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Travelling - Voici la nuit tombée CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.52 | 32 ratings

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Beautiful Scarlet
3 stars Sometimes I wonder with these bands from the 70s if they listened to other 70s bands that would have only predated the by less then a handful of years. With this band I really hear authentic Canterbury Scene music absolutely in the vein of Egg with lovely sedated vocals.

The titular suite opens with up nicely with bass and gentle organ, everything is very promising. It's got a slight gothic pigmentation, especially when the fuzz organ breaks loose, unleashing a slow but ominous cacophony, supported by bass/piano/drums. Angular transition check. The song then gets jazzy with a smattering of piano chords in a higher register over a deep organ drain. Then one is greeted by singing au Francaise in a familiar Canterburian style. A sublime little organ solo over the same rhythm/piano chords kicks the lead away from the vocals. Singing returns for a moment to allow fuzzed out organ to take one by surprise as it howls. Different vocals come in which are quite beautiful. The distorted organ returns to play call/repeat with the singing. A stripped down interlude introduces faster bass and actual jazz piano. This fades out to ruin the song with ambient avant- garde sounds, sad. I think this part is unnecessary as the song had already gone to a chill section, what was needed was some high energy balls to the wall climaxing, not the complete evisceration of the song. Anyways after a few minutes the jazz section returns but with an organ solo, rather then piano. For a while the song goes through some fast changes of short little interludes. Finally it arrives at a piano conclusion, driven by a fast rhythmic backing. There is a tiny bit of scatting which lead to a reprisal of earlier vocal parts. Piano ends the song from here. This song loses my interest halfway through which is a shame as it's pretty good until then. The suite as a whole flows well but the quality just plummets for me after the piano drum bass section begins at around 9~ minutes.

Flamenco starts side two with piano chords plus bass plus drums plus scatting reminiscent of Robert Wyatt with a Romance language accent. Organ takes over halfway through, driving the song to its conclusion.

Side two is actually just two (maybe one) suite like side one but it's arbitrarily divided into different songs. Anyways Passo opens with fast piano arpeggios that go nonstop which is pretty good, lots of energy.

Soleil begins with piano chords and alternates between lead lines, arpeggios and block chords. It definitely is "brighter" then the Passo. (Some of Soleil is played on Organ)

Tout Compte Fait opens with wonderful piano strums and sparse but engaging bass work. The last has a somewhat definitive ending and there is some space in between Soleil and Tout Compte Fait so I don't think this song is connected to the previous three. Anyways this song is very calm peaceful music.

Shema starts where Tout Compte Fait left off and adds some drums, bass, organ drone and vocals (low in the mix deep scatting) to give the suite some meat. This track ends fading out, it's good.

Overall I find the songwriting to not be particularly great, I love the sound they were going for but the music is not outstanding enough. Solid debut, kind of a shame they didn't release 1-3 more albums to really develop into Travelling rather then a generic Canterbury Scene artist. Also there is actually not very much organ on this album rather there is ALOT of acoustic piano. Canterbury Sound Score 5/5.

Beautiful Scarlet | 3/5 |


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