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François Breant - Voyageur Extra-Lucide  CD (album) cover

VOYAGEUR EXTRA-LUCIDE

François Breant

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars After a really successful (artistically anyway) debut album, Bréant quickly recorded a second album, which would turn out fairly different, even if the principle appears much the same: making a soundtrack for a film that doesn't exists, but the titles giving you the general storyboard outlines. What strikes on this album is that in some ways, it's much more accessible (in a Vangelis style) but when looking at the line- up, long-time buddy guitarist Perru is missing (except on one bonus track), and even if Lacordaire and Arroyo are around, something is missing. Some with a new-agey type of jazz-fusion album, with the now obvious Magma bass.

Adopting a more informatics artworks, VEL was not recorded at Herouville studios like its predecessor and it was self-produced. These characteristics will turns the album a very different one from Sons Optiques, certainly less complex and more accessible, even a bit new-agey. Bréant playing much synths on this album than on SO, making the album less organic and less complex and if there wasn't, thankfully, Lockwood's violin helping out on half the tracks, but the absence of the guitar (except for one track and it's almost a joke) is too noticeable. The album closes on the only song that has vocals (Blasquiz and Stella Vander) and it's a ridiculous ditty that IMHO doesn't help the album

About the three bonus tracks (totalling some 9 minutes), we find again a bit the same deal as for Sons Optiques: 80's written and recorded pieces that were recorded for this album's release in 02. Of these three, only Fille De La Vie could've fit in with the original album, the other two... VEL is a much less interesting album than SO, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own charms and should be forgotten about. No, it's like a shy little sister that would've grown in the shadow of an encumbering bigger sister.

Report this review (#172464)
Posted Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
silvertree
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have had this album in vinyl format in my collection for a long time and had not listen to it very often. To be frank, I bought it second hand, listened to it once or twice and just put it away. I didn't feel it had much to offer at the time. So, after a couple of years, I decided to give it a couple of spins to find out if I had missed something. Well, I don't think I have. It's definetely on the electronic side if you must give it a tag. Very close to Vangelis globally. But it's not that simple. Let me give a description of the first two tracks that compose this album : Poursuite sur le Peripherique Nord : an uptempo and instrumental piece. Very lively with nice (real) drumming. The piano and synths remind me of Goblin in their classic period. So quite a good track on the whole. 8 Aout 0H15 125-eme Rue : a slow driving piece which is led by a synth. Has a jazzy guitar solo that comes and goes during the piece. A nice synth solo in the end. And so the tracks are all quite different and never repetitive. Didier Lockwood also appears on this album on four tracks giving it an interest for fans of this violin virtuoso. François Bréant's link with Magma still remains not so much in the music but in the musicians who appear on the album : Didier Lockwood I've already mentioned ; Stella Vander (vocals) and Klaus Blasquiz (vocals). So a nice album but only for completionists although it does deserve for than two stars in my opinion.
Report this review (#264082)
Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Francois Breant's second studio album is right on the heels of his debut as he had some time to do his own thing in the late seventies. I was surprised that I much prefer the debut just based on descriptions I've read although Hugues hits the nail on the head with his review of this album, also feeling that while we get some of the same vibe as the debut something is missing, this just isn't as enjoyable. Lots of high pitched synths that I'm not into in and less guitar, no sax this time around either. I was happy to see Klaus Blasquiz and Stella Vander singing on one track but it's my least favourite by far. Lisa Deluxe adds vocals and she's sung on some great albums like RAHMANN's debut, ATOLL's "Tertio", MAGMA's "Udu Wudu" and "Attahk" and many more. So yes this looked promising and I was also glad to read Hugues words stating that this was meant to be a soundtrack for a non-movie as this is what it sounds like to me.

"Poursuite Sur Le Peripherique Nord" features sweeping synths that bring disco to mind unfortunately. Love the bass though as drums beat away. The pulsating keyboards after 1 1/2 minutes sounds better to my ears then a calm with piano and a beat takes over. Lots of keyboard sounds before 3 minutes then those sweeping synths are back. Yikes! "8 Aout, Oh.15, 125-eme Rue" has a relaxed start, very mellow with bass and synths standing out. It does turn louder with synths before a calm with picked guitar, keys, bass and drums takes over. A relaxed tune over all though. I like it. More of that intricate guitar 3 minutes in then synths lead the way after 4 minutes as it stays mellow with bass and a beat.

"L'amour Au Grand Air" opens with piano melodies as those sweeping synths are back from earlier then this strong classical vibe takes over. Not into either. This is like music from a TV show or movie. The violin before 3 minutes is laid back with piano and more. A calm follows them more violin at 5 1/2 minutes which sounds so sad. "Cadence D'eperonnage" is my favourite. I like the multi-vocals to start sounding like mellotron choirs almost. Piano helps out then it turns fuller when the vocals step aside.

"Danse Rituele Talmouse" has bright synths and a bright overall sound with percussion. No Albert Marcouer this time around though. High pitched pulsating synths take over as a beat helps out. More synths as well. I'm not into this, too plastic sounding at times. Those pulsating synths are back after 2 minutes as themes are repeated. "L'eveil De L'acrobate" opens with what I believe is synths and keys as drums, bass and violin join in. There's those sweeping synths again 2 minutes in, at least we have some excellent bass here.

"L'obos Rouille Trouve Dans La Dune" has a beat with keys as it builds. Synths come in over top as the bass arrives as well. Some aggressive guitar but it's very brief. It turns much fuller but that will come and go as synths, keys, bass and a beat continue until the violin makes some noise after 2 1/2 minutes. "Les Funeralles Du Voyeur" is my second favourite song on here. Love the atmosphere that floats along as other sounds start to come and go. Suddenly before 2 1/2 minutes we get sequencers. What!? Electronics as the atmosphere disappears and the violin comes in over top of the sequencers. Cool!

"We Ate The Zoo" ends it with just over two minutes of Blasquiz and Stella Vander doing their best opera impressions. This comes across as a musical which I despise. Shoot me now!

So this album certainly has it's moments but far too few to offer up 4 stars. I'll stick with the debut which I spun this morning and it confirmed to me how much better I like it than the sophomore release. I'm glad Didier Lockwood came back playing violin at least.

Report this review (#1913192)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2018 | Review Permalink

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