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Lard Free - Gilbert Artman's Lard Free  CD (album) cover


Lard Free



3.77 | 69 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Lard Free is one of those groups I've heard of for years, but never tried any of their albums, until now. I first knew of them in 2002 after buying the Clearlight Symphony album and noticed Gilbert Artman appears on the album, and did some internet research about the backgrounds of some of the musicians involved (aside from the Gong members which I was already very familiar with then) and found out about Lard Free.

This is the 1973 debut by this project by Gilbert Artman. This is one group that can be easily called eclectic prog, progressive electronic, jazz rock/fusion, and avant prog as you get elements of all of those in their music, so the music ends up being considered Krautrock without even originating in Germany, and it's really difficult how much Artman had picked up on the German scene. It's easier to know he likely picked up on the British prog and the American jazz rock/fusion scene. King Crimson is a rather obvious influence, the guitarist here often sounds like Robert Fripp crossed with John McLaughin, he'd do a lot of those McLaughin-like leads but then include Fripp-like sustains and distortions. Heldon is another comparison, but you have to bear in mind in 1973 Richard Pinhas was in transition from Schizo, a psychedelic band, and Heldon, who had yet to see any albums as of 1973 (although Pinhas does appear on Lard Free's second album, I'm Around About Midnight, solidifying the Heldon comparison). The first cut features a bass line, with some distorted lead guitar and jazzy arrangements. The next piece is a two part, starting off as a purely electronic piece played on an ARP 2600 synthesizer, before going into fusion overdrive that sounds like Crimson meets Mahavishnu. "Acide Framboise" is a nice piece with this big, juicy ARP 2600 synthesizer that completely dominate the piece while "Livarot Rispartion" is a nice, laid back, pleasant piece dominated by Artman's vibraphone, with bass and sax. The last piece is simply low-key droning synth that might not be to everyone's liking (might be too minimalist for some), but I enjoy it. Why have I not tried Lard Free earlier? I don't regret purchasing their albums one bit.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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