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Wapassou Messe en ré mineur album cover
3.79 | 53 ratings | 8 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La messe en ré (39:57)

Total Time 39:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Freddy Brua / keyboards
- Karin Nickerl / guitar
- Jacques Lichti / violin
- Eurydice / vocals

Releases information

Crypto ZAL 6401-
Musea FGBG 4111

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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WAPASSOU Messe en ré mineur ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

WAPASSOU Messe en ré mineur reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Second album, and apparently vastly different from the debut album (haven't heard it yet), but setting the grounds for the following Salammbo and Ludwig albums, the trio composed keyboardist (organ, piano, synth & main composer) Freddy Brua, guitarist Karin Nickerl and violinist Jacques Lichti got help from ultra- soprano singer Eurydice. Graced with a mineral artwork, this unique track (split over two sides of wax) lasting 40-mins is one of the stranger and most unique work you'll find listed in our beloved Archives.

A Japanese-sounding female voice is emerging from the synthesised mist accompanied with a strumming guitar, before the music settles between a constantly changing keyboard setting and the violin (appearing rather late in the album given the group's short line-up), the guitar often remaining in the background. The absence of typical rhythmic instruments (there is a bass at one point, but it might be synth-induced) give the music an even more out of this world feel to MeRM. Difficult to classify Wapassou's music, as the liturgical context is not that far from Magma's choirs at mass time, but I wouldn't really liken the two groups together, but more to some incredibly more positive Univers Zero or the weird French band Catharsis. Brua's Farsifa organ also gives a different flavour to the music than the usual Hammond asd does Eurydice's not always easy to enjoy ultra-high vocals.. While the music in itself has a very aerial feel and often soars in the skies, it fails to really peak and fails to hammer a real climax that would release all of the emotions gathered, since the start of the album. While the music is really "new" to newcomers, the novelty will probably wear off rather quickly, but I wouldn't bet that once the discovery phase is over that you wouldn't come back to it regularly.

Certainly one of the most singular groups around, Wapassou is well in the French tradition of very unusual groups like Magma, Art Zoyd, Flamen Dialis, Dün and a few more totally unclassifiable acts. While I wouldn't recommend Wapassou to beginning progheads, this is likely to astound (at least on the initial discovery) most of the experimented ones.

Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars If anyone is looking for a starting point in over the top prog, this might be a good place.

Not that it's just a jumble of noise, it's not. There are passing melodies, haunting violin solos, and organ riffs, echoing female choral singing. Sometimes chaos, resolving into soundscapes that prog electronic groups would kill for .

At the 15:30 mark, you actually have what seems is going to be either a wedding march or the Ave Maria. Then a tape looped riff, first by the violin, then guitar, and then bass, with the return of the female vocals that slowly go from angelic to Gong like yelping, with a male voice singing counter melody. Then it comes full circle and once more, are we in church ?

18:43, the organ and violin take over for a bit ... I'm imagining Nektar at its' best (outside of Recycled) , but this music still gives merit to its' title Mass in Re Minor. Maybe this is a 70s reply to Handel ???

At 26 plus minutes, Wapassou introduce some Raga to the mix. Yet, it brings to mind a spanish born raga (???). It could be the guitar backing, it could be the guitar & keyboard meshing. It could be the moorish underpinning of some spanish culture. This is a french group ?

The final ten minutes the group comes to its' chamber rock climax. The organ, the violin, the female vocals once more building in emotion, the male coming in proclaiming , until we end in an almost post-coital peace, we've fulfilled this service's spiritual mission. We're preparing to re-join the outside world. Re-energized ? Enthralled ? Joyful ? Sated !

Yes, if you're going to start somewhere in avant-garde, this is a great place ...

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a different yet enjoyable listen.This three piece band from France play violin, keybords and guitar. No bass, drums or percussion. There is a guest female soprano vocalist. The guitar is mostly strummed while the keys and violin take the prominant roles along with the vocalist of course.This is one long 40 minute piece. Actually I was reminded of ARPIA's latest not because they sound anything alike but both bands really stay within the style of music they decided to play with little in the way of variance.

It opens with organ, vocals and strummed guitar.Vocals stop around 1 1/2 minutes then the song settles. Violin before 4 minutes then the tempo picks up and the vocals come and go. A new section after 8 1/2 minutes as keyboards, guitar and violin lead. Vocals are back 13 minutes in. A change 15 1/2 minutes in as pulsating keys and vocals take over. It turns darker 17 minutes in before brightening a minute later. Violin comes to the fore 19 minutes in. Vocals are back. The tempo picks up before 23 minutes with vocals and guitar leading.

A new section 24 minutes in as violin, organ and violin lead. It settles with vocals and it's darker. The guitar and keys before 27 minutes are cool. Violin leads a minute later. Vocals are back 30 minutes in. Piano after 31 minutes as vocals stop briefly. When they come back it's not good. Not a fan of the style of vocals there. Violin takes the lead 35 minutes in and other vocals come in for the first time both male and female. It settles 37 minutes in before a big finish.

Certainly the soprano vocals are an acquired taste and they really keep me from giving up that fourth star. I do really like what they've done here though. 3.5 stars.

Review by Rune2000
4 stars All my recent Mike Oldfield reviews really made me want to revisit this relatively obscure little gem of an album by the French band Wapassou. Messe En Ré Mineur is an album consisting of one continuous 40 minute track. The reason why this lengthy suite reminds me so much of Oldfield's escapades from the '70s has to do with the absence of drums and pure bass lead, although both keyboards and guitar carry enough bass in their arrangements to keep its absence almost unnoticeable. The biggest difference to Oldfield's recordings comes from the fact that the music never seems formulaic and overproduced, plus I generally believe that four minds can produce more exciting music than one will ever be capable of!

The music itself is highly atmospheric with a definite Space Rock flavor added to the mix. I'm not sure that this particular release has anything that would resemble Avant-Prog on it so everyone who doesn't necessarily enjoy the genre can still safely check out this album. I get a big kick out of this album's unpredictability while it still always manages to keep the underlying groove going while adding new layers of sound with every new section of this lengthy piece. The keyboard sound does have a definite advantage compared to the rest of the instrument arrangements but, I personally, wouldn't have it any other way!

Messe En Ré Mineur is an album that I really think can have a much broader audience compared to the one it has relieved so far. I'm looking especially at all the prog loving Mike Oldfield fans out there who have praised albums like Tubular Bells, Ommadawn and Amarok. You guys should definitely give this release a shot! I know that it can feel like a drag seeking out an obscure album like this one but, in the end, it will be a much more rewarding experience than purchasing one of the lesser Oldfield albums just for the sake of not abandoning your comfort zone.

**** star songs: La Messe En Ré Mineur (39:23)

Review by Warthur
4 stars Rune2000's review of this album absolutely hits the nail on the head with the comparison to Mike Oldfield's work. Wapassou's Messe en Ré Mineur is a single side-long piece - just like all of Oldfield's work to this point (if you overlook On Horseback from Ommadawn) - and often the use of guitar and keyboards will show the influence of Oldfield's work. But at the same time, because the piece is performed by a full band lineup and relies less on using the studio to create a perfectly engineered and crystal-clear sound, it's different enough from Oldfield's work to consider in its own right. The different recording techniques involved result in a more naturalistic, warm and intimate sound than Oldfield often attains, and there's a "live in the studio" air to things which makes the work a particularly impressive accomplishment.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In mid-70's Wapassou were discovered by Jean-Claude Pognant and his Crypto label, which signed the band for the next three albums.The second album of the trio was recorded at the Azurville Studio in July 1976, no bass help by Jean Pierre Schall this time, instead they had recruited a female singer named Eurydice and engineer Fernand Landmann, who played some acoustic parts in the first album, is listed among the members.The album was titled ''Messe en re mineur'' and released the same year.

This was actually a 40-min. suite, broken in two parts due to the limitations of a vinyl press, presenting a mix of Chamber and Psychedelic Rock sounds with Classical references, a bit similar to the mystic deliveries of Italians SAINT JUST and the already mentioned cross-references with CATHARSIS' haunting sounds.But unlike other bands the sound here is exclusively driven by the keyboards/piano, guitar and violin with no additional equipment.The result is a bizarre, atmospheric journey with Classical and Folk touches and a pretty experimental attitude, based on the calm chord progressions of the guitar and the odd soundscapes, produced by the keyboard and violin isolations.Very unique music with a progressive/experimental spirit, which overcomes the lack of a richer sound with the display of ethereal melodies, symphonic soundscapes and psychedelic textures with Eurydice adding an extra dimension with her angelic, wordless choirs.The music is pretty mellow with totally acoustic passages and rare electric explosions, basically structured around Freddy Brua's old-styled organ and the eccentric combination of choirs and violin drives.I could say that there are even some Gothic- and Medieval-like colors throughout the listening, which comes as genuine and deeply personal as a whole.

Even if this is not your cup of tea, ''Messe en re mineur'' deserves your attention for being an album of its own taste at the very end.Classical/Folk/Avant Music with a mystical mood.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

3 stars "Messe en Ré Mineur". The second album of WAPASSOU. The title mean "Messa in D minor". This is not rock, it is like a electric chamber music or something like new age music. And the performance is poor, also sound effect is cheap. But this album still have something make this album worth. I c ... (read more)

Report this review (#84807) | Posted by braindamage | Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It is truly unique, original and different album. It contains progressive meditative etherial music without basses and drums. Only keyboards, guitar and violin plus wonderful female voice. Music have both "early-classical" and dissonant elements. Although this work is coherent and symphonic, h ... (read more)

Report this review (#84668) | Posted by felonafan | Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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