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Eskaton - Fiction CD (album) cover





3.99 | 64 ratings

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4 stars After the near miraculous perfection of 1981's 4 Visions I had been quite hesitant to try this follow up release--this despite its high rating.

My review below follows the song order as present on the 1983 release.

1. "Automute" (4:20) driving, simple rhythm with female vocals through which male vocalist Marc Rozenberg pierces through with straight singing as well as metal-boxed treated dictation. This music has many more influences from outside the Kobaļan world--King Crimson, techno pop, Talking Heads, even Canterbury. Interesting evolution! (8.75/10)

2. "Simplicius" (7:03) opens like a softly jazzed world music song--something Joe Zawinal, Freddy Hubbard, or Micky Hart might pull together. AS the synths and treated electric guitar jump in they create a great sound, but then they back off for a bouncy Fender Rhodes passage over which the two women try to scat a quite intricate melody line in unison. It's cool but doesn't always work. At 4:20 the two separate and launch into some pretty vocalise in two different octaves. The delay-echoed fuzz guitar follows with a nice solo--which is then followed by a nice display of rapid fire bass playing. The song base remains pretty simple and sparse as the instruments and voices take turns soloing each for about 20 seconds before handing off to the next. Still, a great, very engaging song. (13.5/15)

3. "Plus Et Moins" (3:40) opens with a funky beat and female vocal presentation quite similar to Belgian Canterbury artists COS. Even the accompanying second, lower harmonizing female voice sounds a lot like Pascale Son. Catchy song, interesting vocal, and funky sound make for an above average song but it never really does anything extraordinary to make it stand out or make it memorable. Nice drum, bass, and guitar work. (8.25/10)

4. "Parenthese" (2:10) opens with subdued Fender Rhodes before catching speed with bass in tow. The duet is augmented in the third section as the two work beautifully off of one another. (4.5/5)

5. "La Danse Des Feux" (4:03) Led by a Mike Oldfield-like fuzz guitar in the lead, Gilles has strong support from from the drums (as well as bass and keys). This one drives along through a couple of nice movements--mostly in which guitar and bass change leads while keys do a little fill'n'flash. In the fourth minute the Mike Oldfield guitar is even double tracked. (8.75/10)

6. "Le Cinema" (3:30) more Canterbury-like humor with male and female vocal recitations backed with some dated 70s techno-pop keyboard sounds and playing (think Devo or "Rock Lobster"). (9/10)

7. "La Mort De Tristan" (4:20) a soft, sensitive vocal presentation sounding like a respectful funereal event that is interspersed with some synthesizer flourishes and electric piano passages consistent with the theme of respect and honor. (9/10)

8. "Les Deux Trucs" (4:13) 1980s French rap? No, but almost! (8.5/10)

9. "F.X." (7:18) nice jazz fusion with some interesting bass and keyboard play but nothing really very special to make this one stand out. (12/15)

Four stars; a solid contribution to the jazz-rock fusion side of Zeuhl--or just to Jazz-Rock Fusion in and of itself--but nothing more than that.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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