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Etron Fou Leloublan - Batelages CD (album) cover

BATELAGES

Etron Fou Leloublan

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.42 | 37 ratings

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Tsevir Leirbag
5 stars Probably one of the best debuts in the history of music

In 1973, Étron Fou Leloublan was opening for Magma. For sure, it was a promising band.

Batelages is Étron Fou Leloublan's first album, released in 1977. Even if not considered as their best by many lovers of the genre, I think this album is very strong because of its uniqueness. To be clear, I disagree with the majority, and will say it IS their best, followed closely by Les poumons gonflés. At this time, ÉFL was a trio consisting of Guigou Chenevier (drums, percussions), Ferdinand Richard (bass, vocals) and Chris Chanet (vocals, saxophone), who would only participate in this album, sadly. The album includes five pieces, ranging from twenty-eight seconds to eighteen minutes. The first song, named L'amulette et le petit rabbin, was written as an "exquisite corpse". This epic song is probably the highlight on the album. I also think it is more enjoyable if you understand French as I do, because the lyrics are very funny (that does not just state for this song, but for everything ÉFL wrote). It is sung by Chanet. The second piece, Sololo Brigida, is a three minutes instrumental jazzy avant-garde one. It is followed by the very short Yvett' Blouse, which could be described as a blues caricature. I consider it as a kind of bridge to Madame Richard / Larika, the last (but definitely not least) instrumental piece of the album. Mixing elements of jazz, folk / traditional music and avant-garde, they achieve to create an excellent music, a unique sound that would characterize them throughout their fructuous career. The saxophone in this piece is worth mentioning, as it takes a leader role in the music. The album ends with Histoire de graine, sung by Ferdinand Richard, and featuring crazy lyrics again. He plays with words and makes twisted sentences. Neither he nor Chanet have "usual" voices. They are what I can call an acquired taste. The music is also excellent, particularly the bass (in E flat) and the drums (in some moments).

I really suggest this album (this band, in fact) to newcomers of the genre, as it has its catchy moments (it is one of ÉFL's strengths, by the way). It also clearly indicates the direction they would take in their other albums. A masterpiece, definitely.

Tsevir Leirbag | 5/5 |

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