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Arnaud Bukwald - La Marmite Cosmique CD (album) cover


Arnaud Bukwald


Eclectic Prog

4.28 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A brilliant and totally fresh smorgasborg of avant jazz/jazz fusion song stylings from French composer/musician Arnaud Bukwald. The journey that Arnaud takes one on through the songs on this album is quite nostalgiac as there are familiar sounds, riffs, and stylings in virtually every song. And yet, the music is totally fresh, new, and unpredictable. The compositions and arrangements work very well throughout.

1. 'Chop suey' (2:15) opens the album on a wild and crazy percussive journey with xylophone and drums leading flutes and synths along like lemmings over the cliff. Then a jazzy JERRY LEE LEWIS-like piano section ushers in vocals, horns, psychedelic electric guitar lead and drums for about 30 seconds before a toilet flush signals the end and exit. (3.5/5)

2. 'Dedicated to Hugh' (3:10) (Hopper? or the same 'Hugh' of Robert WYATT's 1972 dedication on his first MATCHING MOLE album?) 'a m'est 'gal, for in the end this is a truly wonderful instrumental tribute to all Canterbury artists of the late 60s and 1970s'so perfectly composed and performed. (10/10)

3. 'Mars caravan' (3:06) opens with a voice sample from a 1950s-60s film about alien/(Martian) before turning into a kind of film score soundtrack to a credits roll or film montage of alien visuals. Very dramatic, even melodramatic, ' la ENNIO MORRICONE or someone else of that ilk. (8.5/10)

4. 'Gran Torino' (3:39) ventures into the funk jazz fusion found in a lot of late 60s early seventies film and television themes (especially Black exploitation and disco-era cinema.) Very catchy, dance-groovy. (9/10)

5. 'Time and space' (2:11) opens with heavily spaced flute and then Fender Rhodes piano play before a vocal (!) from a very deep GREG LAKE-like voice. The second minute turns into quite the upbeat 70s television theme song. Very fun song! (5/5)

6. 'Fairy Tales' (10:23) opens with its first two minutes feeling very much like a section out of ELP's 'Tarkus.' The next section shifts gears and moods into feeling like GENESIS's 'Watcher in the Sky mixed with Mike Oldfield's tubular bells. Then, at the end of the fourth minute we get to hear the sounds of birds, woodsy-lumberjack sounds, and then crackling sticks over the fire next to the babbling brook. This is then replaced by the gradual fade in at the 4:50 mark of strummed mandolin, harp, and woodwinds, before a more rollicking orchestrated section bursts in at 5:48: double bass, orchestral strings, tympani and orchestral percussion'which are soon joined by a jazzy horn section but the, just as quickly, all is dropped in favor of an extended section of some strum-play on the strings inside a piano. Slowly a mysterious organ enters in the background before tribal drum play and piano percussives play over the top. The final 45 seconds of the song engage a Moog synth solo played with tubular bells and church organ. Not all of Arno's influences/references are clear to me. He's told me that Cyrille Verdeaux, Art Zoyd, Gong, and Ange are among his all-time favorites'all of whom are not as familiar to me as they could be'thus I suspect that some of the references I miss are from nods to those bands. (18/20)

7. 'Cirrus sequence' (9:26) opens with a combination of STEVE HOWE acoustic guitar harmonics play with David Gilmour 'Wish You Were Here' blues guitar lead and synth play common to TANGERINE DREAM work taking turns and then woven together. Clever and awesome! After the 3:40 mark, the Wish You Were Here' section ends and an eerie, spacey 'screaming alien howler monkey' section plays out over the same crackling fire noises from the previous song to the end of the song. Again, I am disappointed to say that this reference is lost upon me. But it is unique and interesting. (16/20)

8. 'T'ton effrayant - sauerkraut' (16:57) is a tribute to the Kosmische Musik (aka 'Krautrock') happening in the musk schools and hippie ashrams in Germany in the late 60s and early 70s. Bands like CAN, ASH RA TEMPEL, NEU!, AMON D''L, and even FAUST can be heard in this one. The shifts in the play of the rhythm section in this one are particularly noteworthy and fascinating. You can tell Arnaud gave great attention and love to the details of this one. Synths, percussions, saxes, and effects all play such critical roles in the weave of this one. It is hypnotic as well as trippy (like a circus-like acid trip). The Kraut rock fathers would be proud! At 8:10 there is a break leading into another GENESIS-like organ-synth and martial drum-led 'Watcher of the Skies' section before the previous Kosmische rhtythm reestablishes itself to support various independent appearances from Keith Emerson synth, Mellotron, Another break at 10:30 yields a very airy-empty space wash out of which a 'rocket takeoff' rising synth not appears and leads us into a very spacey, Berlin School of Electronic Music section. Could be straight out of any of TANGERINE DREAM, Manuel G'TTSCHING or the KLAUS-meister's 1970s masterpieces. Brilliant! Masterful end with avery slowly decaying synth sequence. My favorite song on this wonderful album! (33.5/35)

A minor masterpiece of true progressive rock music. Check this guy's music out! You won't be sorry!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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