Eden, old folk and protest songs, satire and wicked invention, all in an extremely progressive concoction.
Historically seminal too, with Gilbert Artman forming Lard Free, Richard Aubert going on to Atoll and Kool Gool, and Olivier Zdralik becoming a key member of Malicorne.
This French band was founded by Francis Lemonnier (sax and vocals) and Serge Catalano (drums and percussions) in May 1970 after they left Red Noise due to musical and political disagreements. The name chosen gives you a clear indication as to their political views. The band released one album called "Le Bal Du Rat Mort" in 1971 and one single "Fou, roi, pantin" and were active until 1975. The musicians that joined them were Michel Musac (guitar), Olivier Zdrzalik (bass, vocals, organ and piano) and Pascal Chassin (guitar). At first they were less focused on composing only music but more on mixing it along with satiric theater - a sort of "cabaret satirique", in order to express their extreme left views. They used their music to enhance their message, and they did it in a manner that mixed several styles of music that would fit their show and the message to be passed on to the crowd/listeners. They were related to extreme left movements such as the "Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire" and they toured in the summer of 1970 in, among other places, universities and factories that were in strike.
In July 1971 they manage to get into a recording studio of Pathé Marconi with the help and influence of Philippe Constantin et Etienne Rodagil. They are joined by guests musicians such as the Quintette de Cuivres lead by trombonist Raymond Katarzynski, trumpet players Pierre Thibaud et Fred Gérard, Joss Baselli on accordion and vocalist Jeanne de Valène. The producer Philippe Constantin does some editing of their texts and leaves out two texts that were recited without any music and replaces the booklet which featured originally a painting by Diego Ribeira.
Le Bal Du Rat Mort (The Dead Rat's Ball) is released in December 1971 and 2000 copies are sold. This release did not exhibit the true face of the band, but it did however show their talent as musicians and as composers and ability to combine different influences. This album is a mixture of rock, free-jazz, fusion, folk, oldies tunes, chanson Francaise and a general theatrical and quirky approach to composing. The overall result is a well-done mixture of styles and atmospheres. This may not be groundbreaking but it is different than the average output of French bands at that time and can be seen as avant-garde in their musical approach in this album.
In 1972 Komintern forms "Front de Libération de la Rock-Music" along with
Lard Free, Barricade I and Barricade II, Herbe Rouge, Robert Wood's Tarot and Alpha du Centaure. This movement published a manifest in a journal and their general message was that of anti-bourgeois culture. They tried to spread their word through journals, leaflets, concerts, all arranged by Gilles Yéprémian which was the manager and producer of Lard Free and Komintern. However this movement eventually dissolved.
In 1975 Serge Catalano et Pascal Chassin left Kominern. Catalano is replaced by two drummers: Gilbert Artman de Lard Free and Michel Bourgheix. The group goes on a bit with some shows but eventually breaks up. Catalano continues with his activity in the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire. Francis Lemonnier becomes a music teacher. Richard Aubert would play with Atoll and Kool Gool. Olivier Zdrzalik would play with Malicorne and along with Michel Muzac in the Lapins bleus des îles. (progarchive)