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Abus Dangereux - Le Quatrieme Mouvement CD (album) cover


Abus Dangereux

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Pierrejean Gaucher's Abus Dangereux's first album, Le Quatričme Mouvement, is a typical late-70's funky fusion that has an evident Canterbury-esque bent (recorded in London in 79, there was not much chance escaping it, also), often ogling to National Health (and even the Daevid Allen-less Gong) and often uses Voise's vocals (admit it, you thought I was going to write it, uh? ;-) in the Northettes manner. There are many enjoyable moments (but nothing enthralling or enthusiasting either) in the longer tracks like the title track and Funk Au Chateau (whose finale is excellent). Nothing essential, even if this album is generally well rated by connoisseurs.
Report this review (#122632)
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I had seen this bands name mentioned on a couple of Zeuhl threads so I was surprised to see them listed here under Jazz / Fusion. Well after spending some time with this album lets just say it's jazzy Zeuhl. Actually on the back of the cd it says " of the best French Jazz-rock Lp's in recent memory. The approach harkens back to the golden days of ZAO, MAGMA, GONG... A tight rhythm section serves as the backdrop over which guitar, keyboards and female voice dance, counterpointing each other with delicate intertwining. Cerebral, melodic sections alternate with high energy jams effectively. Definite French Fusion..."(Eurock Music Magazine-November 1980). And I would say that the two females who sing the vocal melodies bring to mind the Zeuhl genre too, although they are very much reserved in their singing and not out front like on ESKATON or MAGMA. Still that bass and electric piano has Zeuhl all over it.

"Le Roy Est Mort, Vive Le Roy" opens with vocal melodies and liquid sounding keys. The drums join in as things start to accellerate 2 minutes in. I really like the sound after 4 minutes. The mood changes after 6 minutes as it becomes pastoral. Sax comes in late. "Le Quatrieme Mouvement" features high pitched vocal melodies that come and go. The tempo changes a lot. We get some sax and then percussion 2 minutes in before the bass player shows us what he's got. And he's got plenty. Keyboard melodies join in the fun. "Interlude" is a short percussion filled piece. "Funk Au Chateau" is a light jazzy tune with a fantastic display of sax playing. Late in the song we get a beat as vocal melodies come in to end the song.

"Theme D'Hiver" might be my favourite on this album. This one is more reserved with cello, bass and light drums. The sound builds 2 minutes in briefly as it becomes brighter with more energy. "Ballade Courte" begins with vocal melodies and we get a melody a minute in with some great sax as well as a good beat. More sax 3 minutes in as the song starts and stops. Bass, liquid keys and percussion follow. The guitar takes over for 1 1/2 minutes before the vocal melodies return. "Danse Du Paques" has more vocal melodies, sax, keys, drums and bass. The mood and tempo changes. There is a light jazzy passage as well as some good intricate guitar melodies.

If you like both Zeuhl and Jazz then this is a must. Check out the very well done biography penned by Avestin to learn more. I must say for my tastes this is a 4.5 star record and it's certainly an excellent addition to anyone's Jazz / Zeuhl collection. A classic from 1980.

Report this review (#138358)
Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Groovy Jazz-Rock-Zeuhl

I added Abus Dangereux to PA after being introduced to them by several friends here in PA, including Adam (Black Velvet) who recommended this particular album for zeuhl fans. Indeed, this album grew out to be one that I love and the funny thing is what the founder of Abus Dangereux said about this particular album. Pierrejean Gaucher said on this album that "this is an immature album"; he then adds that he finds his guitar playing "horrible". And still, he is proud of this album. And you know what? This may be true (though I disagree about the guitar playing being terrible) but then it's also the reason why this album is that good - sometimes immaturity or naivety are things that make albums special to me (another case for me would be Explosions In The Sky's album, How Strange, Innocence).

This band and this album in particular are regarded by many as Zeuhl and for good reason. The bass work, the drums and saxophones, the female chanting and slightly theatrical style give the music its Zeuhl characteristics and quality but when I asked Pierrejean Gaucher how to tag his band, he preferred jazz-rock since he was looking at the entire discography and not just one album. So I look at this album as a fusion/zeuhl (not unrelated styles obviously) with each sound being the dominant in each specific tune and even within the tracks there is alternation between those two, one giving way to the other. The combined effect is captivating and thrilling as can be heard on the opening track. With the title track, the zeuhl fans will probably feel at home and love the bass work and chanting. There are also touches of "avant-garde-ness" in certain points - Le Roy est Mort, Vive le Roy around 6:00 for instance; and in Ballade Courte brings in more of that avant-garde spirit again, with a dynamic repetitive and stressed bass line and the improvisation by the saxes and at the end comes in again the Zeuhl with the chanting and bass and slightly disharmonic melody. The second track, "Le Quatrieme Mouvement" as it starts makes me think of Eskaton - the bass, wacky chanting and jazz rhythm. Funk au Chateau is another fine example of the combined efforts to mix and intertwine those two related sounds. Groovy rhythm and a wandering bass start this piece which at some point goes for a stroll in the weird sound department with the guitar and keyboard and then the sax taking over, improvising at will around the theme the bass and guitar play. It is indeed a funky tune.

The music is bumpy, mostly on the happier side of things and with great rhythms, funky at times. The bass is doing great work going about either supporting the melody or in its own independent line. The keyboards too provide an important supporting element, sometimes giving extra ornaments to the music. The drumming and percussion give excellent rhythm and at times a more exotic sounding flavour to the music.

This is one of those albums that brings a smile to my face while listening to them, mainly due to the groovy rhythms, but not least because of the bass playing which I love to follow as it goes about, at times seeming oblivious to anything around it. Whether you're looking for a jazz-rock or a zeuhl album, with an experimental edge I think this will be a great album to get, although if you do not like the Magma-type zeuhl, I would first listen to samples if possible (try the title track, as it would be the highest level of it played here). I think this is an excellent album to add to your collection, and while it may be as immature as Mr. Gaucher says, it doesn't mean it's bad; au contraire. It is a good-spirited album, that will make you feel good and make you want to move to the music in those groovy parts - not many albums here in PA you say that about them, eh?

A note on finding the album - this album has been hard to track down. I looked in several places for this one and finally had to opt for buying directly from Musea (a cross-atlantic purchase). However at the time of writing (October 2007) I see that Greg Walker has it on his Syn-Phonic mailorder for sale, so grab it while you can.

Report this review (#141404)
Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very tasty zeuhl. Reminds me of Kultivator, with many resemblances with Canterbury scene music (I call some jazzy zeuhl as canterbury zeuhl.. but as a canterbury this isn't so disjointed but smooth jazz), and nice bright female vocals in the background (though the music is still instrumental). I think Abus Dangereux is more plain but maybe even more complicated. symphonic. Sounds are very comfortable and full - like the compositions are also. Bass is thrombling like Dün's, but there's more jazz fusion elements, sometimes quite funky. Melodies and rhythms are catchy and there isn't too much "headless" jazz improvisation. Le Roy es Mort, Vive le Roy; Funk au Chateau and Ballade Courte are very good songs, but the whole albums is very full and excellent. Eskaton and Pseu are quite original bands, but so is this. I recommend this album for everyone who like psychedelic and pompous music, because there's really psychedelic moments here. I have more than 70 zeuhl albums and this is maybe my favourite, at least as a whole, not boring at all. Absolutely necessary for all zeuhl fans, but also for fusion and Hatfield and the North and National Health friends.
Report this review (#180686)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another gemstone from the archives of ProgArchives.

This French band released three studio albums under the Abus Dangereux name and further three albums under the Abus name. This is their debut album and to my knowledge, an album that differs a lot from their other albums. If that's the case, that's a shame.

Le Quatrieme Mouvement is a heady mix of National Health, Magma and fusion. Some here has labelled this a zeuhl album. I would almost label this as a Canterbury scene album, although the zeuhl influences is also very strong. Fusion/Jazz..... not as much as zeuhl and Canterbury scene, though. In short, this album hits jackpot style wise, in my view.

The female vocals here are excellent. The musicianship is superb. The songs are also great. In particular the title track with the hypnotic zeuhl like female vocals. But the rest of the album is also great. A killer track or even a killer melody line is missing though. But fans of fusion, zeuhl and canterbury has found one common album to gather around. This album, that is.

4 stars and a very happy reviewer

Report this review (#545105)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permalink

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