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Camembert - Schnörgl Attahk CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.87 | 57 ratings

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3 stars When a band from France calls itself Camembert and names an album Schnorgl Attahk (with the obligatory umlaut over the "o"), you are going to expect some influence from two of France's most important groups: Gong and Magma. Indeed the influences of both are all over the place here, along with a strong Zappa influence as well. The Magma influence is most notable in the darker, moodier parts which usually have the rarely used wordless vocals. The Gong influence comes from both the spacey Daevid Allen lead Gong as well as the vibes-heavy Pierre Moerlen version of Gong. The Zappa influence is mainly from his mid-70s jazz-rock/hard rock hybrid era but also from his big band era just before that.

The sound of the music is jazzy and spacey and slightly Zeuhlish. In addition to the vibes there is also a lot of harp used on this album. The parts that sound the least like Zappa/Magma/Gong incorporate some acoustic guitar. The mastering of the album is sort of on the loud side but I doubt that is the fault of the members themselves who do a great job performing this music (but don't expect any drumming as good as Moerlen). There does not appear to be any keyboards here, just guitar / drums / bass / horns / vibes / harp. This is the groups first album, having released an EP previously. There are shorter interludes between the longer tracks on the album. Some of these interludes are the spaciest and most Zeuhl sounding parts of the album.

The album opens with "Infinicheese" (ha!), a spacey intro which has some creepy Zeuhl like vocals. "Untung Untungan" is the first major song which sounds like a mix of Zappa and post-Allen Gong. Goes into a Zappa style reggae vamp near the end. "El Ruotuav Ed Sram" is more Zappa and Gong inspired jazz-rock. Some slap-bass in this track. Gets dissonant before getting louder at the end. "Le Meurtrier Volant" starts out on a darker Magma note. Gets more Zappa in serious instrumental mode. A slow-paced blues-rock groove in the middle. Nice chorused guitar during the second half, before it gets louder and more intense.

The 5-part "La Danse du Chameau" closes the album. Part one "Batifolade" features some chanting. Musically it is a mix of jazzier Magma, fusion Gong and Zappa's horns. Some Santana style percussion later on. Part three "La Tempete De Sable" starts off sounding unique: some kind of avant-jazz-rock. Then it gets more Zappa sounding. Towards the end is slightly Magma sounding before it switches to a laid-back groove. Part five "The Final Run" starts off like a cross between Magma and Santana then switches to more of a Zeuhl groove with a harp solo. During the secong half it gets more festive and Latin American sounding.

Being a big fan of Zappa, Magma and Gong I would rather listen to those three than this. For those of you interested in what a combination of the three would sound like, this would be right up your alley. It's an enjoyable and fairly consistent album but it wears it's influences on it's sleeve. The use of harp and acoustic guitar stands out and is a nice touch. Not one of the best releases of the year but nowhere near the worst. I give this a 3.5 but will round it down to 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |


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