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Lazuli - En avant doute... CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.86 | 118 ratings

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3 stars Lazuli is one of the greatest musical discoveries I have made these years. I was completely blown away by performance of this French group during Symforce festival in Tilburg in 2007. I have never heard something like that. The group has such an absolutely unique sound, such a drive. They don't merely play music. They fly, and take the audience along, to the far away and unimaginable heights.

They use no synthesizers, but still, the music sounds very modern. Their specific sound is defined by the omnipresent vibraphone and marimba played by Frédéric Juan, polyphonic Warr guitar of Sylvain Bayol and the high pitched vocals of Dominique Leonetti. But above all soar the unpredictable and beautifully outrageous improvisations of Claude Leonetti on Leode. This Leode deserves a few more words here. It is a strange self invented musical instrument, a hybrid of electric guitar and sequencer. It looks a little like Chapman stick, but is played by gliding the fingers along the fingerboard. Like SynthAxe, it is hooked to a midi controller and can actually produce a very large variety of sounds, including saw, violin, plush bear and of course - electric guitar.

Dominique Leonetti has told me the creation story of Leode after the concert during Symforce - of course, I couldn't suppress the urge directly to know all about them, then and there. By the way, you will also find this story ? as a short film - on the bonus DVD. After a motorbike accident a while ago, in the 80-s, the left hand of Dominique's brother and guitar player Claude Leonetti became partly disabled. So he couldn't play guitar any more. One day - or one night, according to the story on the DVD - Claude imagined a new sort guitar. A synthesized instrument that you can play with only one hand. It came to an actual creation of the instrument only 10 years later. Until now, Claude is the only player of Leode in the world.

"en avant doute?" is Lazuli's second record, after the very strong debut "Amnesie". It comes together with a bonus DVD with a live show and some extra's. Both CD and DVD contain beautiful music. The CD might seem a little short with it's 41 minutes of music. But the sheer strength and intensity of the music makes up a lot. It stands, like a musical monolith. I will place only one critical note: all songs are composed in a little similar way and don't provide quite enough diversity. One can say, it is their style, love it or leave it. But for me, it's still a reason not to give them 10 out of 10.

justaguy | 3/5 |


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