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Christian Boulé - Photo Musik CD (album) cover

PHOTO MUSIK

Christian Boulé

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.45 | 10 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars Like many of you I first became aware of Christian Boulé via Steve Hillage as well as Clearlight. Actually, for me, my first album I bought with him involved was Clearlight's Forever Blowing Bubbles, which I purchased in 1997 (it was a recommendation, given I enjoyed Gong). Photo Musik is his first of just two solo album, and it's a great album, for the most part. The music often has a Green-era Hillage feel to it, especially with that delayed guitar effect (something Manuel Göttsching explored three years earlier with Inventions for Electric Guitar, and Pink Floyd ran with it on The Wall on "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1" and "Run Like Hell", not to mention Ozric Tentacles frequently using that same guitar effect). There are these peculiar high pitched female vocals that remind me of Miquette Giraudy. It turns out those female vocals were by Andy Flaten, but because I thought it was a guy with that name, I didn't realize this Andy was a lady, but that makes sense, she's the one credited for a good bulk of the vocal tracks. Ian David Jeff did do some additional vocals, but I can barely hear him. The vocal tracks often end up reminding me of Here & Now or perhaps Nik Turner's Xitintoday without the Egyptian stuff. "22 Broad Street" I can live without, it's just straight up mediocre new wave, the same nice female vocals are there as on the great "Cristal Palace", but the music is clichéd with clichéd lyrics. Come to think of it, that particular song Is just trying too hard to be trendy for 1978, it ends up actually sounding like it belongs more in 1979 or even 1980 than in 1978. I could imagine a cheesy music video to go with it being aired on MTV in its infancy (circa 1981-82) late at night or in the mid 1980s on the USA Network's Night Flight (who did air underground music videos MTV wouldn't touch due to their then focus on hair metal). At least the title track, which includes new wave elements retains that nice space rock/prog that I love of this album, and of this genre in general. I was shocked to hear one instrumental piece that sounded exactly like Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick! Even if it was rather short. This was released a year before that album. I completely forgot to mention Cyrille Verdeaux plays on this album, which is no surprise given Boulé's involvement in Clearlight, not to mention Boulé was recording for Polydor which Clearlight was recording for at the same time (for just one album, Visions). Musically, it's as you expect from this type of space rock, and if you like the Hillage/Gong/Clearlight brand of space rock, this is required.
Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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