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François Breant - Sons Optiques CD (album) cover


François Breant



3.18 | 13 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Francois Breant was very active in the French music scene in the seventies with various bands and projects, but having a break in the late seventies allowed him to create two studio albums. He's mostly listed under Electronics based on the second album but this his debut is more in the Rio/ Avant style overall but there's more to this than that. Really cool to see Didier Lockwood on violin here having enjoyed his work with MAGMA and ZAO especially. Albert Marcouer adds cymbals and timbales and then there's bassist Guy De Lacroix who had a couple of stints with MAGMA and played on the "Attahk" album. We also get alto and tenor sax while Breant plays a variety of keyboards here.

"Les Journeaux Annoncent La Guerre Generique" got me going the first time I heard it as we get a strong UNIVERS ZERO vibe. Dramatic outbursts of drums, synths and more before a haunting calm arrives but then it kicks in again as contrasts continue. How beautiful is this just before a minute and then it kicks in again. So good! An almost silent calm arrives after 2 1/2 minutes before those dramatic outbursts return. Oh and check out the bass 3 minutes in.

"Vacances A Concarneau" has plenty of intricate sounds with some piano outbursts as the synths come in over top. It's all quite restrained. Some brief guitar just before a minute. The violin comes in ripping it up after 1 1/2 minutes. Themes are repeated then more violin around 2 1/2 minutes that's really impressive.

"De Retour A Paris" has some beautiful piano melodies as the sax joins in. The tempo picks up before 2 minutes as we get piano and sax leading. A calm takes over quickly though that is quite gorgeous with those vocal melodies helping out. It picks up again like before to that Symphonic sound that brings Oldfield to mind.

"Scenes De Foule Et De Pour Suite Pendant Le Carnaval" opens with outbursts of different sounds that will come and go then it settles into a piano, synths and timbales led groove. So much going on here though, bass too. Some vocal melodies come and go sounding like mellotron choirs before it turns avant before 2 1/2 minutes.

"Dilemma De Jeanne Au Restaurant Chinois" has these slowly pulsing synths to start as some sparse piano joins in. Some outbursts of sound and atmosphere follow. It picks up before 2 minutes with Marcouer doing his thing then it calms right down again with atmosphere and sparse piano coming and going. "Survol De Rio" is piano, synths, percussion, violin and more. A pleasant sound here. Sax before 1 1/2 minutes.

"Scenes De Mobili Sation Et Retrouvallies Avec Bruno" along with the opener are my favourites. This is the longest track at close to 10 minutes. Sounds like mellotron choirs again but it's real. Synths and atmosphere before a minute as the mood changes. Marcouer helps out here along with Lockwood. It seems to start over at 2 1/2 minutes with piano outbursts and atmosphere as we get some space too. Drums and violin a minute later as the music starts to come alive with energy. Atmosphere and violin melodies after 4 1/2 minutes as it changes again. Some interesting sounds here. Kind of haunting as well then it starts to build with plenty of synths and more.

"Briser Au Crepuscule Et Fin" ends it and we get piano, synths and violin coming and going. A GENESIS vibe with those synths before a minute surprisingly that will come and go. A change before 2 1/2 minutes as sounds pulse then sax and much more take over. It settles with piano and violin after 3 minutes.

The album cover with Breant pulling the film out gives us a hint at his idea for a sound and visual recording. Of course hanging out with a bunch of Zeuhl musicians over many years has to have an influence as well. A really solid album that Avant fans should appreciate.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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