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Alain Markusfeld - Le Monde En Étages CD (album) cover


Alain Markusfeld


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.00 | 6 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Markusfeld's debut album is one of those late psychedelic affair that seemed to accompany Ame Son's Catalyse or XXX, in terms of music, but his lyrics/text made him some kind of bard or poet, a bit like the impressive and uncompromising Gerard Manset or Melmoth (as Dashiell Hedayat's debut album came out as). Not exactly well recorded, this album is rather rough, amateurish and raw (and designed as such), pointing out at Pete Brown's Battered Ornaments. Graced with Babel's Tower for an artwork, this album is a bit of a schizophrenic one, hesitating between good lyrics (but sung with an approximative voice) and guitar heroics (nothing groundbreaking though) and the whole thing suffers from it. The "group" consist of Markusfeld on guitar, bass and keyboards with his long-time accomplice Jean Schultheiss (drums, percussions and keyboards) while a few guests add more bass and some wind instruments.

Opening the vinyl's first side opens on the patchy Musique Fatidique Pour Nuages Fatigués (fateful music for tired clouds), with a discordant guitar strumming and then comes those rough and unrefined vocals, the whole thing on (sometimes) fuzzed-out guitar. The whole A-side is of the same mould until we reach the first half of La Terre Se Dévore (Eartgh devouring itself). Should you get a proof of how amateurish, they cut the track in two separating it with the album's flipping over, before taking where it left off. Nice experimentation, but not really successful, even if the first part of this song is the album's highlight, with its jazzy-Hendrix feel.

The flipside starts with what couldn't have fitted on its opposite face, but not really bringing much new. Têtes Molles (soft heads) is again rough and unfocused, but shows Markusfeld quite able on the jazzy piano while recitating his strange poem about Earth's split in its centre. The closing Actualités is a silly catastrophic news bulletin about Martian invasion over an early Floydian sound layer, abruptly changing two thirds of the way in.

Hardly essential for progheads (but interesting nonetheless), Markusfeld's debut album has never seen a Cd re-issue, so you'll have to hunt down the vinyl should you still want to listen to it. But for most of us, this is the type of album that will interest only the Markusfeld fans.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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