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Edition Spéciale - Horizon Digital  CD (album) cover

HORIZON DIGITAL

Edition Spéciale

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Their third album was rather like ALIQUANTE, only more of it. Ann Ballester's singing voice gained in confidence, making this quite pleasing to listen to as she sings on three of the album's six tunes (I don't know if I'd quite consider the chanting on "Confluence" "singing" exactly). She's replaced her old ARP Omni (glorified string-synth) with an Oberheim polyphonic, allowing for an expanded palette of synthesizer tones. The Weather Report comparison creeps ever closer.

An extended guest-appearance by Gong's Mireille Bauer on marimba, vibes and other percussion really make this album soar. Really, one of the better fusion items from France, and highly recommended. I was disappointed to see two tracks from this tacked onto the end of Muséa's ALIQUANTE CD, a practice that practically screams out, "We have no intention of reissuing this in its entirety." A grave pity, as it's clearly their finest hour.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#45360)
Posted Saturday, September 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars After the almost awesome Aliquante, ES came back the following year with a fairly different album, one that would be recorded in Chateau D'Hérouville and recorded by Laurent Thibault (see his section elsewhere in PA), with a very different line-up. Only the Lorenzini-Ballester couple remains with Gouillard on drums, bassist Turquenne passing through Magma (little wonder) and being replaced by Grillot and the group brings in ex-Gong Mireille Bauer (vibes & perc) as a sort-of guest on the way to Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes. It's my guess many progheads will prefer this present album over Aliquante, and no doubt the gatefold artwork will work subliminally for Horizon Digital, but you should trust (blindly) me on this one, go for Aliquante

One of the differences you will hear is a more Zappa-esque feel to HD, due to Mireille Bauer's vibraphones, this as noticeable on the fast tracks (Aurore) than on the slower moments (intro of Camara), giving a more Mother-esque feeling than a Gong-ian tone. Another difference is the much greater presence (and more intrusive) of Ballester's Steely Dan-esque vocals laced with weaker second-rate Zeuhlian influences. So overall the ES formula is returning to a sung popier format, Ballester's synths choices not being as successful as previously, and the group is even closing the album with a needless blues track.

If on the strictly vinyl album comparison point, Aliquante is a much better album than HD, once you get to the Cd reissues, Musea actually renders things more difficult, by adding five bonus tracks that were supposed to be ES's fourth album and recorded in 80. While remaining musically roughly in line with their third album, the group was now only a duo consisting of Lorenzini and Ballester plus guests, and by that time, they had been caught by a lot trends of the times, and tried to be much more song- oriented (as in commercially-oriented songs) with Ballester's voice returning to the fore, but the back up she got made the whole thing sound like Steely Dan and this time not just vocally, but musically as well. Actually the five tracks of the fourth unreleased album make a rather nice accompaniment to Horizon Digital's eight, but you will find a degradation of quality and inspiration, the pop thing being furthered even flirting with a reggaeish funk. Better first start with Aliquante and if that pleases you enough to find more about them, come to this one (and its successor as bonus) and then move to the debut if you're still interested.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#171950)
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Horizon digital is their third album from 1978 and aswell their swansong. Almost same with predecesor but little les exciting in parts, keeping on first track Aurore the energic moments they used on Aliquante delivering some top notch passages. The instrumental section are great, maybe the vocal arrangements are not so intresting but never the less ok on Camara. Graced by an excellent gatefold cover art, Horizon digital desearves to be paraised but I don't think is their best work, Aliquante remains their most acomplished work from their career. All in all a fairly good album, but the magic of previous release here is not so present only on some passages. The Cd re issue by Musea has 5 bonus tracks, the pieces that suposed to enter on their forth album from 1980, but in the end the release never saw the light, they disbanded soon after in summer of 1981. 3 stars maybe in some parts 3.5 stars, still good but not so excellent as Aliquante.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#778140)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | Review Permalink

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