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Arnaud Bukwald - La Marmite Cosmique V CD (album) cover


Arnaud Bukwald


Eclectic Prog

3.46 | 3 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
2 stars Arnaud Bukwald is an Eclectic Prog artist that calls himself the underground troubadour and an astronaut. His music consists of a wide array of influences and styles. This multi-instrumentalist has been making albums since 2011. His 7th album, released in August of 2019 is the fifth (four albums and one EP) in a series named "La Marmite Cosmique" (literally translated as The Cosmic Pot). This album is completely performed by Bukwald except for the guest vocalist Cherry Pob who provides vocals for tracks 1 and 4. The album consists of 5 tracks with a total run time of over 33 minutes.

The first track is "Zohr" (12:27) and is the longest track on the album. A sustained synth provides a light drone and the word Zohr is repeated with Bukwald and Pob harmonizing in dissonant manner. Rolling and crashing cymbals build tension, and finally percussion, psych organs and keys, and some brassy instruments work together to play a nice progressive, jazzy music that has a nice psychedelic ring to it. The mostly instrumental track is driven mostly by synths and brass with occasional appearances of guitar. The rhythm switches up throughout the track to keep it from getting too stagnant, even slowing up a bit in the middle section, removing percussion and then reverting to that strange zohr vocals again. Finally at 8 minutes, different words come into play for a short time before it switches back to mysterious instrumentals provided by synth and brass, this time adding in some cool effects. Soon, the keys start a rhythmic pattern, and more repeated singing of the word zohr. The tracks first half was definitely much more interesting as the 2nd half doesn't really ever catch hold, but kind of meanders about.

"New Dawn" (2:05) starts off with birds and natural sound effects before the beat kicks in and a jazzy and slightly cinematic sound kicks in with the synth providing a melodic line. The sound has a 70's funky vibe to it with a Herbie Hancock-style vibe. "Mandarine" (5:46) starts with a repeating synth loop and space effects and noises swirling around it. The music builds aided by crashing cymbals and a gong, the background pattern getting louder as the effects continue. It's not until the 4th minutes that anything with a semblance of a melody comes in, and the music loses the repeated pattern and becomes more pensive and soft, fading to almost nothing when the repeated synth pattern returns quietly in the background as it ends with a minimilistic sound. "Kinky Boots" (3:58) goes for the funky vibe again, Buckwald reaches for his inner Herbie Hancock again. Cherry Pob sings mostly wordless vocals as she improvises along with the melodic lines established by the synths. At 3 minutes, the music cuts out leaving only a percussive noise sounding like someone walking, then suddenly a full band sound comes in sounding like a piece of another fully developed song, but quickly ends.

"Theremoon" (9:24) begins with a nice atmospheric ascending and descending synth while other keys play softly around it. This space jive continues for a while, it's nice, but it doesn't really develop into much as a melody soars and abates randomly around the repeating synth background. Finally, at 4 minutes, percussion comes in with a layer of sustained chords that help to ground this flighty track. As it continues, it all seems more like underdeveloped improvisation on the synths to only fill up time. It just goes on forever without much change.

Not much really happens on this album as it seems more like one long track that has a strong first half and then meanders around on the 2nd half, 3 tracks of mostly patched together material and another long track of improvised space music without any real foundation or direction. Sure, there is some interesting melding of styles, especially in the first and 2nd tracks that bring psych, jazz and electronica together in a nice way, but unfortunately, those tracks just don't justify the laziness of the rest of the short album. The first part of the album lives up to it's eclectic and eccentric nature, but the remainder just feels like music without a real direction or haphazardly pasted together.

TCat | 2/5 |


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