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Volapük - Le Feu Du Tigre CD (album) cover




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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars One of those typically French or Belgian group evolving on the outer fringes of rock and even prog rock, and clearly fitting in Avant-prog. Generally these groups are at least four or five musos, but here Volapuk chose to evolve as a trio, which I think limits them over a whole album, but certainly if they go beyond this album and on to a second one.

But there are some superb elements that make Volapuk in general, but also this album in particular, endearing to us progheads: the dual sound of the cello along with the bass clarinet give a warm near-orgasmic ambiances, the superb overall musicianship. Some of Mandel's synths sound (few and far between) could've been more appropriate, and his sax playing (unannounced in the credits) is apt. Around the half mark of the album, the music becomes more experimental (atonal or dissonant) and arduous, but the end of the album regains the excitement of of the first track, namely El Sombrero, which is truly the highlight.

Volapuk is close to group in the UZ or Miriodor, but unfortunately, their tiny line-up also limits their sound, therefore being relatively monotonous on the length of the album.

Report this review (#68938)
Posted Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Volapuk was the new project of Guigou Chenevier,drummer of RIO progsters Etron Fou Leloublan,back in 1993.The band started as a trio with no bass or guitars,featuring (except Chenevier on drums) also Michel Mandel on bass clarinet and cellist Guillaume Saurel.The debut ''Le feu du tigre'' came out in 1995 on Cuneiform Records.

The band draws influences from Classical,Jazz and Ethnic Music (I can detect a few Chinese tunes),trying to put them together into a personal form.Unfortunately the limited instrumentation does'nt help them.Some tracks are quite good with fine interplays and constant sudden breaks.They have been compared to MIRIODOR,but the sound of the later is much more harmonic and richer.On ''Le feu du tigre'' melodies are totally absent,while there are plenty of personal performances with cello solos or marching drums without to impress the listener.There is also a jazzy-oriented improvisation mood here and there,making the listening even harder to follow.On the other side it would be a crime not to mention that the three musician are all excellent handlers of their instruments,but the whole mix simply tends to be monotonous after a few minutes.

Some additional instruments would help the band approach a wider audience or simply create a more harmonic sound.For the moment I would recommend this album only to specialized ears,experienced in Chamber or Jazz Music.For the rest I am quite certain that the album will be rather a painful and hard listening.

Report this review (#483850)
Posted Saturday, July 16, 2011 | Review Permalink

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