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Igor Wakhévitch

Progressive Electronic

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Igor Wakhévitch Docteur Faust album cover
3.99 | 33 ratings | 5 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aimantation (0:25)
2. Materia-Prima (10:30)
3. Eau-Ardente (4:30)
4. Ténèbres (Walpurgis) (6:00)
5. Matines (3:00)
6. Licornes (4:30)
7. Sang Pourpre (6:00)

Total time 34:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Igor Wakhévitch / composer

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Music for the ballet "Ergonia" by Norbert Schmucki

Artwork: Philippe Druillet

LP Pathé ‎- 2C 072 - 11.537 (1971, France)
LP Fauni Gena ‎- FAUNI012 (2012, Spain)

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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IGOR WAKHÉVITCH Docteur Faust ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

IGOR WAKHÉVITCH Docteur Faust reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars Blimey, this is a turn up for the books! Other than 'Faust' all I'd heard by Igor Wakhevitch was the overly long and unremarkable triple album 'Etre Dieu' - a collaboration with Salvador Dali, no less.

I took to 'Faust' immediately. Heavy on reverb with orchestral sounds mingled with Satanic mass vocals and a wide array of noises and sound effects, it ticks all the right boxes for my strange music head.

This is SO Hammer Horror film soundtrack you wouldn't believe it. His dad was an Art Director from Odessa who dabbled in film in the 20's. I guess that's where he got the money to put together such an immense work. Michael Gira of 'Swans' fame is purportedly a big fan and this album appears on the Nurse With Wound List. For 1971 there's an incredible amount of instruments used, for example: timpani drums, snares, harpsichord, trumpets and strings all mixed up with weird electronics and voices. No two tracks sound the same on this wonderful short album.

This was a major surprise to me and probably the best album I've heard during the last six months. There's a certain gravitas, confidence, focus and sense of direction present I find hard to believe coming from a 23 year old newcomer. A triumph, but an unfortunately extremely unheard of album. There's not many records where you'll hear Stuka's and machine guns in the mix! Brilliant.

Review by colorofmoney91
5 stars Docteur Faust is the wonderful sophomore album from electronic avant-garde composer Igor Wakhevitch. After the electronically manipulated and bizarre sounding spoken- word introduction that immediately sets this album off on a whim of uneasiness, the wonderful 10-minute long "Materia Prima" begins and the central elements of this album become clear: chamber orchestra arrangements with profound influence from 20th century composers and stark avant-gardist sonic electro-experimentation of the weirdest variety, with occasional dramatic vocals and additional elements from krautrock. All of these factors really intertwine flawlessly to create what basically sounds like an experimental-electronic-rock-symphony. All of the traditional progressive electronic elements are here (droning, buzzing, etc.) but the equal parts of psychedelic krautrock flavor really make this album a unique listening experience, and avant-gardists should definitely take note of this artist and this album in particular.

Igor Wakhevitch would later go on to work with Salvador Dali, which after all this seems inevitable.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Like most of Wakhevitch's works this album is a "take it or leave it", a challenging psychedellic cocktail of avant-garde composition, acid rock and embryonic electronic experiments.

The album starts with a slightly off-putting French recitative before it launches into its best piece, the 10 minute "Materia Prima". Slow-paced drums, almost a drone, accompany electric wa-wa effects, stabs of pain from an abused Hammond organ and vocal effects. The songs takes multiple twists and turns but remains disconcerting, kosmic and eccentric, with percussion, bass and orchestral sound effects as its main artillery. The second half goes totally avant-garde, with post-modern classical music as its main influence. No, this isn't an electronic album really.

The remainder of the album doesn't live up to this strong opening. 4 minutes of treated vocal samples follow on "Eau Ardente", synth effects join and lead into "Ténèbres", which returns to the slow-paced acid-rock of the album opening, halfway in it shifts again to very bombastic and percussive orchestral effects. "Matines" is the only track that could be called progressive electronic, with some abstract atonal electronic experimentation. "Licornes" is a rocking bit of flamenco-avant, with horse samples, rather wild. "Sang Pourpre" is a 4 minute anarchy of rough rhythmical guitars, percussion, vocal experiments and craziness.

After multiple tries I will have to redirect this album to dedicated Avant fans only, the reason is that it strikes me as overindulgent intellectual experimentation, missing the emotional and lyrical content to connect to. It may be genius, but I can't connect with it. At 30 minutes it is also condescendingly short.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I've mentioned before that when it comes to Electronic music i'm a novice and I really base my rating on how much I like the recording. Sure there are extra marks for creativity but the bottom line is don't annoy me and make it enjoyable. Well Igor didn't quite hear me when I said "Don't annoy me" because I get agitated plenty during this recording. As Bonnek mentions this has a strong Avant-garde flavour to it. Igor also really mixes in quite a bit of variety and styles which usually doesn't work for me either. As a disclaimer i'd like to say that most Electronic fans rate this one very highly so take my rating with a grain of salt.

"Aimantation" is a short spoken word intro. "Materia Prima" has drums and guitars that echo along with organ. It suddenly turns eerie and intense with violin-like sounds. It then settles with vocal melodies, whispering and other sparse sounds. Cool track. "Eau Ardente" opens with someone speaking as these snapping sounds come and go. Actually it sounds like someone is taking a good slap to the face each time (haha). In comes these static sounds.I have to be honest, I don't know if this is my cd making the noise or if this is supposed to be there. Annoying is the word though.

"Tenebres" is spacey as the drums join in. A classical vibe comes in that i'm not a fan of. "Matines" doesn't have much going on in it but some spacey sounds. "Licomes" has some horse sounds in it, yes I said horse sounds. "Sang Poupre" ends it in an avant manner.

I'm just not that into you, he said looking into the red eyes of the purple faced dude on the cover.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Second Igor album, also released on the Pathé major label, Dr Faust doesn't need much an explanation about its conceptual content, and musically, it's fairly well in the logical continuity of his debut album. Like its predecessor Logos, Dr Faust also features the pop- rock group Triangle, but this time the presence of the group is a lot more important and noticeable. Armed with a sinister but proggy artwork, it's also one of Igor's more sombre affair, but maybe the most accessible for rock crowds.

Opening on a kitsch male multi-echoed narration that will turn into spoken female chants and choirs at later stages in the musical concept, Aimentation quickly turn to hypnotic drums and drones along with spacey chants and cosmic noises (keys and guitars). The transition in to the three-part Materia Prima piece is hard to discern, but signalled by Fournier's bass solo. Once the cosmic rock slowly segues away, the music veers to a modern classical symphonic mode, with a full orchestra that should have most Stravinsky, Mussorgsky or Prokofiev fans on the edge of their seat. Whispering vocals open an insanity phase, where illogical musical events reigns supreme, before string-scraping howling spaceship reactors bring you back to hell. Eau Ardente is no less weird with its religious incantations accompanied by firecracker percussions over electronic drones and foghorns.

Gentle harpsichord arpeggios open the Ténèbres piece, before plunging into the Walpurgis gloomy meanders. More harpsichords, this time segueing in wild electric guitar parts and other psychedelic freak outs traits draw you well beyond the most extreme GonG twiddles in the Matines and Licornes pieces. The closing Sang Pourpres ends the album in a more austere fashion, but no-less freaky soundscapes (including flying bullets) scrap their way into your now-numb brains, until its abrupt and unexpected end.

Please note that if you're familiar with Triangle's pop-rock discography, you'd have a hard time recognizing the same band. One can only dream about what the band would've achieved had they been more artistically ambitious rather than commercially ambitious. Definitely Igor's best suited entry point for rock crowds, Dr Faust is an amazing album that deserves at listen an investigation from every adventurous music freak.

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