Edition Speciale - "Aliquante"
(Musea Records 2004, FGBG 4415.AR, originally released 1977)
From Aural Innovations #30 (February 2005)
This is a re-release by what was one of France's most popular progressive rock bands in the 70's. This was the bands second record released in 1977 and here you get two bonus tracks (from the third album demos), nine tracks in total. The band features Ann Ballester on keyboard and vocals, Mimi Lorenzini on Guitars and vocals, Josquin Turenne Des Près on Bass and Alain Gouillard on Drums. These musicians have an amazing interplay as you can hear right away from the opening instrumental number. Weather Report for sure comes to mind when you hear this jazz rock inspired music. I really love the sound from some of the old synths (e.g., ARP Odyssey and Omni, Oberheim Polyphonic). "A la source du Rève" features some intense acoustic guitar playing. "So Deep Inside" is the first track to feature vocals (English) and they are very light and airy and often followed by some cool freaky synthesizer sounds. It is a very interesting track that really builds up over time. "Le Tempo D'Un Solo" begins as a piano vs. acoustic piano battle that leads into the very jazzy (Soft Machine-Gong like) music. "Le Ville en Bèton" is quite a poppy little number as far as this type of music goes features both the mail and female voices. "Alone Completely Unknown" is the last track from the original LP and features some very fast exchanges of synth and guitar, maybe a bit like some Gentle Giant. "Camara" is a 9½ minute track that was to be on their third LP. It begins with the electric piano but evolves into a very Yes inspired track in parts, especially the way the vocals are delivered. "Aurore" closes the CD and is the shortest song on the CD, being under five minutes. While I am not a big fan of the vocals, the instrumental music on this CD is fantastic and if you like 70's jazzy prog stuff you will enjoy this.
For more information you can visit the Musea web site at: http://www.musearecords.com.
Reviewed by Scott Heller