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Pataphonie - Le Matin Blanc CD (album) cover

LE MATIN BLANC

Pataphonie

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

2.75 | 17 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Pataphonie's second album presents a different facet of the group than their debut did. This is a very dark dissonant album somewhere stuck between pure RIO and a weird Zeuhl music. The trio was definitely not looking to make hundreds of thousands of sales with this kind of experimental music

Starting out on Chanterelle and its highly irritating high-operatic vocal intro, the track veers into an almost Canterbury-esque jazz-rock, but driving with a bowed-contrabass into a lugubrious and haunting climate on Valse Noble that only UZ on Hérésie could match, this sombre and grandiose tune is the first of a few highlights on this album. The following Kerouac is probably their most disjointed and almost atonal/dissonant piece. It sounds like a completely spaced out Soft Machine (circa "Fourth") crossing out with Henry Cow, but the incredible thing is to hear out that there are no keyboards (at least announced) but you'd swear Ratledge paid a visit in the studio.

Over the second side of the album, stands the lengthy Rue Alice track (obviously the Wonderland one) and its quarter hour feast of cacophonic maelstrom-ian chaos, which is pure delight for the deranged proghead crazy enough to have wandered (wondered?) here. Fripp/Crimson, Henry Cow, Soft Machine, Heldon/Pinhas, Shub- Niggurath and Univers Zero, need I say more?? The last two tracks (including the title track) are not any brighter (I did not say brilliant) and the gloomy contrabass is counterbalanced with the doomy guitar (sounding like a violin) are certainly helping out losing your sanity.

The album now comes with a series of four live tracks recorded in '80 (on its '99 Gazul/Musea reissue), some months before the group stopped operations, and the least we can say is that they had not really gotten any wiser musically. Two of the four live tracks are from this album, while the other two are from their first album, but are shortened. Automne Souvenir is relatively calm and repetitive, while Memoire Baroque is very dissonant. The last bonus track was foreseen on the Matin Blanc album, but for some weird reasons, it did not make it.

A weird but not devoid-of-class album, that merits to be heard by anyone wishing how far France took prog rock. Well they almost stretched to the extreme that the proghead may not come back completely unscathed. This proghead declines any kind of responsibility in the case of this kind of event occurring, for they were warned ahead of time.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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