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4 stars Miriodor continues its trend as the most accessible and inventive avant prog out there. Twitches, buzzes, dives, and lurches wind their way through musical muck that somehow makes sense and fits together as a coherent whole. As with their excellent previous record, Avanti!, some songs are stretched the the seven, eight, and nine minute marks, interspersed with some shorter sonic explorations.

In terms of highlights, I truly like the acoustic opener, obviously owing a debt to Bernard Falaise and his work with the Conventum reunion in 2012. This is not the only acoustic song on the disc, and this band keeps plugging away paving new terrain in the progressive world. I truly believe this group is the Can of its generation, decades and decades ahead of their time.

Miriodor is a sorely underexposed group, Cobra Fakir is a thrilling listen and fits very nicely in Miriodor's top notch catalog. If you haven't already, check out their previous albums from the 2000's. Fans of Univers Zero and the RIO movement will find lots to like here, and adventurous listeners will be rewarded handsomely.

Miriodor is recommended to jazz fans as well. This record could easy pass for jazz if Medeski Martin and Wood were creative enough to sound like Miriodor.

Report this review (#1112410)
Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Miriodor formed in 1980 in Québec City, and have been through some different band formats since then, but are currently a trio comprising founding musicians Pascal Globensky (keyboards, synths, piano) and Rémi Leclerc (drums, percussion, keyboards, turntable) along with longtime member Bernard Falaise (guitars, bass, keyboards, banjo, turntable). Miriodor have long been members of the international RIO movement, but what I find amazing is just how immediate this music is, although it is complex in the extreme and some would find it incredibly challenging. To my ears it is a staccato world where not only am I welcome, but it is somewhere that I want to stay as long as I can.

They have definitely given this album the right title, as a cobra fakir is a snake charmer, who uses carefully concocted melodies to put the mighty reptile into a trance from which there is no escape. That is the same here, as once this hits the player nothing else exists. Imagine Gentle Giant and King Crimson combined at their most eclectic and not allowed out of the studio until they have come up with something that is breathtakingly brilliant, and you may be close to what this is all about. There is no doubt in my ears that this is one of the most important albums ever to come from the wonderful Cuneiform stable and here is something for everyone into RIO, prog, avant music, jazz and/or they have an open mind as to where music can take them. In many ways hard to describe, and definitely hard to ignore, this is a compelling piece of work.

Report this review (#1112441)
Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 styars really!!

Yet another line-up change for Miriodor, who reverts (temporarily) to a trio format, but in the studio, it makes little difference as all three members play many different instruments, this time including turntables, though you won't be hearing any hip-hop. However the album's title is somewhat misleading as it could induce one into thinking that the band explored the Asian subcontinent's music. Alas! If there are some Indian music elements, they're probably integrated too subtly for my not-so- inexperienced ears, but AFAIAC, I heard none in this album. Actually, we're heading in the opposite direction from what their previous album, Avanti had led us. Can we talk of a step backwards? Of course not, we are on more familiar grounds than Avanti had us, and one can only regret it.

If the first few numbers hover around the usual Miriodor sonics ("yet again", one could almost say), things are gradually changing with the help of the turntable effects and the overall soundscapes and moods are getting heavier and moodier. By the half of the album, you'll think a few times of Crimson, but it gets even deeper, in a "UZ crossed with Pink-era Tangerine Dream" sense but with that typical Miriodor touch. And what to say of the album's closing piece, which is simply stupendous, almost having you beg for more of the same; while at the album's early stages, you were despairing for something new. While I definitely prefer their previous Avanti, Cobra is certainly one of their better one, but mainly so because of its second half.

Report this review (#1156991)
Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Quirky and inventive, but a bit cold.

Miriodor are currently from Montreal (Canada), and perform a quirky and complex form of instrumental music. Despite their beginnings and the label attached to them here, I actually think they belong more in the 'eclectic' category than RIO or avant. While they occasionally use atonality and avant styles, their music more often involves complex lines and runs over top of fairly consistent and even normal drum beats (much more like an instrumental Gentle Giant than, say, Henry Cow). Cobra Fakir from 2013 is their second-most recent album. Not as good as the predecessor (Avanti), but better than their most recent album (Signal 9), it is a mixed bag, but contains some great music. My favourites are the title track ('Cobra Fakir'), 'Titan' (the most RIO/avant track here), and 'Speed Dating sur Mars' (the latter has a definite GG feel to it). If only the whole album had been this musical. None of the tracks here are off-putting, mind you, but many of the remaining tracks are not overly musical either. In general, the first half of the album is better than the second half, and some might find it a bit tiring to listen to all the way through. The one thing I would like to see more in Miriodor are solos - they really like to practice the tough coordinated or counter-point lines, but they don't really like to solo. There are only a few solos here, mostly short electric guitar solos. They could also explore more their jazzy-side - much of this music would lend itself well to jazz fusion, but the band seems intent on steering their music away from jazz. This is fine, but it means the music ends up feeling a bit cold. Solos would warm it up, add some soul. So, one the whole, some difficult complex quirky music - worth checking out - but could have been even better. I give this album 7.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Report this review (#1820453)
Posted Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | Review Permalink

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