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Alain Markusfeld

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Alain Markusfeld Le Monde En Étages album cover
3.00 | 6 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Musique fatidique pour nuages fatigués (3:32)
2. Dans la glue moyenâgeuse (5:47)
3. Dors ! Madère (4:09)
4. La terre se dévore ! (partie 1) (3:36)
5. La terre se dévore ! (partie 2) (3:25)
6. Les têtes molles. (6:41)
7. Actualités spatio-régionales (8:13)

Total Time: 35:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean-Claude Michaud / bass
- Jean Schultheis / drums, vibraphone, organ, piano
- Bernard Duplaix / flute, basson saxophone
- Denis Lable / guitar
- Alain Markusfeld / guitar
- Rolling / guitar
- Tommy Brown / drums

Releases information

LP Barclay (1970)

Thanks to oliverstoned for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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ALAIN MARKUSFELD Le Monde En Étages ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (67%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ALAIN MARKUSFELD Le Monde En Étages reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by oliverstoned
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars

Alain Markusfeld's first album, released in 1970 was composed by Markusfeld himself who also plays guitar on "La terre se dévore! (partie 2)".

All pieces features Markusfeld french singing, in a rather spoken theatrical and declamatory style, which may remind of Ange. The lyrics, somehow science fiction inspired, feature a metaphysical, philosophical dimension with a good amount of delirious sick humour.

The music hesitates between several genres: pop, prog, psychedelic. Guitar style varies and may evoke Hendrix from time to time.

The first piece is a curious patchwork, beginning by a funny sung introduction with some chorus singing "le monde en étages" and then quickly moves to some killer prog, quite ahead of its time, featuring psychedelic guitar.

An odd and promising debut album.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars You can do far worse than get this album, but it isn't a masterpiece as well. Yet this album has a special atmosphere to it, as if it were from another world made by mysterious people. Markusfeld's vocals add a very special touch to this album and are one of its highlights, in my opinion.

Starting bizarrely with an acoustic guitar where Markusfeld narrates more than sings until the chorus (which is the title of the album) arrives and brings the electric side of the whole group in. There you can hear the more psychedelic side of the music, a sound not too far from the 60's rock. It then continues in a more ethereal way with the male vocals accompanying the guitar that keeps on with its enchanting singing. There is also a piano to be heard way in the back, but it is hard to hear it and this is a downside to this album, the production which brings forth some aspects and neglects others.

The second song starts softly with a flute, but then come in the vocals which give the music a theatrical tone and there is more narration like talking by Markusfeld. The music shifts between the slightly weird theatrical approaches to the 60's psychedelic rock side. This narration style is actually a nice way of creating this special atmosphere in the album and making it more than just another psychedelic rock album (even though it is good in that way as well).

The third song has some funny lyrics but the music sounds like a Doors song at times. It's a nice tune and his vocals make it more special. It's a pity it ends abruptly.

The next two songs which are parts 1 and 2 of La Terre Se Devore, are your classic 60's psychedelic music with the guitar giving some nice solos and then giving a main music theme that the song will follow its lines. In part 2 you get to hear more the organ and there is the nice vocal line sung by the group.

The next one starts with a cool guitar sound that sounds like sea waves (closest thing I could think of). 1:30 after the song starts with the same sounds as before, the drums and guitars cease to let Alain sing alone and then join back in a slower pace, and we get to hear the bass clearly at last. This is a nice change from the otherwise similar sound in the entire album. Markusfeld sings melancholically about how he lost his planet and condemned to live in space, accompanied by the piano to enhance the feelings of loneliness.

In the last song, Markusfeld unleashes more of his vocal acting but with more power and energy this time. This song is weirder than the others as can be heard by the voices crying like ghosts in the middle of it or the organ playing as if the phantom of the opera just entered the studio.

The overall music is good and enjoyable, but nothing special that will make you regret not getting this long ago. As Oliver noted in his review the music does stray between psychedelic and pop music but the arrangements and the vocals included make it more special than it could have been otherwise. The music is good, but this is not something we haven't heard before or elsewhere. It does show more than just a good potential for the next releases. The music here would be great if played live.

Good, but non essential - 3 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Markusfeld's debut album is one of those late psychedelic affair that seemed to accompany Ame Son's Catalyse or XXX, in terms of music, but his lyrics/text made him some kind of bard or poet, a bit like the impressive and uncompromising Gerard Manset or Melmoth (as Dashiell Hedayat's debut album came out as). Not exactly well recorded, this album is rather rough, amateurish and raw (and designed as such), pointing out at Pete Brown's Battered Ornaments. Graced with Babel's Tower for an artwork, this album is a bit of a schizophrenic one, hesitating between good lyrics (but sung with an approximative voice) and guitar heroics (nothing groundbreaking though) and the whole thing suffers from it. The "group" consist of Markusfeld on guitar, bass and keyboards with his long-time accomplice Jean Schultheiss (drums, percussions and keyboards) while a few guests add more bass and some wind instruments.

Opening the vinyl's first side opens on the patchy Musique Fatidique Pour Nuages Fatigués (fateful music for tired clouds), with a discordant guitar strumming and then comes those rough and unrefined vocals, the whole thing on (sometimes) fuzzed-out guitar. The whole A-side is of the same mould until we reach the first half of La Terre Se Dévore (Eartgh devouring itself). Should you get a proof of how amateurish, they cut the track in two separating it with the album's flipping over, before taking where it left off. Nice experimentation, but not really successful, even if the first part of this song is the album's highlight, with its jazzy-Hendrix feel.

The flipside starts with what couldn't have fitted on its opposite face, but not really bringing much new. Têtes Molles (soft heads) is again rough and unfocused, but shows Markusfeld quite able on the jazzy piano while recitating his strange poem about Earth's split in its centre. The closing Actualités is a silly catastrophic news bulletin about Martian invasion over an early Floydian sound layer, abruptly changing two thirds of the way in.

Hardly essential for progheads (but interesting nonetheless), Markusfeld's debut album has never seen a Cd re-issue, so you'll have to hunt down the vinyl should you still want to listen to it. But for most of us, this is the type of album that will interest only the Markusfeld fans.

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