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Abus Dangereux - Le Quatrieme Mouvement CD (album) cover


Abus Dangereux


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.03 | 57 ratings

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4 stars Groovy Jazz-Rock-Zeuhl

I added Abus Dangereux to PA after being introduced to them by several friends here in PA, including Adam (Black Velvet) who recommended this particular album for zeuhl fans. Indeed, this album grew out to be one that I love and the funny thing is what the founder of Abus Dangereux said about this particular album. Pierrejean Gaucher said on this album that "this is an immature album"; he then adds that he finds his guitar playing "horrible". And still, he is proud of this album. And you know what? This may be true (though I disagree about the guitar playing being terrible) but then it's also the reason why this album is that good - sometimes immaturity or naivety are things that make albums special to me (another case for me would be Explosions In The Sky's album, How Strange, Innocence).

This band and this album in particular are regarded by many as Zeuhl and for good reason. The bass work, the drums and saxophones, the female chanting and slightly theatrical style give the music its Zeuhl characteristics and quality but when I asked Pierrejean Gaucher how to tag his band, he preferred jazz-rock since he was looking at the entire discography and not just one album. So I look at this album as a fusion/zeuhl (not unrelated styles obviously) with each sound being the dominant in each specific tune and even within the tracks there is alternation between those two, one giving way to the other. The combined effect is captivating and thrilling as can be heard on the opening track. With the title track, the zeuhl fans will probably feel at home and love the bass work and chanting. There are also touches of "avant-garde-ness" in certain points - Le Roy est Mort, Vive le Roy around 6:00 for instance; and in Ballade Courte brings in more of that avant-garde spirit again, with a dynamic repetitive and stressed bass line and the improvisation by the saxes and at the end comes in again the Zeuhl with the chanting and bass and slightly disharmonic melody. The second track, "Le Quatrieme Mouvement" as it starts makes me think of Eskaton - the bass, wacky chanting and jazz rhythm. Funk au Chateau is another fine example of the combined efforts to mix and intertwine those two related sounds. Groovy rhythm and a wandering bass start this piece which at some point goes for a stroll in the weird sound department with the guitar and keyboard and then the sax taking over, improvising at will around the theme the bass and guitar play. It is indeed a funky tune.

The music is bumpy, mostly on the happier side of things and with great rhythms, funky at times. The bass is doing great work going about either supporting the melody or in its own independent line. The keyboards too provide an important supporting element, sometimes giving extra ornaments to the music. The drumming and percussion give excellent rhythm and at times a more exotic sounding flavour to the music.

This is one of those albums that brings a smile to my face while listening to them, mainly due to the groovy rhythms, but not least because of the bass playing which I love to follow as it goes about, at times seeming oblivious to anything around it. Whether you're looking for a jazz-rock or a zeuhl album, with an experimental edge I think this will be a great album to get, although if you do not like the Magma-type zeuhl, I would first listen to samples if possible (try the title track, as it would be the highest level of it played here). I think this is an excellent album to add to your collection, and while it may be as immature as Mr. Gaucher says, it doesn't mean it's bad; au contraire. It is a good-spirited album, that will make you feel good and make you want to move to the music in those groovy parts - not many albums here in PA you say that about them, eh?

A note on finding the album - this album has been hard to track down. I looked in several places for this one and finally had to opt for buying directly from Musea (a cross-atlantic purchase). However at the time of writing (October 2007) I see that Greg Walker has it on his Syn-Phonic mailorder for sale, so grab it while you can.

avestin | 4/5 |


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