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Aquaserge - Un & Deux CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.91 | 3 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This is a relatively rare release comprising the band's first two albums (recorded in 05 and 09) and other releases (including a Tahiti single) that were simply not available anywhere, and now all compiled into one superb orange and brown cardboard sleeve depicting their fave submarine vessel dealing with hairy underwater dangers. It's not quite clear as to which line-up (none mentioned) recorded what material, but there is over four years' time lapse through the disc.

It's rather difficult to categorize the band's music, but for sure Robert Wyatt seems to have a real influence over their first full-length album (renamed Un), but one couldn't be mistaken, despite its sombre but descriptive soundscapes and strange storytelling. Their generally slow-paced Canterburyan music (everything being relative) really only belongs to them and they sound like no-one else I've heard so far. The music is mainly keyboard-driven (often electric piano), but the bass plays a preponderant role as well, as there are some slight Zeuhl-ian touches as well, and even a hint of RIO at times with some very effective dynamics. Generally their album is haunting and even a tad fascinating, but there is a slight weaker moment in the slow jazzy piano piece of Aquabaret, which seemed to be the last piece of their album, but nowadays only second-last. Indeed the Sous-Marin piece that is now ending it dates from 09, and seems a much-more fitting exit, despite being an experimental/RIO sound collage.

The second album is a rather bizarre mix of their Tahiti release and some added tracks that made their second album (recorded a mere 8 months after their first), now called Deux, but subtitled Tahiti Coco. Only three (long) tracks of a much faster tempo with harder soundscapes. Opening on a rather engaging groovy Femme De Tahiti, the vocals are much more easier-going, the whole thing being fairly straightforward and even a tad commercial (by prog standards) in its first few minutes. On the whole, the Canterbury influences are still present as well on this second album, but this time slightly more in the JR/F realm, but the Zeuhl also remains. Weird electronic noises open Cloclo, before an up- tempo Quo-esque boogie is refusing to change Status, despite some short scat vocal interventions. Wild guitar and fuzzed organ parts are reigning supreme here. The Closing Mon Capitaine has lengthy psych-RIO intro, where fuzzed-out organs are blooming openly, but the bizarre childish electronic takes over, only to leave the grounds to an enthralling funky bass & guitar passage

Quite a pleasant surprise to have discovered the band through the 2010 RIO Festival in Carmaux, as the band was just releasing their second/third album, Ce Très Cher Serge, and by the same token, distributing this Un Et Deux compilation, recently manufactured as well. Indeed, Aquaserge is a very unique band that deserves a lot more attention, especially if you're into bizarre Canterburyan-Zeuhl with an RIO twist.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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