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Arrakeen Patchwork album cover
3.73 | 54 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le Monde Du Quoi (5:35)
2. Differences (11:25)
3. L'Entaluve (4:30)
4. Folle Marie (Live *) (9:15)

Total Time: 30:45

* Recorded in Paris and Lille during Marillion French Tour 1990

Line-up / Musicians

- Ma´ko (Marie-Claude Taliana) / lead vocals
- Sylvain Gouvernaire / guitar, chorus vocals
- Eric Bonnardel / keyboards
- Yves Darteyron / bass, chorus vocals
- Gauthier Mejanel / drums

- Steve Rothery / guitar - 2nd solo (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Frederic Mommeja

CD 2C Production ‎- MSI CDV AR01 (1990, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARRAKEEN Patchwork ratings distribution

(54 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ARRAKEEN Patchwork reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by silvertree
2 stars This album is heavily influenced by Marillion with female French vocals. This isn't surprising since Arrakeen performed as the first part to Marillion's French Tour back in 1990. Nothing annoying but nothing very new under the sun. If you like neo-prog rock than this is pretty good. Has one track ("Folle Marie") recorded in concert with Steve Rothery (from Marillion) performing a solo. So I guess this would also be of interest to Marillion completionists.
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars From the early Eighties I was hooked on Marillion (until "Misplaced childhood") and I bought everything that was at least a bit similar to that wonderful sound. One of those bands was the French Arrakeen. Jou can enjoy a very moving guitarsound and some great work on the keyboards but in general it is very derivative. If you don't have a problem with that, this album is worth a try for the early Marillion aficionados and the neo-prog lovers.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Unlike some reviewers say about this debut CD from french band Arrakeen, I think their work is very original. After all, who else blend together brit neo prog with traditional french music? Not folk, but the traditional "chanson franšaise". The results are awesome, very fine music with great guitar and keyboards interplay and a distinctive female singer. The vocals are in french which seems to fit better to their style than english. It is more a EP than a CD, it lasts only 30 minutes, but what 30 minutes! All songs are good, but the second one, the 11 minute Differences, with its several different moods and tempos is surely a highlight. Marillion┤s Steve Rothery adds a fine guitar solo on the last track, a fantastic live version of Marie (a song from their first demo tape).

Too bad the band only produced two CDs before they break up. They could have been huge! Anyway, if you're a neo prog fan you can't miss this one and their second CD Mosaique. After all those years, Arrakeen is my favourite neo prog from France and Patchwork one of the my top ten prog CDs of the decade. Highly recommended!

Review by Prog-jester
3 stars ARRAKEEN were presented to me as a female-voiced French early MARILLION. I heard another band of that kind, LA TULIPE NOIRE, and still had an interest to further researches in this area :) .

“Patchwork” is a EP released in 1990, and sometimes it truly captures MARILLION spirit and manner. But I believe, the direction and ideas the band followed were quite different. ARRAKEEN sound more like a proto-NIGHTWISH stuff, i.e. “Metal with female vocals”. Guitar solos are great and somewhat close to Rothery’s ones, but they’re more metal-edged and less emotional. Nice record as a whole (I wonder what happened to the band), but if you really want to get something from ARRAKEEN, begin with “Mosaique”. Recommended both for Prog-Metal and MARILLION devotees.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is actually an EP by one of the most underrated neo prog bands in the history of progressive rock...This EP contains 3 studio tracks and a live one,in which Steve Rothery contributes with a guitar solo...It was released in 1990 and the musicianship is just excellent!

So,to create decent neo prog you need mostly a good melodic guitarist and a sufficient keyboard player...Well,this band has it all...Behind the keyboards we find Eric Bonnardel who plays amazingly his role without having to be extremely bombastic...Sylvain Gouvernaire is a fabulous guitarist filling the tracks with its melodic guitar play and the great,emotional solos ala Steve Rothery...Maiko's vocals are just a paradise...Strong performance that fits greatly with the thrilling atmosphere of the album...MARILLION,CLEPSYDRA,ARENA or even RENAISSANCE fans will a have a great time listening to this...Other progressive rock fans should also check this album out definitely in my opinion...A great music creation by a short-live legendary band which deserves at least 4 stars!Highly recommended!

Review by progrules
4 stars When I found the music of Arrakeen I managed to get my hands on both issues and because of that I checked them out simultaneously. And that was a funny experience actually because to this very day I can't decide which of their two great studio releases is really the better. After the first five spins I thought this Patchwork would be the winner but after five more I'm not too sure anymore.

Patchwork is definitely the shorter album with only four songs clocking just over half an hour. These four songs are all winners though so that makes it hard to be negative about it. In fact it's a bit of a strange release because the fourth and last song is played live and that's not very usual on a debut to say the least. It's a great song but it has to be said - and that's my only criticism on both Arrakeen albums that this live song is not really the best of them all. Female vocalist Ma´ko must have had a tough evening because she sounded exhausted at the end. Well, it's just a minor complaint, the rest of what this band has done in the early nineties deserves every praise and are performances they can be proud of.

I'm proud to own them and recommend both Patchwork and Mosa´que to all neo progressive music fans. But I feel any music lover can enjoy this. It's near perfect stuff. Hats off for Arrakeen.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Interesting, but yet little bit sinister cover. These two words means probably weird, so this is weird cover. But nice one. Can be cover art better than music itself (just asking) ? Fortunately, this is not the case. One can't know everything and I have to say that I lack knowledge about Marillion of this era. So as far as my ears work, I can say that I like it. That could be enough for me, but not for you, readers. And because I write also from reason to think about music I'm listening and to understand it more, I'll be glad to continue.

Nightwish reminiscent ? I don't think so, using of higher woman vocals doesn't mean NW automatically. And metal part is maybe 1/10-2/10 of these songs. It's quite short and because of this, my rating wouldn't get over 4 stars. Maybe unfair, but little bit over 20 minutes is not so interesting, as 40, or even 80 minutes. It's almost over before you notice anything. No, this is good neo-prog, which has one big mistake, so

4(-) for short length. Believe me or not, but I see it as a mistake.

Review by Warthur
3 stars This French album combines a classic neo-prog sound - which to my ears sounds a little more like early Pendragon than Fish-era Marillion, with a bit more emphasis on the keyboards than either band - with the excellent vocals of frontwoman Maiko, whose singing, influenced by the "chanteuse" style, is reminiscent of a French Annie Haslam. Marillion fans will be interested to hear Steve Rothery's guest solo on the closing track, a live recording of Folle Marie from when the band were supporting Marillion on the Seasons' End tour, though I think few others will consider it a particularly high priority release - it's a pleasant enough album but it doesn't really add much new to the format.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is a wonderful piece of neo-prog minstrelsy, from 1990, worthy of the attention of any prog fan. The music is drenched in the very essence of La France. In the same way that there was something very English about the early GENESIS sound, something very Italian about the early PFM so ... (read more)

Report this review (#453581) | Posted by Distant Planet | Sunday, May 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Stunning! One of the best neo-prog debut CD I ever heard. It is just a shame this band did not meet the fame it deserved in the eraly 90's (thus leading to a dismantlement eventually). Okay, it does sound "marillion-like" in many respects, but with such a stunning female singer and a so skille ... (read more)

Report this review (#83967) | Posted by igor | Monday, July 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This mini-CD is simply the best piece of music a french prog band ever released.An outstanding EP in every way !!!Eric Bonnardel's keyboard-playing is bringing heart & soul to ARRAKEENs neo-prog-stylish sound, you can simply compare him to Martin Orford or Mark Kelly. Yves Darteyron on bass is very ... (read more)

Report this review (#44765) | Posted by Grendelbox | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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