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Laurent Thibault - Mais On Ne Peut Pas Rêver Tout Le Temps  CD (album) cover

MAIS ON NE PEUT PAS RÊVER TOUT LE TEMPS

Laurent Thibault

Zeuhl


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars Sole solo album from bassist Laurent Thibault, and coming rather late in his career, since he was in the studio business by this time. Indeed one of the pioneers of French prog/Zeuhl (via Magma and MGP) in the late 60's and early 70's, he had become heavily involved into producing, than managing studios and none the least the famous Hérouville studios, where the entire world music industry fought to get in. Based on a concept of interpreting musically the paintings of Douanier Rousseau (the inventor of the naïve movement, who never used models for his paintings, but only his memory). This almost instrumental album is made of 24 pieces assembled into four suites (two per side) and graced with two of Rouseau's paintings as artwork, and released on the small Ballon Noir label (also releasing Ripaille) became one of the best album from France in any decade.

Starting relatively slowly in Oree, we are charmed by the ex-Northette Amanda Parsons' celestial vocalizings, accompanying a slow crescendo-ing track where Thibault's bass is gradually taking the calm reflective music into Zeuhl territory then climaxing to resume to its start again and end quietly. Starting on wind noises, Aquadingen picks up speed with a Pastorius-like fretless bass (played by Moze) slowly Zeuhl-ing away under jungle animal noises, obviously hinting at the front cover artwork.

The flipside is just as enchanting and the magic works much the same way, but the start of Caravane De L'Oubli will remind you of Genesis' Unquiet Slumber, but this is temporary as Arabic ambiances and Oldfield-ian influences creep in and Islamic prayer-type of scat vocals intervene over layers of guitars, keyboards, violin and ending with the only spoken vocals mentioning the album's title. The final title track explodes out of the spoken line with Thibault's bass starting, soon relayed by Moze's fretless bass, then Thibault's guitar grinds appears, launching some wordless chants and some blood-curdling screams, machine gun firing, madcap laughing all over Moze's fretless Pastorius-ian basslines.

A rather short album (barely clocking in over the half hour), but certainly one of the better to come from the later 70's, MONPRTLT is definitely worthy of attention by all progheads.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#140722)
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 4.5 stars. After producing MAGMA's "Attahk" album Laurent Thibault decided to make his own solo album. He got help from Lisa Bois who sang on the MAGMA album he had just produced, as well as former MAGMA members Francis Moze and Richard Raux. Interesting that Laurent was the original bass player for MAGMA prior to their first album release, and was replaced on bass by Francis Moze. Lionel Ledissez helps on vocal melodies, he was the singer for ERGO SUM who were the first band Laurent signed to his then record label. Interesting that Lionel helped out on vocals with UNIVERSIA ZEKT who also put out an album on Laurent's label back then. That band of course was pretty much MAGMA under a different name in order that they could release on Laurent's label(see my review for that album for full explanation). Amanda Parsons lends her beautiful vocal melodies to the first track. She of course sang with HATFIELD AND THE NORTH and NATIONAL HEALTH. Laurent met her through Francis Moze who in turn had met her in the UK when he was with GONG. The music itself does not have an obvious Zeuhl flavour, but we do get a taste of it along with Arabic, Indian, African, Folk and Jazz all blended together. I have to say that the music here far surpassed my expectations.

"Oree" opens with a pastoral setting as gentle guitar and Amanda's soprano vocal melodies create paradise for the ears. Cymbals then light drums and keys are added to the melody. Laurent's wife Jacqueline plays the keys. Lisa adds her vocal melodies to Amandas' and violin comes in. Flute after 5 minutes. The tempo picks up a minute later with drums outfront. This is a beautiful passage. Lionel, Amanda and Lisa sing together in this Indian inspired passage that follows. The bass is fat and the music is uptempo. Suddenly it calms right down to the original melody with flute, gentle guitar, keys and violin all eventually taking part. Liquid keys after 10 minutes. The song ends with Laurent's 8 year old daughter playing a toy piano(can you say dissonant). That was actually the same toy piano David Bowie played on the original version of "China Girl" by IGGY POP on his "The Idiot" album that was recorded at Laurent's studio.

"Aquadingen" starts so calmly and builds with drums and bass leading the way. A full sound 2 minutes in with crazy vocals from Serge Derrien. It settles back down a minute later as we get sax, odd metered drumming, violin and animal sounds. This sounds amazing by the way. "La Caravane De L'Oubli" has a strong Arabic flavour. It opens with a catchy melody with drums leading the way. The sound is building until we get female vocals taken from a religious record of Laurent's of a muezzin calling for evening prayer. "Mais On Ne Peut Pas Tout Le Temps" opens with a dark mood as drums beat away. It calms down as female vocal melodies and the sound of water can be heard. Children are heard playing before the pace picks up. Check out the fretless bass of Moze ! Drums lead the way as the dark mood returns with vocal melodies. Sax comes in as the melody temporarily stops then returns just as fast. Derrien comes in yelling and laughing as that fantastic dark melody continues. Incredible song. The first and the last songs are truly genius.

This is a spellbinding release that I can't say enough good things about. A must have.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#160276)
Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
Guldbamsen
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Site and Forum Admin
5 stars Jungle euphoria

If you know of the Zeuhl genre through the likes of Magma and Ruins, you might expect music from these waters to be chanting like a druid´s convention - teutonic and staccato like an aggressive basketball player wearing a military uniform. This album though by Laurent Thibault, who in fact was the producer of Magma´s Attahk album and a bunch of other French curiosities, does successfully prove that there is more to this style of music than what meets the ear. Far more.

The beautiful artwork here is a painting called The Snake Charmer done by Henri le Douanier Rousseau, who happens to be one of my favourite painters. The parallels between the green lush and rather peaceful image and the magical music inside of Mais On Ne Peut Pas Rëver Tout Le Temps are more than anything, striking - in that intangible and dare I say esoteric manner, in which all musicians should strive their artworks and music to accomplish in unison. A connection beyond words.

I´ve always had a thing for Eastern philosophy and that good old phrase about the middle path. A path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, which in this particular case - I feel is strongly represented in how the music comes across. Don´t get me wrong, I´m all for extremes and putting the pedal to the metal, but somehow restraint and the power of interplay does seem to reach some form of other level on here.

This album is almost instrumental, but nowhere near it. Haha! What I mean to say, is that we are not treated to any words or philosophical phrases, but there are moments of extreme beauty hiding in this album, which are set free by two different female singers. In keeping with the Eastern images, think of these female voices as a couple of Wushu practising monks - shifting through alternating stances fluently like ch´i seeking ballet dancers doing pirouettes in front of a red sun rising. I´d like to think that these two women singing resemble the most beautiful orgasming mermaids, - or if you have trouble picturing such an event, then imagine those ethereal lingering vocals from The Lord of the Rings - that every now and again speak of impending magic and sorcery. They feel like vocal frostbites delivered in the freezing winds. At other times they seem to be yodelling together with some backing masculine ones - and together they lure the music into unknown heights, that fuse the Zeuhl brand with some pretty astonishing folk snippets expressed through spiralling acoustic guitars.

Balancing these serene and crystal clear voices out and infusing warmth into the mix - is what the music is all about, and if I can redirect your focus towards the artwork once again and take in the freshness of the jungle - and the explosions of green, - then try imagining this image being expressed through acoustic guitars, bass, various wind instruments, drums and the occasional keys. When the vocals run out, it is as if a tree had died, but just like in nature - this macabre event leads to new possibilities and other structures - turning the forest floor into a hot bed of new seedlings and tiny plants. The music answers similarly, with those acoustic guitars sprinkling away like flocks of birds all flapping together simultaneously. The bass chimes in too, and shows who really is the boss here. It is front and centre, but as I explained earlier - it is never taken to any extremes - even when it unfolds itself in some rather sensuous fretless playing - kindly provided by Francis Moze. The bass is omnipresent, and works much like a musical leach - continuously jumping from elbow to knee - guitars to drums - leaving behind a small mark: The bass leach was here! Funny how some musicians are able to colour everything around them...

There is some kind of earthiness to these instruments, and yet quite the opposite. Listening to the combination of the guitars and the rhythm section genuinely makes me think of that artwork again. Those gatherings of green appearing like a thousand small brightly coloured mini cosmos, - the music is rather like that! There are so many facets to each of these instruments involved, that very similar to the subtracting chromatophors of the forest chameleon - shift colours all according to the overall feel of the music. The guitars are a perfect example of this, and although I sound completely loopy and ready for hospitalisation - they feel like they are made of light - even when the music turns Arabic in nature, where music often can turn quite muddy - they illuminate the ambiance and textures like burning torches in the night. Every time a chord is struck - be that a single string - it´s like the lights going on in a miniature L.A. in the middle of the jungle.

I´d recommend this little gem to folks with an interest in Zeuhl that incorporates everything from folk to psych - and takes you deep within the jungle where everything is greener than any form of green you´ve ever experienced before. What a trip! 4.5 stars.

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Send comments to Guldbamsen (BETA) | Report this review (#596593)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A recent discovery that has quickly climbed into my Top 5 All-time favorite Zeuhl albums. There are such great riffs, melodies and oddities throughout the brief album's four songs. Plus, there is a milder, subtler, more delicate side to this music than is common to most Zeuhl music--at times almost dreamy or bucolic--and yet the tapestries of each song are quite full, mature and fascinating. And with its excellent recording and production this one stands up incredibly well with the passage of time--better than most other albums from its era. Learning that Laurent was MAGMA's original bass player and later member and songwriter for MOVING GELATINE PLATES makes complete sense. The bass playing is so sublime! And the bold use of recording samples and world voices/vocals to accompany the music is breathtaking if not revolutionary. And I can't help but mention the always wonderful presence of "Northette" Amanda Parsons!

Five star songs: All four: the RENAISSANCE/ANNIE HASLEM-guests-JACO PASTORIUS-era- WEATHER REPORT-like "Orée" (11:28) (10/10); the Crosby, Stills, Nash &Young meets early PAT METHENY GROUP "Aquadingen" (4:30) (10/10); "La caravane de l'oubli" (7:08) (10/10) has an awesome kind of STEVE HACKETT and STEVE HILLAGE feel to it--even moreso with the Arabic influences, and; the experimental marriage of driving jazz funk and pastoral folk sounds on "Mais on ne peut pas rêver tout le temps" (8:21) (10/10).

Undoubtedly a masterpiece of cross-multiple-subgenres music. ESSENTIAL!

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#1156649)
Posted Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | Review Permalink

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