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Andre Fertier's Clivage - Mixtus Orbis CD (album) cover


Andre Fertier's Clivage

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is Clivage's unmistakable awesome release. Definitely a reminiscence of best things ever offered in fusion jazz but all the elements are sublimated into a high class ethno-epic symphony. This is almost exclusively instrumental, making a large part to a brass ensemble. Technical, jazzy felt piano playing also have a great mention. Andre Fertier's keyobards parts are very similar in style to Cyrile Verdeaux's (Clearlight) in his most symphonic moments. This musical adventure is divided into different movements but composed as one long title, without transitions. It starts as a structured, catchy epic symphonic, majestic composition (with classic piano playing, almost medieval brass sequences) then it carries on an obsessed, uncontrolled jamming session, including ethnic percussions, splendid, grandiose oboe / sax combinations, always in a very symphonic, prog-y jazz mood. Some "spectral" female voices are added to the mix during the last movement. The tension gets higher, the trip out musical background reaches the soul to finish in an orchestral "orgy". Freak out symphonic rock that can ravish all progressive fans (from space rock, to fusion jazz and symphonic).
Report this review (#122045)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very interesting! With some little similarities with Clearlight this second Clivage album is an awsome musical experience. Starting with Mixtus Orbis and their impressive six movements, an impressive wall of music which begins with a floating piano/violin intro that slowly turns into a massive confluence of wind and chord instruments leaded by a catchy piano section. Sometimes, the music turns into a chaotic but amazing instrumental trip but keeping harmony and melody and of course, with some great ethnic and almost jazzy sections. 4th, 5th and 6th movements are a fantastic orgy of sound, some jazzy piano and oboe solos with some vocal interventions by Briggitte Toulson.

Eudjal is a kind of intermezzo driven by ethnic percussions, flute and chords. Fatoum Astris is another awsome song formed by three parts: A ethic/classical intro driven by flute and acoustic guitar with a spacy keyboard as background. Second Part is a little bit more faster and violin definetively takes the lead, turning the song into a brilliant piece with middle-Asia musical inffluences. Really beautiful!. Third Part add flute and a good bass solo to this combination and gives more importance to the percussions.

At last, Youssoufia, a cathartic songs which mixes oriental bases with an awsome oboe solo and some mysterious vocals. A great track to end this album. I'm sure that bands like Dead Can Dance heard this album (and specially this song) to make some of their music.

It's very sad to know that the album just has 31 minutes long cos is so beautiful that you really need listen more and more. Really great and withour a doubt, necessary in any prog music collection. Highly recommended!


Report this review (#143748)
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
5 stars Sonic Cornucopia

I´ve tried writing this review a couple of times before, but each time I chickened out after the 3rd or 4th paragraph. I lost the power of speak, and my fingers went limp like flappy bony sausages hanging down from my wrists with no willpower whatsoever. Trying to describe the music within Mixtus Orbis, is rather like communicating to a monkey what oysters taste of. Futile! This album is beyond classification, and just like some of my most beloved progressive gems - it mixes everything into one big casserole - shakes it up nonchalantly, and bam! Dinner is served!

Now, there are a lot of albums which are like that. You may get some that blend psych with folk, or Krautrock with fusion - and hooray we say and clap our little hands in amazement. Mixtus Orbis however goes even further and takes this to the extreme. I mean, sweet ford!! Let me just put into perspective, how many different styles that are represented here, and then that doesn´t even begin to describe how it sounds. There´s pounding doomsday pianos, psychedelic effervescent jazz, Indian tablas, yearning violins, great big orchestral sweeps of sound, Zeuhlish thunderings, late 70s blaxploitation soundtrack music and Eastern folk sprinklings - all of this crammed into a tiny album - and it sounds truly magnificent!

The first track is a monster. Gigantic in every way. Take some demonic women chanting sensuously over these chugging bassline riffs, which are magnified a thousand times by a belting raw piano. Then add a great big coating of orchestral music, you know the kind you´ve heard from movies like Shaft (-often used in Motown productions to sweeten the coarseness of the gritty and earth toned beats) - and the basic structures of the song are ready. Every component slips into the others and back again - and so it evolves into this towering monstrosity that demands attention. The track continues to climb on top of itself with its attached Zeuhl motor and reaches some form of plateau, where everyone of the different styles fuse together and suddenly sound like they´ve been joined at the hip for decades. It´s funky, jazzy, psychedelic and disturbingly beautiful - like some giant colossus of blood and gold.

Second one brings in the flute, and takes the listener on a more relaxed venture into these bizarre musical blends. The 70s movie soundtrack is still there, but leans on a decisively more staccato approach with tooting horns and ethereal violins - adding to the centre score that little bit of extra swoosh. Running along the side of this spectacle, we´ve got some serious percussive splashes with bongos maniacally pacing away, taking you into a warped crime movie score back from the days of trumpet trousers and microphone dues.

Third track. This time around we hit the meditative state of the record, and things get quite folky with the violins, and those tablas get all earthy and woody in their textures. It sounds friendly, gracious and altogether accommodating - like had a Bedouin sheep heard opened up his arms to you, after you´d just crossed the mighty planes of the Gobi desert. Water!!! Maybe I´m mad, but when the flute joins in, the music does seem to mimic the flow of a natural stream. The track turns Asiatic with some deep almost menacing strokes of the violins, and had it not been for the genius of those joyously played guitar shimmers - the feel would have been one of fear - instead of what it is: magical and elusive.

At the very end we are flown to the far East, and some weird and abnormal sounding string instruments strum a mantra like raga, that gets spiced up with a mad and furious saxophone. Together with a couple of monks chanting what must be the bass theme here, the music again sounds like no other. Experimental fusion from an Indian bazaar?

I can´t recommend this album enough, and if you guys are looking for music that is progressive and knocks down walls between the different genres, then look no further - because what we have here is something quite special and unique. I´ve certainly never come across anything that sounds even remotely close to Mixtus Orbis. So give it up for the ever changing, multicoloured, mosaic, shape shifting, tunnel burrowing, cross dressing and all encompassing Clivage, that quite possibly will forever change how you look at music.

Report this review (#597225)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I started listening this album expecting to be introduced to true raga-rock for the first time, and that is what happened. This is probably the least popular sub-genre featured on this website, even less popular than 'various genres', with no album in the top 250. That's a shame, because this album simply belongs in the top 10. Very unique music, it's like a combination of Larks Tongues in Aspic, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Mike Oldfield's Amarok, but more Indian influences and more dreamy atmospheres. In the beginning you feel that the rhythm isn't running smoothly, but as the song just builds up for 15 minutes, you'll understand why. The constantly repeating of the screaming melody is very hypnotizing, and very pleasing. As this happens in the four songs, you just float away in the music, and you'll come back refreshed. It's hard to focus while listening. You just want to close your eyes and sit back to fully enjoy the sound entering your ear. A truly essential album for people who like to hear something totally new, totally out of this world, without the mean edge that avant-prog may have at times. Forget storylines and meaningful lyrics and just float away with Mixtus Orbis and leave this world for 31 minutes. Must-have.
Report this review (#913602)
Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars I'll jump on the masterpiece bandwagon with this one. It is truly musical ecstasy from beginning to end. This is very much Indo-Raga, but the jazz-fusion element is just as if not more prevalent. But it is also minimalism as it reminds me of Terry Riley, Steve Reich or Philip Glass because it is very drone-oriented and the complexity comes from the sheer number of sounds overlaying each other including haunting female vocals of the sort you would hear on the original 60s Star Trek theme.

It starts out innocently enough with just a piano but then is joined by a violin, then a tabla. Every instrument repeats in loops. As more instruments come in, it allows other ones to go into variations. With nine different instruments on the album you can imagine how rich it becomes. The tension builds and builds into a sonic frenzy. The last track has the same formula but some exotic chanting is included.

Wow. At just over 30 minutes long divided into two longer and two shorter tracks, it goes by way too fast. It seems like it's just getting started and then it's all over leaving you torn between the ecstasy of having heard such beautiful music and the meloncholy of knowing this is so obscure it hasn't seen the light of day on CD and that this was a fleeting moment in time that will never be repeated exactly like this again.

Report this review (#1073018)
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Imagine the Mothers of Invention at their most serious and technical - say, as on the King Kong suite on Uncle Meat - and sprinkle on Indian instrumentation and musical traditions to back up the jazz fusion foundations, and you might arrive at something close to the furious workouts captured on Clivage's Mixtus Orbis. Andre Fertier's group share the billing with an orchestra, which lends some classical sweep to the intense playing on offer here. I often find progressive rock incorporating elements of Indian music to be a clumsy, hit and miss affair, but here Fertier seems to hit on a more successful version of the approach John McLaughlin took with Shakti - combining fast-paced Indian music with similarly rapid fusion to create an intriguing mix. Could do without the orchestral embellishments, mind.
Report this review (#1079199)
Posted Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is an Indo-Raga recording by France's own Andre Fertier. Andre plays Grand piano, acoustic guitar, synths and adds vocals. I count 12 individual musicians/vocalists plus an orchestra and a choir. Lots of ethnic sounds with the tablas, santoor, kemonche and other percussions. Man this is such a stew of sounds and the blending of styles. We get sax, flute, bass, cello, violin, drums and oboe besides the ones I've already mentioned. This is almost impossible for me to describe because of the ethnic instruments and not knowing what I'm hearing with so much going on.

The title track is almost 15 minutes long and divided into six parts as they all blend into each other. It gets pretty crazy by the fourth part where it sounds like the sax and orchestration are trading off and even more insane on the next section and ends hard on part six. This needs to be heard to be believed.

"Eudjal" is pretty cool with the flute over all those beats then some orchestration and vocals too. Nice bass as well. Sounds like "Shaft" before 2 minutes. Next we get a three part piece with violin and acoustic guitar starting us off then flute before an ethnic instrument making bass like sounds arrives. The tempo picks up on the next section as violin plays over top. Flute replaces violin as the lead on the last part. It ends in a very ethnic way with "Youssoufia" as deep male vocals join in and atmosphere. Flute and percussions too. Very cool sounding. Is that oboe before 2 minutes? Check out all the sounds here.

Just a great album to listen too, as in a feast for the ears. So impressed.

Report this review (#2506694)
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | Review Permalink

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