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Etron Fou Leloublan - En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique CD (album) cover

EN PUBLIC AUX ÉTATS-UNIS D'AMÉRIQUE

Etron Fou Leloublan

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN's show in America. Also CD contains two songs of later period (with more polished studio sound and keys added) - "La Java Des Bombes Atomiques" and "Blanc". EFL is hopelessly weak in live concert.Again they're shouting and bombing you with wild jamming,but it all fails to catch your attention fully. Zappa-like approach to tracks like "Christine" and "Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau" proves that they were losing sound of their own. Songs like "Rose" contain some melody (also "Atarte" is well-known tune), but I don't think this is necessary for EFL listeners.Drummer's solo "Un Apres-midi Au Zoo" is outstanding, but whole band's improvisation "Binet D'Eau Chaude" is less interesting. After all, can be good for EFL fans, but not recommended to others (even Avant/RIO devotees - try studio albums first).

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#114891)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Album number three from les trois fous introduces saxophonist number three, as Bernard Mathieu joins ace rhythm section Ferdinand Richard and Guigou Chenevier for an American tour. This recording is EFL at their most raw and skeletal, with no studio embellishments, and the sound quality is distinctly low-fi, but the album is also full of manic energy and excellent musicianship.

For some bands a live album is a kind of stopgap between studio releases, but EFL presented almost entirely new material along with their new line up. Only one track from their first two albums is featured, Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau, and Christine was the only track would emerge on their next album. There's also an indication of the move to shorter pieces that would characterise their next few releases, and although the surreal narratives still run through the songs they're less prominent, perhaps as a concession to their mostly English speaking audience on these dates. There are no great surprises in store, however, and the wild Beefheart inspired rhythms and free jazz excursions are still in place. There are some highly effective moments throughout the album; the second half of Christine sees Chenevier leaving the drum kit to play tenor sax alongside Mathieu, while Rose slows the pace down with a surprisingly straightforward vocal and minimal percussion. An Afternoon At The Zoo is a percussion only workout that is full of odd twists and turns, and Atarte is a brief snippet of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata rearranged for sax, bass and drums. The CD reissue has two later tracks, one a 1985 studio reinterpretation of a Boris Vian song and a live recording from 1986, both featuring keyboard player Jo Thirion and the first also featuring Fred Frith.

This album demonstrates just how much EFL could do with their stripped down line up, and in particular it showcases the phenomenal rhythm section of Richard and Chenevier. The quantity of material unavailable elsewhere and the sheer energy of these performances make this a real treat for an established fan, but the sound quality and the occasionally grating vocals may be heavy going for a newcomer.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#134171)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 styars really!!!

Third album chronologically for EFL, with yet another wind player change, this time Bernard Mathieu. This is probably EFL at its rawest and barest, but we are in 79 and France is a high ground for rawness of punk as "n'importe quoi" (anything goes) but the group doesn't even use their show to promote or play older material, as in this Live collection, with only Fleuve & Manteau (actually quite close to the studio version with a superb sax hovering like Trane) belonging to one of their previous album, and Christine will be reworked in a future album.

That very Christine, built on short repetitive riff, whose storyline is used to for some other song characters in later songs during the concert. Indeed Christine's son JC gets a mention in the following track Ida Trop Tard, but I wouldn't call this album conceptual or thematic, but probably a bit of "n'importe quoi". Et Puis starts as declamation from Mathieyu that obviously had a cvold at the time, before starting very Gonglike with the same Mathieu then blowing Malherbe-like. Great stuff. Rose is from a different mood, as they aim more for music hall music, with Guigou Chevenier dreaming of Chevalier. Some tracks are definitely more difficult but still impressive, like the Zoo track with its all percussive solo attack. A small classical theme to announce to end a set of the concert (sounds like Fur Eloise) etc. .and a great improv to finish the vinyl.

The rawness of the recording is not as bad as some would have you believe, though as both Chevenier and Richard sing sometimes very close to Peter Hammill's register and the overall sound of the album might approach VDG's Vital live album., this mixed with a brutal rhythm section ala Velvet Underground meeting Beefheart's Trout Mask. The Cd reissue has two bonus tracks dating from the mid-80's, that might have their own interest but they stand out like a sore thumb on this live album, the latter of which feature HC's Fred Frith. Don't get me wrong both tracks are fine, but they should've found refuge on 80's EFL albums.

While I wouldn't recommend the novice to start discovering EFL with this live album, it's certainly a very interesting album that holds its own in their entire discography.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#212857)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars By the sounds of it, this particular performance from Etron Fou Leloublan was quite a spectacle to experience in a live setting. Unfortunately En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique only has a weak sound collage that can give a certain understanding of how the band sounded during the performance without much depth to it.

After hearing this live album on a few occasions it's still unclear to me what I think of this band's live act. Etron Fou Leloublan had, by the time of this release, already made another change in their lineup with Bernard Mathieu taking over the band's soprano & tenor saxophones duties. This would turn out to be the longest time a member of Etron Fou Leloublan would keep those duties which, in my opinion, greatly benefited the band's next studio release Les Poumons Gonflés.

This live album gives us a few hints of material of the next few albums like a wild take of Christine from Les Poumons Gonflés and Blanc off Face Aux Eléments Dechainés but other than that most of this album's material is comprised of wild jams and improvisational moments that do work well in a live setting but not necessary transition that onto a live release. I generally tend to be more forgiving for mistakes that I see bands do when performing live since I'm getting a different type of energy from the whole experience that overshadows any minor flaws in the instrumental work. Here, these flaws become overbearing at times even though I don't consider myself a perfectionist when it comes to live albums.

With only Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau gapping the bridge between the past and future for Etron Fou Leloublan, En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique is quite a weird live album that I can't really recommend to anyone but the established fans. I'm sure that there are interesting moment to gain here if you've already acquired a taste for this band's music, but otherwise I'd definitely recommend starting with the studio albums.

**** star songs: Introduction (0:23) Christine (7:57) Rose (3:58) Atarte (Rappel) (0:45) Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau (8:28) Blanc (4:56)

*** star songs: Ida Trop Tard (6:56) Un Apres-midi Au Zoo (3:03) Et Puis (6:32) La Java Des Bombes Atomiques (2:44)

** star songs: Binet D'Eau Chaude (Impro) (3:57)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#297145)
Posted Thursday, September 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is amazing in my opinion, not least because one of the best bands - Etron Fou LeLoublan - actually came to Hartford CT and recorded half their live album there. This courtesy of the Alien Rock crew at WTRC Trinity College.

Etron Fou were very obscure in 1979, this was like a personal concert for the crazy few, held in the intimate, colonial-styled Mather Hall on campus. It was a fantastic event, I am grateful to have been there. I've got a few snapshots taken on the night - send me an email if you are interested.

Contrary to some of the comments posted, the recording quality isn't bad, it's comparable to their first two (studio) albums and on par with many live recordings from this era. It does have that raw sound, but this is an accurate representation of the night. First live at Trinity College, next live in your living room - what more can you ask for? Recommended!

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Send comments to mondello1 (BETA) | Report this review (#298505)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Review Permalink

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