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Mosaïc - Ultimatum CD (album) cover





3.86 | 17 ratings

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4 stars It is said that most great things come in small doses. In France they seem to take that premise literaly: like Asia Minor's "Between Flesh and Divine", Arachnoid's homonymous or Ange's "Au delà du Delire", this is a short album, at just 34 minutes (I am refering to the original, not bonus-added editions).

Un Trop is a typical jazz-fusion track that could be easily confused with a Brand X or Return to Forever track. It is followeed by the short Croisière sur L'Amoco-cadiz, an cello-led track that serves as interlude between the first song and the third, La Vérite au fond du puits ou Narcisse en Palestine. This starts of as a slight bucolic tune but immediatly fades into nothing but an odd colection of sounds, like metal bending and sticks clacking, with a subtle organ sound in the background. Halfway they get back at doing some proper music, getting back to the jazzy sound, ending it with something more likely to be found of King Crimson's "Red". A sombre strings segment links this song to the next, Souvenirs, souvenirs, which is basicly the same segment slightly dominated by cello, more like avant-guarde classical that avant-prog.

Papapluie FUZZ is almost self-explanatory. It basicly a fuzzy keyboard and guitar driven tune, accompanied by a fast beat that makes this song sound a bit like the famous first seconds of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine". Rue Tabaga starts with sounds of telephone conversation, before the guitar bursts out to open yet another jazz-rock piece a la Brand X. It is followed byPicnic à Grigny, another small bucolic piece of acoustic guitar and cello serving as interlude.

A nice guitar riff and beat open Le torero d'alu, but they only last for a while. Part II of this song is absolutely annoying, even for Avantguarde. It is caracterized by this terrible screeching sound that at points almosts seems like a pig being slaughtered. Halfway to the song begins Part III with the same initial riff, this time featuring some tasteful use of electronics. Part IV is an all-instrument section sounding like an improv that slowly fades out into the final track. Mercenaire recaptures previous track's opening riff, acommpanied by a constant drum and bassline, featuring some rough screeming vocals (but that fit greatly into the general agressiveness of this track) between some very distorted guitar parts. It is a really good track, very raw and agressive.

One of the downsides of the album is it's apparent lack of direction, mixing severall styles without really ever settling for one that could make the album cohesive. Still, if you enjoy Jean-Luc Ponty's solo work, as well as some of the more experimental jazz- fusion acts, you'll probably enjoy it greatly. Also, one cannot cease to wonder if modern french avant-guarde bands, like Taal and, to an extent, Noir Désir, have heard this album, seeing that it is so easy to find some similarities in it. Overall, despite quite good, this is not an exceptionaly memorable album, but that will only make you want to hear it more than once. As a representant of a style so complex, it does his job superbly.

Kotro | 4/5 |


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