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François Breant - Sons Optiques CD (album) cover


François Breant



3.18 | 13 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars C'mon, people. There must be more than (at this writing) two of us here at Prog Archives with a copy of this rare but rewarding French LP gathering dust somewhere in his music library. It was a fairly unique artifact when new in 1978, and even today is an admirably eclectic achievement by an obscure artist who should have been better known outside his native country.

The cover photo shows Bréant clutching what looks like a reel of 35mm film stock: a visual clue to the cinematic nature of his (entirely instrumental) music. You can hear it in the first dramatic fanfare of the opening track, complete with hair-raising Halloween scream and ominous piano arpeggios. And you can perhaps discern an imaginary narrative in some of the track titles (but don't quote me on that).

For the sake of lazy reference a comparison could be made to JAN HAMMER's early LP "The First Seven Days", another not exclusively keyboard-driven exercise with Jazz Fusion colorings: hardly Prog Folk, as it was originally labeled here. And there's a Zeuhl connection too, always a handy point of reference for music so hard to classify. Francophile proggers should recognize the name of Didier Lockwood, responsible for the occasional electric violin fill.

The energy of the first few tracks isn't sustained for the length of the entire album, and by the middle of Side Two Bréant seems to be squeezing as many keyboard sounds as he can into each remaining number. But the music has aged remarkably well since 1979, and I'm reassured to find it not entirely forgotten after so many years.

A quick personal postscript. I probably bought the album on the strength of its label, the always reliable Egg Records, at a time when imported music was still easy to find in the US (at least in the San Francisco Bay area: I'm guessing it was an impulse buy at the late, legendary Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley). The LP managed to survive all of my misguided vinyl purges over the years, which if nothing else is a testament of sorts to its enduring quality.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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