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Pascal Comelade - El Cabaret Galactic CD (album) cover

EL CABARET GALACTIC

Pascal Comelade

 

Progressive Electronic

3.05 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Tubular bells. without the Tubular Bells

I have to confess to knowing little or nothing about this avant-garde French musician. It seems though that he has been around the music scene since the mid 1970's, and has been highly prolific in his output since that time. Recently, I came across a few of his albums, and finding him listed on this site decided to investigate further. My review is therefore based entirely on this album being taken in isolation, and not in the context of his vast catalogue.

"El Cabaret Galactic" is a 1995 release which on the face of it is fairly typical of his modus operandi. The album is made up of a series of brief vignettes which on their own appear simplistic and superficial. Each though is a snapshot of a mood or style quite different to the next. When heard in series, these snippets merge together to form a suite which paints a fluid and unfolding succession of landscapes.

Comelade apparently has a bent for using children's music instruments and the sounds akin to them. These can certainly be heard throughout this album an example being the simple xylophone melody on "Toti Al Soler". "Le Dompteur De Mouche De Figueres" is a veritable concerto in 2 minutes, setting out as a delightful piano refrain before transforming into a completely different upbeat melody.

The longest track, and the only one to exceed 4 minutes, is the quasi symphonic "Your Eyes Like Juan Gris Cubist Guitar". This slow reflective piece is heavy on the strings then brass sections supporting the principal piano. An atmospheric accordion section adds Parisian alternating with what sounds like a stylophone as the melody gradually builds; an undoubted highlight of the album. Always a sucker for a nice tune, "Moritat Von Mackie Messer", although here I am left a little frustrated by its brevity.

Overall, there is a Spanish/Flamenco feel running through the album, an influence easily explained by the part of his life Comelade spent in Spain. For an artist of this type, the music is (to me) surprisingly tight in musical terms. There is little if any genuine improvisation here, and although the melodies tend to be kept simple they are well defined.

In all, a highly enjoyable and noticeably different approach to musical composition. Heard on their won, one could easily be forgiven for wondering what on earth Mr Comelade has to do with this site. Heard as the complete package though, this is in some ways a sort of "Tubular bells".

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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