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Fractale - Live Suranné CD (album) cover





3.66 | 40 ratings

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3 stars From reading the English translations of the liner notes and hearing the selections from Fractale's one album (so far), I think that saxophonist/composer Julian Julien (catchy name) wanted to create an experience that is ''irregular''. The live cut SURANNE certainly does that.

Instead of a standard rock ensemble, Fractale is comprised of a miniature jazz-band of sorts of which only the drummer isn't playing a brass-made instrument. Anything that might sound like a bassline comes from an electric tuba. The music the band plays can best be described as acid psych-jazz with slight traces of Zeuhl. The electric brass instruments give Fractale a bit of character, but something else.

All throughout the live cuts, that looming presence of the electric bari sax (I assume through a phlange effect) sounds like a cool gimmick on the surface. After two songs hearing that sound constantly, it gets on my nerves fast. The worst part is that it takes away from the trumpet/alto sax interplay, psychedelic soundscapes and jazz fusion constructs, all of which could be fantastic should the band ever put out a studio album. That's why the two bonus tracks are instantly the best off the album as that piercing sax effect is toned down to non-existent. The final track ''Clementine'' justifies the band's Zeuhl tendencies with the march-style of the bass clarinet solo at the beginning.

Fractale is a band that has plenty of potential in the Zeuhl world, particularly with their unique construction and music philosophy. If the sax effects are gone, the band could potentially have a masterpiece up their sleeve in the near future.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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