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Memoriance Et Après album cover
3.87 | 53 ratings | 8 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Je Ne Sais Plus (8:47)
2. La Grange Mémoriance (10:59)
3. Et Après (10:23)
4. Tracsir (4:48)

Total Time 34:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean-Pierre Boulais / lead & rhythm guitars & vocals
- Claude Letaillenter / technics (?)
- Jean-François Périer / keyboards, vocals
- Didier Guillaumat / vocals, lead guitars
- Didier Busson / drums, percussion
- Michel Aze / bass, vocals

Releases information

Eurodisc LP 1976

Released in Japan on CD

Thanks to Geck0 for the addition
and to Meltdowner for the last updates
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MEMORIANCE Et Après ratings distribution

(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MEMORIANCE Et Après reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This is a band I known absolutely nothing about, but I picked up this reissue from the Japanese label Tachika, which I’m not even sure is a legitimate label. No matter, this is a pretty darn good record, and a decent example of the peculiar blend of slightly psychedelic guitar and symphonic arrangements of other French bands like Ange and Pentacle (two other bands I know very little about beyond the occasional sample track).

There is a great deal of repetitive piano work setting the mood for most of the tracks here, along with spacey background vocals and brooding guitar that must have been at least a little influenced by Pink Floyd. The first three tracks are all in the ten minute range, pleasant and rather fast-moving without being overpowering. Besides they keyboards the instrumentation here is pretty sparse and restrained, making these guys one of the few symphonic bands who managed to put together a solid sound with the use of string, woodwind, or horn arrangements. There are at least two guitars and a bass, several keyboard layers and drums. That’s about it.

The guitar work here cannot escape heavy comparisons to Dave Gilmour, especially on the second track “La Grange Memoriance”. The few lyrics are in French (no surprise there), but for the most part the songs are made up of extended instrumental passages that seem to flow along in some predetermined and definitive pattern, but one which is not all that discernible to the casual listener.

It’s always tough to attach context or meaning to instrumental works, especially when little is known of the musicians who play them. In these guy’s case I wouldn’t call that a downside though, as the songs here are all engaging and full of interesting keyboards and rich, fat guitars. In some places the music seems to border into art-film soundtrack territory, especially on the second track. The title song on the other hand moves closer to a funky jazz sound, with copious dissonant guitar chords and some strident keyboards to give it a slightly edgy feel.

For the closing song “Tracsir” the guitarists shift to a more inflected sound and away from the moody Floydian vibe, almost picking in many places. This is a shorter work, but that isn’t really apparent as the numerous tempo shifts make this sound a lot longer and more developed than it probably is. The rolling drums and fadeaway ending are a rather abrupt and unfulfilling end to the album, which I would have liked to have gone on much longer.

Like I said, I know very little about these guys other than what I have read on the web, but it’s really too bad they didn’t hang around long enough to put together more work, and possibly to explore their sounds by branching out into more complex fusion sounds, as the lineup seems to be more suited to that than to the psychedelic-meets-symphonic blend they seems to be experimenting with here.

I’m hoping to come across some other works of theirs some time to see if their sound improved on subsequent recordings, but if this one is any indication, I’m thinking their other couple of recordings are just as interesting. Not sure if they fall into the three or four star category, could go either way. But I’m in a pretty good mood and it’s the weekend, so let’s err on the side of generous and call it four. A pretty darn good addition to any symphonic (or even psychedelic) fan’s collection.


Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Et Apres? I might ask Memoriance the very same question. And Then? Only two albums? With such talent?

While not too dissimilar from fellow French prog rock bands, Memoriance managed to create their sound niche, reminding me of Atoll and Mona Lisa mostly but also of Shylock and Arachnoid to some extent but only in a few segments. They are not as theatrical as Mona Lisa and Arachnoid, but do show this characteristic, particularly in the title track of this album. They show good musicianship, switch from what can be seen as more common rock parts to showing how intricately and elaborately their composing style can be. They have this slightly melancholic sound and at times dramatic (which coincides with the theatrical aspect) and know very well how to balance the rhythmic vs. the slow and gentle.

The starting song, Je Ne Sais Plus, is rich sounding and powerful; the music reaches out to me as I listen to this and grabs me as soon as it starts. The vocals (mostly sung but at times spoken, such as in other tracks) are soft yet powerful and effective; they fit very well with the music. There are also female backing vocals adding to the harmonies or giving a good support for the vocalist as he sings, a role also shared by the band members. The music is quite varied; from cool 70's classic rock parts (like the beginning of Je Ne Sais Plus) to more complex and elaborate parts where the band members show their talent, like in 3:33 minutes into the first song. Later on they venture to somewhat more fusion-like territories in places (though only subtly doing so). They know well how to craft interesting developments in the songs and keep the melody catchy and appealing.

With the second track, La Grange Memoriance, the dynamic start indicates a shift to a more jazz-rock style, though it then slows down all of a sudden to a slow rock pattern. This is an instrumental piece that goes on smoothly and gently until 6 minutes into it (though getting a bit upbeat as it progresses), at times reminding me of Shylock's first album as the lead guitar paints occasional solo streaks. The end of the track (from about 9 minutes in) is especially awesome as they speed up and in addition introduce a groovy rhythm in.

It is the title track, Et Apres, that shows their most theatrical aspect, their greatest diversity and progressiveness. In it they shift from slow to fast, from temperate to intricate and give a great instrumental first part of the song which visits a wide range of emotions and paces. To me this is the most exciting and interesting song on this album. In it you'll also hear the spoken part where the dramatization comes to a climax and resembles that of Mona Lisa in Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard. Backing up the vocals are at first percussions and guitar playing oddly (by that I mean it's great) and then the backing vocals, synths and bass take over to back up the dramatis vocalization part. The guitar then takes on the leading role giving us a great solo that leads the whole affair into climatic levels, backed up by great drumming and bass playing and then the backing vocals.

The last track, Tracsir, starts with what is probably the catchiest rhythm and melody in here. The shortest track here, it also shows the band switching tempos and styles, though the rock aspect is the dominant one in here. There's great guitar playing that reminded me of early Wishbone Ash in a way. This is the most enjoyable track in here, the one that's great to shake your head to and tap your feet along.

At the time of writing this, this has yet to be reissued on cd and it's available as a cd-r through the Japanese pirate label Tachika. Hopefully it gets reissued as it is an excellent album that needs to see the light of day in a cd format and it would be great to have a booklet with some background about the musicians in the band. As with other bands from this country at this time, this is too a forgotten gem that should be listened by fans of the bands mentioned above and by any fan of prog-rock of the 70's.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars A very enjoyable symphonic record from France that was released in 1976. I like the way they use spacey synths on this album, and the guitar work is quite tasteful. The bass is upfront much of the time.

"Je Ne San Plus" opens with prominant drums until a nice spacey sound comes in around a minute. Vocals are in French and I like them. When the vocals stop the bass,drums and guitar really stand out each time. The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in as we get this prolonged instrumental section with piano. Female vocal melodies 5 1/2 minutes in and the male vocals follow after 6 minutes as she continues. This is my favourite track off the album. "La Grange Memoriance" opens with drums and guitar before it turns spacey. I like the way the guitar seems to play on endlessly. Keys before 4 1/2 minutes as the guitar stops. Guitar and drums are back quickly as the tempo picks up. The tempo slows right down after 6 minutes as vocals arrive for the first time in this song. Great sound. He yells before 9 minutes as they kick into a higher gear. It sounds so good around 10 1/2 minutes in.

"Et Apres" is maybe even better than the opening track. It's like 1a and 1b for me. The guitar is more aggressive on this tune and check out the druming 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals 6 1/2 minutes in for first time are whispered and then spoken. The guitar and drums are outstanding 9 minutes in. "Tracsir" opens with solid drumming and prominant bass as guitar plays over top. The tempo picks up before 3 minutes and shifts again slightly on this instrumental.

A very pleasant and enjoyable listen. 4 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another French obscurity from the 70's by a band relatively unknown to the public. MEMORIANCE existed and recorded between mid-70's and early-80's,having two full-length albums and two singles on their backs.This French sextet came from Le Havre and released their debut in 1976,finally earning a re-issue by the Japanese Label Tachika.

Their sound definitely belongs to the French Symphonic Rock school with plenty of sensitive guitars,atmospheric keys and generally the tracks follow a slow tempo.The opener ''Je ne san plus'' offers hypnotic pianos,intense French vocals,guitars in the style of STEVE HACKETT and JAN AKKERMAN and even moments with a slightly jazzy feeling and female choirs,resulting a melodic ANGE-like introduction to the band's sound.In ''La Grange Memoriance'' we meet a more spacey mood with tons of atmospheric keys,while drums and bass have a more energetic role and it contains even some psychedelic percussion at the end section,as the track gets close to the sound of CARPE DIEM and PULSAR.The eponymous track has a very dark approach,led by complex breaks,dramatic guitars but again spacey synths and deep bass lines,while the vocals gets more theatrical in the vein of ANGE and MONA LISA.After three rather long tracks,the short closer ''Tracsir'' offers the strongest guitar lines of the album,being in a Symphonic and Jazz-Fusion mood at the same time with little help from keys,but great bass work again by Michel Aze.

A quite good album overall in a typical French Symphonic style.Not that melodramatic as ANGE or that spacey as PULSAR,but certainly well-arranged and executed.Worth chasing it.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Memoriance is a late arrival in my collection, showing again that there are still many glistening prog nuggets out there if you look hard enough and never tire from discovery. French prog has quite a history, pioneering bands such as Ange, Mona Lisa, Atoll, Pulsar and in a different universe altogether, Magma have all shaped the progressive pantheon of timeless classics. There is a vast second tier of lesser known bands that have been heavily influenced by the above. Groups such Acanthe, Artcane, Skryvania, Arachnoid, Pentacle,Tai Phong, Oniris, Alpha Ralpha, Angipatch, Clearlight, Carpe Diem, Neo, Orion, Eclat, Shylock, Synopsis and Versailles have released fantastic recordings that still stand the test of time. These releases have small audiences and recognition is rare but truth is they are scintillating windows into the depth of influence among French musicians for the theatrical drama that progressive rock provides.

This thrilling album is a suave adventure that basks in swooning voices by all members of the group and symphonic tendencies that reveal a duo of strident and acidic guitar, a pummeling bass and frenetic drums, amid tingling piano and sweeping strings (maybe the celebrated Elka string machine? ) , played by Jean-Francois Perier. "Je ne Sais Plus" is a terrific slice of vintage French prog, sounding perhaps a tad out-dated but only because the production is real and not layered to death by countless add-ons. In fact, it has an almost live tinge that plays into my hands and ears.

Michel Aze plays a blunt and versatile bass, leading the charge on "La Grange Memoriance", and has the rest chasing behind with apparent glee, well-ensconced within a Floydian groove that has voluptuous jazzy overtones, rekindling fond memories of Atoll more than any other example. At times dark and ominous, the arrangement is fueled by pipe organ-like sorrow, the dual guitar display really shines brightly with spirited talent. Misty and ethereal, the smooth vocals instill a delicious torpor, embalming the instrumentalists into a daze from which there is little redemption, just inspiration. Didier Busson shows some amazing dexterity, being a hectic drummer who is unafraid from propelling the bass riff beyond the obvious parameters.

The 10 and a half minute title track provides another chapter in Memoriance's delicate craft, a circular bass pattern traversed by some screeching guitar excursions that hint towards a more Latin feel, culminating into a monster jam that veers into psychedelia and ultimately into space-rock. Relentlessly absurd, highly technical with tons of twists, turns and somersaults, this is a truly unique experience, certainly busier than either Floyd or Hawkwind, more like a mix of Ange and Focus III-era Focus. The voice gets theatrical, a mocking diatribe of greed, avarice and violence. And indifference to it all!

The finale "Tracsir" is more playful, a shorter thingy carved wildly by the grotesque bass behemoth and featuring a dual rock guitar display that harkens back to classic Wishbone Ash territory. Rabid, pressing and frenzied, this is perhaps the rockiest side to the band yet, a wonderful expression of entertainment that stands the test of time. This might just be one of the finest French prog obscurities, many are listed above, but there is an undeniable urgency and mania that really is quite shocking, very attractively so! A thoroughly first rate opus that deserves its place in any collection.

4.5 who cares

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars A superb group like Ange is usually the first band many people instantly recall when offering examples of great French prog-rock acts, but it's a complete tragedy that the little known Memoriance aren't spoken of in the same manner. Active throughout the Seventies and delivering two albums in the second half of the decade, their 1976 debut `Et Après...' is an exceptional symphonic work, one that reminds of everything from the luscious tones of Camel (by unique way of Jean-Pierre Boulais and Didier Guillaumat's twin lead guitars), and the spacy sound of early Pink Floyd but with occasional little quirky and demented bursts added in to keep you on your toes! Surprisingly for a symphonic album, Jean-François Périer's keyboards are used very minimally, only employed to lightly coat the background and never really breaking into soloing even once on the disc.

Opener `Je Ne San Plus' instantly launches on Didier Busson's rattling drums, Michel Aze's grumbling thick bass and purring ethereal synth wisps, with much of the earlier stretches of the piece based around a similar reflective piano prettiness to Italian band Apoteosi's charming self- titled 1975 album. Guitarist Didier's plaintive lead vocal that enters is lifted by silken group vocals and carried forward by powerful Pink Floyd, Eloy and Finch-like guitar driven instrumental grooving bursts, sighing female harmonies adding a touch of class and a spirited breakneck Camel-esque race nearer the climax. The dreamy `La Grange Memoriance' is a pure symphonic masterwork, a mix of shimmering gentle synths and lengthy mellow slow-burn Gilmour-flavoured bluesy guitar musings alongside grand regal keyboard themes. Several of the players offer short and humble vocal passages with great weary dignity, and there's an enviable soothing flow to the piece that shows the restraint, skill and intelligence of the band to wondrous effect.

The early Floydian spacey guitar tendrils and eerie synths of side two's title-track `Et Après...' are similar to fellow French band Pulsar, and plenty of stately symphonic themes, some manic dirty spurts and creeping spoken-word passages bring plenty of theatrical touches. Shorter closer `Tracsir' has a chiming Gentle Giant-like madrigal playfulness to its ringing twin lead-guitar chiming, and a maniacal sprint in the final moments will call to mind the early Fruupp albums like `Future Legends' and `Seven Secrets' for some listeners.

While their follow up `L'Écume des Jours d'Apres Boris Vian' three years later would still hold much of interest, it's Memoriance's debut `Et Après...' that truly deserves to be spoken of in the same manner as Pentacle's glorious `La Clef des Songes', Alpha Ralpa's eclectic self-titled 1977 LP and Arachnoid's Mellotron-laden freakfest from 1979, as another of those lost symphonic French gems that are desperately in need of rediscovery and new-found appreciation!

Four and a half stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I really had never heard of this obscure french band until recently, when I read a review here on P.A, and decided to look for it. And I was quite surprised. Unlike so many little known 70´s bands this one did release a second album and was active until around 1981. Et Aprés was their first release and at first I was delighted for what I heard: the first track, Je Ne San Plus, a brilliant prog rock tune with great twin lead guitar attack, beautiful, dreamy keyboards and a very strong rhythm section. Melodic, powerful, delivered with fiercely emotional vocals. At 8 minutes, it is full of tempo and mood changes. I was completely blown by this one and I was sure I found one of those rare prog gems you happen to stumble upon sometimes. However, the remaining 3 tracks are way too different from the opener, making you think if you´re listening to another band entirely by the time the second song is on.

No, the other tow long tunes and the short final instrumental piece are not bad: in fact, they are quite good if you like a mix of jazz/rock fusion, psychedelic/space rock and even some avant guard bits like Ange (you know, those dramatic spoken parts and the girls backing voices). The music makes a dramatic turnaround and never goes back to the electrifying beginning. Again the results are far from weak, but not my cup of tea either. It is clear that the band had fine musicians and they were capable of delivering strong melodies when they wanted to. They also were skilled enough and bold enough to try getting into more experimental realms without sounding too pretentious, nor too far out. In fact, Et Aprés seems to be a kind of promising album from a very good band not very sure what direction to follow.

If you like those aforementioned styles, you should try to check this out. Giving the slightly lower rating of their second album, I guess they did not find the right direction, but I intent to listen to it and find out by myself as soon as I can. Although I was slightly disappointed by the style adopted by the second part of the record, Memoriance´s debut is a very amusing work and did it made me curious about their follow up.

Rating: something between 3.5 and 4 stars. I´ll round up to four stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Memoriance was a french symphonic prog band. This album, Et Après, from 1976, traces an amazing progressive line, between the classic french symphonic and Pink Floyd. The compositions are very well framed. I like the bass mixing. A festival of guitar riffs and deep solos. The keyboard that ... (read more)

Report this review (#968594) | Posted by VOTOMS | Sunday, June 2, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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