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Jean Cohen-Solal - Musiques et Instruments Insolites: Flute Libres  CD (album) cover


Jean Cohen-Solal



4.00 | 15 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars If you like your prog adventurous and your flute experimental, no doubt you'll love J C-S's debut album. Although the artwork might be bland, believe me it's not representative of the music inside it. Indeed just four tracks in this album, three of them on the first side being still being accessible, while the sidelong corker filling the flipside is completely obscure and

The opening Concerto Cyclique is a sweet enthralling intro to the album, but by the mid-track, JC-S's flutes are completely insane, doubled tracked, saturated, free flowing with absolutely no rules except for the metronomic cymbal, before Solal takes us back into "normality" for the last third of the track; more or less normal, because the "damages" are irreversible. As indicated by its title the Matin track is indeed a raga and particularly well played with the flute piercing the usual monotony of a raga. Matière is an almost entirely flute thing, with multi tracks, wah-wah pedals echoing sounds, rhythms and brooding texturing melodies, almost abstract but still melodically "safe".

The flipside is a scary sidelong piece of music as it will astound you of the sounds extracted from a woodwind. There is a mystical feel given to the track as well, with the "musique concrete" ala Stockhausen or Cage, while there are birdsong flute sounds whistling perkily over spacey cymbal scrapes and gloomy cosmic atmosphere. That 17-mins track Quelqu'un is a haunting and spooky track, which is sometimes reminiscent of the early Tangerine Dream (Zeit), Kluster, Popol Vuh (Aftenstude), but not sounding copied, because of the Martenot waves sprawled over the track. In the MIO Cd reissue, there is an updated version of this track, shortened and not quite as gloomy.

A very interesting release that a lot of krautrock groups would've easily made their own, Flutes Libres is a difficult but rewarding acquisition that will reveal all of its charms over the successive listens.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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