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Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Catherine Ribeiro  & Alpes Ame Debout album cover
4.14 | 40 ratings | 4 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ame Debout (7:54)
2. Diborowska (3:39)
3. Alpes 1 (5:46)
4. Alpes 2 (6:22)
5. Alpilles (1:25)
6. Aria Populaire (2:09)
7. Le Kleenex, Le Drap De Lit Et L'étendard (3:28)
8. Dingue (4:36)

Total Time 35:19

Line-up / Musicians

- Catherine Ribeiro / vocals
- Patrice Moullet / acoustic & electric guitars, lyre, vocals (4)
- Patrice Lemoine / organ
- Claude Thiebaut / percussion

Releases information

LP Philips ‎- 6332 017 (1971, France)
LP Philipo ‎- Rib-002 (2016, France)

CD Mantra ‎- MANTRA 091 (1995, France)

Thanks to Wortz for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CATHERINE RIBEIRO & ALPES Ame Debout ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Alpes & Catherine Ribeiro is a sensational eclectic experimental folk collective from French 70's underground. Their original sound contains refined psychedelic acoustic moods, mixed with left wing poetics and bizarre liturgical pastoral songs. Their second is said to be their most progressive but this first also figures among the most amazing prog folk efforts delivered by the French scene. The self title track covers various genres from avant folk to psychedelic exhibition (mainly due to the guitar's touches). The female chant is mysterious and slightly eccentric. "Diborwoska" is a beautiful pastoral ballad with seductive voices within a poetical dimension (not far from Nico's Desert shore). "Alpes 1" is a space out improvisation & instrumental dominated by organs and guitars. The atmosphere is definitely "kosmische" and kraut sounding with dark stoned harmonies. A really powerful, imaginative and evocative composition. "Alpes 2" carries on majestic kosmische epics dominated by guitars, long warm organ sequences, progressively reaching into a delirious, uncontrolled improvisation. "Alpilles" is a beautiful, calm and poetical acoustic trip. "Le Kleenex" is a theatrical song largely impregnated by Catherine Ribeiro lyrics (closed to 60's challenging chansons françaises) "Aria populaire" features the most intense lyrical chant of the album. Sublime and intriguing!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Third outstanding album from the absolutely crazy French psych outfit lead by Catherine Ribeiro's impressive vocals, but you'll know by now that her vocals are hardly the sole attraction to this amazing group. With a very pastoral artwork, CR&A certainly stood in a class of their own both in France, but maybe even worldwide with their psyched out

Starting out on an Indian raga with a wild returning streak of almost dissonant violin, the title track is a first strong moments with Ribeiro ranting and raving all over the place, over a fast tabla drum beat. The very acoustic Diborowska (a terminus train station) is little more than a hippie piece, but laid over delicate guitar arpeggios. The two-part Alpes instrumental, followed by its acoustic outro Alpilles (small Alp foothills in Provence) is a superb moment of ambient music with some of the most bizarre violin work , while Lemoine's keyboard work resembles a lot what was to happen in Van Morrison's St Domininc's Preview one years later. The second movement is more of a wild free-for-all improvs, complete with vocals and vulture cries. Aria Populaire in an almost a capella piece with a few acoustic guitar strummings, while Kleenex is an organ-driven almost a capella, both pieces being superbly sung by Catherine. Dingue (nuts) is the closing track that hints towards a certain type of Flamenco, complete with plenty of guitars, where Catherine sings out venom-spitting sperm and full dramatics.

Still strongly recommended to all progheads, especially if their comprehension of French is sufficient (Catherine sings out clearly without accent), but Ame Debout might not be as stunning as further albums to come, but still a very classic album of CR&A

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars This is my favourite album by Catherine Ribeiro and Alpes. It brings back dark memories of being part of a jury at a high court in winter in 2006, travelling by train in the dark - which could, in a weird way sum up this album.

It's probably the gloomiest of their albums, but is beautiful at the same time. I'm so pleased she always sang in French. A lot of the emotion would have been lost if she'd sung in English. This is my one gripe with most Krautrock bands. This, however, is no Kraut album. Alpes are instantly identifiable even without the vocals. I've always thought there's something a bit creepy about their albums. I can't quite put my finger on it. Most folk agree that 'Paix' was the high watermark of their career. Well, I choose this one. It's cool, suave, bleak, laid back yet intense. Oh, and she looks great - black eyeliner, jet black hair and a fantastic jawbone! A tremendous album that probably creeps in to my top 40 (from 4000 albums).

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars There were many like-minded artists of the day who emerged as a congregation of kindred souls in the late 60s with the sole purpose of creating a new musical paradigm. This fertile era succeeded in artists exploring hitherto unthinkable niches in the form of musical expression and France's CATHERINE RIBEIRO + ALPES which arose out of the 1968 riots and social upheaval. The results were that they became one of the most original and timeless sounding acts of the day having created some of the most unclassifiable and idiosyncratic musical paradigms there was to be heard. Unfortunately they were so far out in the clouds that very few related to their bizarre brand of psychedelic freak folk and rock.

CATHERINE RIBEIRO may have began as an underground actress turned leader of a psychedelic band much like her German contemporary Nico, however RIBEIRO led her ALPES outfit into more Gallic pastures that sounded like a more lysergic version of Bridgette Fontaine delivering psychedelic chansons of medieval folk traditions that crossed paths with contemporary free jazz laced with the confrontational poetic lyrics that was in line with the rebellious spirit of the era. After a debut album under the moniker CATHERINE RIBEIRO + 2BIS, she dropped the second affixation and it become ALPES on the aptly and unoriginally titled "No. 2." However on album No. 3 beautifully titled AME DEBUT ("soul debut") is where it all came together and all the idiosyncrasies that were delivered so well on the first two albums united into harmonic perfection.

AME DEBUT like all ALPES releases was the perfect union of RIBEIRO's poetic and moody stage performances and the musical genius of Patrice Moullet, whose brilliance expanded beyond the mere art of compositional creations. One of the key elements of the band's unique sound was his self-invented musical instruments which gave the ALPES one of the most uniquely recognizable sounds of the entire revolutionary 70s. While these instruments played a huge role from the beginning, on AME DEBUT the mastery of these idiosyncrasies in unison with the folk, jazz and rock elements finally reached the perfect balance. Also new to the band was Patrice Lemon from Gong as well as his brother bassist Jean-Sébastien.

The melodies on AME DEBOUT are downright haunting, suiting RIBEIRO's unique vocal style to a T and nowhere is that more apparent than on the opening title track which findings a hypnotic dueling effect of the percolating percuphone and ethereal cosmophone pacified by acoustic guitar all the while heavily caffeinated with an incessant tribal percussive drive of the bongos which all somehow transverse and straddle the folk melodic drive with a groovy bass and jittery organ. While RIBEIRO is the star for the album's run, the one-two punch of the tracks "Alpes 1" and "Alpes 2" finds the band in the driver's seat with RIBEIRO supplementing wordless backing vocals instead of her frenetic angst filled outbursts that range from subdued to hysterical.

AME DEBUT has the perfect flow of sensual and aggressive moments with focus shifting from the psychedelic cosmic to more down to Earth folk driven numbers such as the closing "Dingue." As with all RIBEIRO albums, the lyrics are exclusively in the French language so for non-speakers the lyrically content will completely be missing, but even if that's the case, the music on AME DEBOUT is utterly divine as all the elements the band had made their own converge into a sublime display avant-garde originality married with beautifully emotionally driven melodies that transcend language and drift into the soul. While almost all RIBEIRO albums are excellent with rich dynamic content, for me AME DEBUT is the one that achieves sheer perfection where all the elements are in the perfect context and where all the ingredients are mixed into a flawless recipe of accomplishment.

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