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Anaid - Four Years CD (album) cover

FOUR YEARS

Anaid

Zeuhl


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Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars ANAID were a French band who released two studio albums in 1986 and 1989 respectively. This is a compilation album that was released in 1991 and features two tracks from the debut plus the complete second recording. The vocals are my biggest issue as they are operatic which could work except I personally don't like the tone of her voice at all. Hugh Hopper is on bass which is why I got this, I mean I couldn't resist getting an album that is classified as Zeuhl with the great Hugh Hopper on it.

The music is fairly subdued with the vocals being the focus which isn't a good thing in my opinion. Love Hugh's fuzzed out bass though and we also get alto and soprano sax. "Arabesque" is a good example of the vibes that people tend to bring up with this recording, they are played by the drummer. "Vetue De Noir" is probably my favourite track as it's quite dark and melancholic with vocal melodies to start. She does sing after the intro and this track does have some balls to it for a change. "Sea Saw" has some fairly good guitar in it but overall this is not a release I enjoy at all. 2 stars is all I can muster for this one although Hugh is awesome as usual.

Report this review (#1275942)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2014 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 80's French band, which involved Canterbury legend Hugh Hopper and two guitarists linked with the Canterbury scene, Patrice Meyer and Rick Biddulph.They existed sometime between 1985 and 1990 with the leaders being female singer Emmanuelle Lionet and percussionist/keyboardist Jean-Max Delva.They released a cassette album in 1986, ''Vetue de noir'', recorded at Studio Adam in Roissy en Brie and three years later they self-released their overlooked debut ''Belladonna'' on vinyl with a vastly different line-up, now including saxophonist Pierre-Marie Bonafos, recorded at Studio RB in Montigny.This debut along with a few pieces from the first casette were released on the Aya label as ''Four years'', a couple of them were re-recorded versions of the old tracks with Jean-Luc Distch on drums and Rick Biddulph on bass and guitar.

They played an irritating Zeuhl akin to masters of the sound MAGMA to go along with some experimental vibes, Jazz improvisations and Gothic aesthetics, propelled by Delva's dominant synth experiments and percussion, the gradiose operatic atmospheres and Lionet's outlandish, wordless vocals.There is even a slight Canterbury touch, which is pretty reasonable, considering that musicians from the scene were involved in Anaid, especially during the more Fusion-like moments, but generally the mood goes into theatrical, operatic territories with certain Jazz flavors and some orchestral pomposity.There is some bit of incosistency in here with tracks like ''Nord-sud'' and ''Sea and saw'' sounding like failed attempts on 80's Fusion, Funk and tropical Jazz Rock with some commercial brances and not sitting comfortably next to the otherwise sinister sounds of the remaining pieces.Fortunately the rest of the album is pretty decent Zeuhl/Jazz with some great bass work, Delva managing to create obscure atmospheres with his percussions and vibrahone and Lionet appearing as a very strong vocalist.Odd rhythms, jazzy exercises, light Fusion interplays and the excellent ''Belladonna'' being a great example of soft Jazz mixed with intense Zeuhl and Minilamism.

Good 80's Zeuhl, that has escaped from the radars of many listeners.Both haunting and ethereal atmospheres with nice work on bass, sax, guitars and percussion and some superb female vocals.Recommended.

Report this review (#1383035)
Posted Sunday, March 15, 2015 | Review Permalink

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