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Alco Frisbass - Alco Frisbass CD (album) cover

ALCO FRISBASS

Alco Frisbass

 

Eclectic Prog

3.92 | 86 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BrufordFreak
3 stars I've toiled with writing a review for this simple enjoyable debut AltrOck Productions album from the French duo of Patrick Dufour and Fabrice Chouette for over half a year now. And now I've finally figured out why! This is a Neo Prog album! This is a Neo Prog album by an artist who has an obvious affinity toward the keyboard-driven sounds and melodies of the Canterbury Scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, there is very little presence of the often complex, jazz- and classical-based structures experimented with and favored by those Canterbury artists in the music presented here by ALCO Frisbass. The sounds that Patrick and Fabrice create are obviously intended to replicate the sounds of the more common/famous instrumental sounds associated with the Canterbury "sound," but to my ears, these sounds are not as close to the actual sounds of Canterbury artists like Mike Ratledge, Steve Hillage, Dave Stewart, Mike Oldfield, or Phil Miller as to be able to constitute the use of the word "replicate." Plus, the use of guest musicians for the contribution of violin, guitar and mellotron actually serves to create a further divergence/distance/discord with the original mix of sounds used in the Canterbury scene. The other flaw with this very likable, even enjoyable music, is in the simplicity of the music?especially in the rhythmic foundations of each song. There are very few dramatic shifts in tempo, key or dynamics in these songs; all instrumental soli are played as if the artists handling the instruments be melody-conscious while somehow acting quite disconnected from or even oblivious to the musical base coming from the background foundational instruments (bass, drums, and keyboards). Plus, the feel I get from the bass, drums and keyboards is that they are there more for the exclusive purpose of creating a foundational base for other instruments to solo over which is not the usual feel I get from the background instrumentalists in jazz or Canterburian songs. The original artists of what we call the Canterbury Scene feel as if they each remained creative individuals despite their place in the musical mix?leader, supporter or soloist?each actively and creatively contributing to the mix that makes up the foundational harmonic and rhythmic structure of each song?even beneath the not-infrequent soloists. The album's best songs?2. "Pas à pas" (6:42) (9/10), 4. "La danse du pantin" (7:44) (9/10), and 6. "Judith Coupeuse de tête" (9:08) (8/10)?each captivate a lot of nice melodious Canterburian sound and feel yet fail to reveal anything new or innovative?and never fail to ever impress with instrumental prowess, creativity or technique. There are more similarities in this music to Neo Prog like fellow countrymen XII Alfonso or Minimum Vital: melody?often exceedingly linear and simplistic?dominates heavily over harmony and experimentation?which is fine. As I've said throughout, this is wonderfully listenable, even enjoyable music. Not bad, just not great. A 3.5 star album. Nice songs with nice sound but lots of potential for growth here! Good but not great.
BrufordFreak | 3/5 |

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