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Moving Gelatine Plates

Canterbury Scene

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Moving Gelatine Plates Moving Gelatine Plates album cover
4.15 | 124 ratings | 14 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. London Cab (7:30)
2. X-25 (2:00)
3. Gelatine (8:10)
4. Last Song (15:20)
5. Memories (3:15)

Total Time: 36:15

Bonus tracks on 1992 CD release:
6. Destruction (2:47)
7. Tout Autour De Toi (4:13)
8. Fréquence Nocturne (4:22)
9. Solaria (3:45)

Line-up / Musicians

- Maurice Helmlinger / organ, trumpet, soprano & tenor saxophones, flute
- Gérard Bertram / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Didier Thibault / bass, 12-string guitar, vocals, electric guitar & synth (6-9)
- Gérard Pons / drums, percussion

- Petit-Jean Boret / arrangements (5)
- Jean-Jacques Hertz / guitar (6-9)
- Dominique Godin / keyboards (6-9)
- Didier Malherbe / sax (7,9)
- Jean Rubert / sax (6-9)
- Marc Profichet / drums, percussion, vibes & xylophone (6-9)

Releases information

Artwork: Monique Poitrat (photo)

LP CBS ‎- S 64399 (1971, France)

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4062.AR (France, 1992) With 4 bonus tracks taken from 1980 "Moving" album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MOVING GELATINE PLATES Moving Gelatine Plates Music

MOVING GELATINE PLATES Moving Gelatine Plates ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MOVING GELATINE PLATES Moving Gelatine Plates reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4,5 stars really!!!!

MGP is one of those superb early 70's band that was victim of the poor means of their promotion team and the decaying club scene in France as the gov't was shutting down everything that could cause the great French Student Anarchy movement of May 68 to revive.

We are dealing with a superb jazz-rock somehow very close to Canterbury bands like Soft Machine , Caravan , Hatfield etc... The band is the project of the two younger guitarist (who actually swapped their instruments as they thought they could do better than the other) and were joined by older members (6 years older) Gerard Pons (brother of Magma's bassist Dominique Pons) and Maurice Helmiger on both winds and KB. And do these guys rock!! Their enthusiasm is over bearing and very communicative. The opening track London Cab is simply marvellous interplay between all four members. Theior inventive sort of jazz-laced rock with short vocals interludes (in English and also sometimes very anectdotical as most song lyrics were not above four lines long) is captivating. Helmiger swings from the flute to saxes and trumpets (sounds a bit like Nucleus's Ian Carr) and keyboard is clearly the man that males the difference. X-25 is rather calmer and gelatine is probably the tracks that fits them best.

Side 2 starts with the 15 min+ Last Song (which it is not ) and was clearly their closer on their live sets. It is a very great tune but marred by a lenghty drum solo that does take a bit of the charm of repeated listenings. Memories is rather forgettable after such an epic.

The bonus tracks are from their third album, recorded 8 years after the break up , but rest assured , there is no catastrophe! The tracks are jazz-rock that are quite pleasing , and do not sound out of place too much with the rest of the album. They are there and do not shock but they DO pale a bit in comparison with the original album.

Essential record for all of those wishing to see that the "Canterbury Sound" existed across the chunnel!

Review by Trotsky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This French outfit's debut album is a propulsive work of Canterbury-styled jazz-rock with psychedelic influences (although it isn't quite as heavy in this direction as Lard Free's debut album). Thankfully the music has enough idiosyncracies to give it its own personality, making it quite an essential purchase for jazz-rock afficionados. Like most Canterbury styled bands, Moving Gelatine Plates is defined partly by the heavy presence of organ and saxophone/flute although in this case they are all played by the same guy ... Maurice Hemlinger. He is naturally enough the focal point of this album, although guitarist Gerard Bertram emerges from time to time (a blistering solo midway through London Cab and another one in Last Song stand out).

These guys also have a strange scene of humour the vocal elements of London Cab for example are basically a helium-voiced version of Three Blind Mice! Perhaps a little unlike most Canterbury bands, they can also churn out some mean heavy rock riffs. My two favourite pieces are probably Gelatine, which is a psychedelic Floyd meets Soft Machine masterpiece, with prominent organ from Hemlinger, a well-packaged bass solo from Didier Thibault and fantastic riffled drumming from Gerard Pons and the 15 minute long Last Song (which is actually the penultimate track here).

Last Song is full of high-octane jazz-rock, although it can seem overlong ... what with a monster Pons drum solo and all (I think it goes on for nearly 4 minutes!). Thankfully just as you are about to get tired of it, a very nice psych organ section takes over. The concluding track Memories is a melancholy acoustic guitar/flute instrumental that is quite different from the rest of the album, showing the diversity the group had at its disposal.

This debut came out in 1971, and the next year MGP released the World of Genius Hans before breaking up. Oddly enough, the four bonus tracks here are from the "group's third album Moving. Moving was a 1980 recording made by bassist Thibault without Hemlinger, Bertram or Pons, thankfully these instrumental tracks aren't weak ... the delightfully bouyant Solaria is a real standout and the semi-Gothic Destruction has a fair bit of personality, even if they lack do lack that carefree quality of the music of the original quartet. ... 72% on the MPV scale

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars So good!

I dont really know the correct adjective for this album, great, pretty good, awesome, excellent, well i mean since the introduction of this review that im talking about a so recommendable album to any prog lover, i use to say this phrase at the end of my reviews, but no i just wanted to say it at first, and why?

Moving Gelatine Plates is (or was i think) a French band which only released 3 albums, this is the eponymus and first of them all as you can imagine, we are talking of 1971 when progressive rock was growing in the different world scenes, this french band is not alike to other early and well known french bands such as Ange or Mona Lisa, they dont have nothing to do since this is not a symphonic album at all.

Could be strange for you to see listed a french band as a Canterbury band, it happens sometimes in some genres and countries etc, but anyway Moving Gelatin Plates has a clear and obvious Canterbury sound, maybe at the style musically talking of Caravan for instance and in the other hand with the always great and enjoyable jazz influenced sound, maybe a bit comparable with Colosseum .

This album is probably their best album, maybe the same way that several bands took in the early 70`s. i mean, the debut album a masterpiece or almost, and the followers only average albums.

Only 5 songs were placed in this beauty, but all great songs, in them all using an extraordinary ability in the playing, im not saying that they are skillful or play very fast, what im trying to say is that all the notes, all the chords, all the instruments were placed in the best moment, in order to create progressive rock with it`s statements and made to enjoy. If i have to choose some weak point (there isnt a weak point by the way) i would choose the vocals, not a huge participation in the album, but we can hear some vocals at the beggining of the album and are not the best at all, i dont feel uncomfortable with them at all, but it`s the worst if that`s the adjective.

The third song is called Gelatine, it`s completely instrumental and completely Canterburesque- Jazzy, with excellent drive of the drums and the trompet with an exquisite sound during the song, also the sound of piano as a background gives to it a better quality and of course the bass lines making the rythm are very nice.

The long song called Last Song (which actually isnt the last) starts with a soft guitar sound, then it becomes faster and from the begginig playing the trumpet, and its the one who shows us better the quality and nice playing of the guitarist and also gives us a drums solo (classi in jazz bands) , i think this song in specific is the closer to a jazz oriented sound, without losing that Canterbury touch which at the same time has always jazz in it`s veins, again reminding me a bit of Collosseum.

So, i can finish saying that i like this album so much, around 35 minutes of excellent music which is enjoyable in any moment, no matter your mood and your tastes you shoudl try it, again i recommend it.

Noat a masterpiece though, but almost!

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars These guys were brilliant. Much like HENRY COW, ZAO, THE MUFFINS etc. these guys played a Jazz infected brand of prog that was more about band interplay than solos. They were influenced by SOFT MACHINE and Zappa and it shows. This record was released in 1971. The liner notes give a detailed history of the band which is very interesting. After finally getting the drummer they wanted Didier Thibault the lead guitarist thought it would be better if he played bass, and the bassist Gerard Bertram play lead guitar. So they switched.Thibault wanted to play the bass more like a lead guitar, while Bertram would play lead guitar more like a rhythm guitar. Interesting that Thibault used Bertram's brothers' bass at first. His brother was Dominique who would later go on to play bass for Yochko Seffer when he went solo after leaving ZAO, and after that Dominique would play bass for MAGMA late in 1979. He also played on the ZAO reunion album. Thibault himself was asked to play bass for MAGMA when Francis Moze left. He declined though. Anyway, the more MOVING GELATINE PLATES played live the more recognition they received. When PINK FLOYD came to town to play in a Pop festival MOVING GELATINE PLATES members knew they couldn't afford the tickets so they talked the concert organizers into letting them play in the festival for tickets. They played the smaller venue where 400 people were so impressed they signed a petition demanding that the band be allowed to play on the main stage. The concert organizers agreed. Suddenly they are playing in front of 5,000 people ! Later they won a band contest at Golf-Drouot and part of the prize for winning was playing there that weekend. They refused to do that because they felt their music was more than just music for the crowd to dance to. The club promptly banned them from ever coming back. Haha. They would continue not to play concerts where they felt it was incompatable with their aims and ideals. Even when CBS records came knocking to sign them to a record deal(they had not released an album yet) they declined fearing that CBS would force them to play more commercial sounding music. In May of 1970 they took part in MAGMA's first concert at the Theatre De La Musique just after they had recorded "Kobaia" their first album. MOVING GELATINE PLATES finally did sign with CBS records after some bad experiences at trying to get a record out on their own.

"London Cab" has an experimental and spacey intro before it is replaced by flute then a full sound as the drums arrive. It's cool when the sax comes in playing over top of this uptempo melody. The song seems to start over 3 1/2 minutes in with some nice guitar work that goes on and on. Nice. Sax comes in as the mood becomes pastoral. Then we get some silly vocals as they quote part of the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice". Marching-like drums with a heavier guitar sound and sax follows. Check out the drumming 7 minutes in ! What a song ! "X-25" is a 2 minute track that is packed full of sounds including fuzz bass. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in with drums and trumpet. "Gelatine" is an amazing song. The drums absolutely shine for the first 1 1/2 minutes,the organ is fantastic as well. Vocals come in followed by an almost 1 minute bass solo. Check out the drumming 3 1/2 minutes in ! I like the way themes return. A great jazzy section follows. A long trumpet solo 5 minutes in. I love this stuff.

"Last Song" is my favourite. At over 15 minutes it's the longest track on the album. Again the drums are all over this one. Sax is prominant in this uptempo song. The guitar after 2 minutes is a delight to listen to as it goes on for a long time. Some excellent bass follows. Here we go again with the drumming. His solo lasts for 4 minutes, and then it calms down as organ joins in.The drumer is a maniac ! Vocals arrive 11 minutes in. Some tasteful guitar joins organ and light drums. We get some fuzz. It's not the first time either. It's incredible the way the organ and guitar work together. So many moods on this track. "Memories" is a mellow but beautiful closing track. Flute and gentle guitar lead the way.

I'm impressed on so many different levels with this record and this band. The organ, sax and trumpet played by Maurice Helmlinger are outstanding. He also with Bertram composed all the music. Gerard Pons on drums deserves special mention as well. He's a wild man. This is essential folks.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Moving Gelatine Plates is the debut studio album from French act Moving Gelatine Plates. Moving Gelatine Plates is placed in the Canterbury catagory but if you ask me it´s hard to find what should give them a place in that catagory with this album except that they take some of their influences from the jazzy part of Soft Machine´s music.

The music is in jazz/ rock territory. The dominant lead instrument is saxophone and the music is generally more jazz than it is rock. There are a few vocal parts but the music is predominantly instrumental. The most notable vocal part is the last section in the 15:20 minute long Last Song. Last Song by the way also hosts an unbearably long drum solo. I hear both influences from Soft Machine and Frank Zappa but a band like Pazop also comes to mind when Moving Gelatine Plates are at their most loony. Moving Gelatine Plates doesn´t reach the excellence of Pazop IMO though.

The musicianship is excellent. Lots of jamming parts that are really well played.

The production is good even though I don´t enjoy the drum sound much.

This album is highly praised by most reviewers on PA, but for me this sounds very much like most other jazz/ rock albums from the early seventies. Way too much wailing sax ( it´s actually not as wailing as on many other albums), extensive jamming and too little structured song writing. I know this is an aquired taste and I´ll aknowledge that this is good music but personally I don´t enjoy it much. 3 stars is all I can give. If you like more jazz than rock in your jazz/ rock this will be a treat I´m sure.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Legendary yet short-lived French group,formed in 1969 by schoolmates guitarist Gerard Bertram and bassist Didier Thibault in Sartrouville in July 1969.They were joined by drummer Michel Coulon,who soon left to be replaced by Gerard Pons and Maurice Helmlinger completed the line-up.In 1970 a performance in front of 5000 people at the Le Bourget Festival was the incident ,which changed their career.They gained wide recognition before even releasing an official album and were soon signed by CBS and recorded their debut in just six days.

''London Cab'' opens the album and it is a great presentation of the band's complex sound with flutes and saxes in a rather free form accompanying Bertram's complicated playing with definite hints from SUPERSISTER's style.In this track Pons' performance on percussion is trully memorable,while the band surprisingly included some lyrics from the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice''.A jazzy and humurous yet always demanding short ''X-25'' will follow,before ''Gelatine'' bring hints of the Canterbury scene,especially SOFT MACHINE and CARAVAN.Nice and adventuruous Psychedelic Prog with delicious and atmospheric Hammond organ parts,relaxed bass lines by Thibault,again a complex offering by Bertram full of fine breaks and a mass of sax attacks by Helmlinger.

Heading for the long 15-min.''Last Song'',an electric outburst will start for it,pounded by electric guitars (both in a rhytmic way and solo's performances),some furious drumming and melodic saxes in a frenetic groove.For a 3 min. time the solo drumming of Pons is always good,but drum solos are not my cup of tea.Fortunately the track starts to develop again in a psychedelic mood with obscure work on guitars and organ and also a soft series of vocals (always sung in English) until its horn-based end.Good track,but I expected a little more of it.''Memories'' will correctly close the album with some softer music dominated by acoustic guitars and Helmlinger's melodic flutes on another professional performance.This man almost turned to be the band's main hero.

So did the album worth all the praise about it,before even it was released?Mostly,yes.MOVING GELATINE PLATES show some incredible talent and deliver both great individual and team performances,but seem to lack a bit in compositional skills.Still the album is a fantastic listening for Canterbury Prog,Jazz Rock and complex rock fans.3.5 stars and strongly recommended.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Moving Gelatine Plates are a Canterbury group from France. Unlike RPI for example, where you have very different sounding bands together because they come from the same country, Canterbury was first and foremost a style. Not only did most of the musicians involved in that scene not come from Canterbury, but some of the best music from the scene was made by non-UK groups. Besides MGP, there was Supersister(Holland), Cos (Belgium) and Picchio Dal Pozzo(Italy). The American group The Muffins are usually regarded as being Canterbury as well.

What MGP has in common with most Canterbury bands is an eclectic jazz-rock sound with a sense of humour. They also use the typical fuzz and wah-wah on the guitars and keyboards. In some ways, this album is closer to the sound of Supersister than to the UK bands. Maurice Hemlinger does a great job of switching between organ, flute, sax and trumpet. Impressive. The other three members play the usual guitars, bass and drums. Both the bassist and guitar player sing.

"London Cab" starts things off with odd spacey noises. Some flute starts playing before the rest of the band comes in. They jam away for awhile with some sax soloing. The music stops and some phased drumming before other instruments join in and the tempo increses. A guitar solo follows. After 5 minutes some more sax soloing and you hear a sped-up 'chipmunk' voice recite the lyrics to the song "Three Blind Mice". An unaltered voice is also talking; I like the line "she cut off her tail with a carving knife!" Then it immediately goes into a marching beat, followed by a very early '70s hard rock riff with some more vocals. Ends very jazzy.

"X-25" begins sounding like the later French group Etron Fou Leloublan. Then it gets very Canterbury sounding. At the end it switches to a polka-style and an announcement on megaphone. Nice song but too short. "Gelatine" is probably the best song on the album. Love the organ at the beginning. Some harmonized singing, love what the drummer is doing with the snare drum here. Later a very quiet bass solo with no other instruments. This song changes quite a bit. I like the upbeat section they go into halfway with some sax soloing. The sax and guitar play in unison at times. Later on a trumpet solo. Great drumming near the end.

The 15-minute "Last Song" is not actually the last song (more of that Canterbury humour). It starts off with some guitar harmonics before the rest of the bnad comes in. They waste no time jamming away and changing to different sections. Lots of soloing from sax and guitar in this track. At one point there is lots of start/stop playing before a very, very long drum solo. A little too long, really. Eventually other instruments come in and it switches to a more laid- back part. Later on some harmony singing. Goes into a riff briefly near the end. Great organ playing until it goes jazzy and ends with more guitar harmonics. "Memories" has two acoustic guitars; one playing in a Spanish/classical style. Then some flute. A little bit of bass buried in the mix. The weakest song but a nice way to end the album.

Because they were from France and didn't get a lot of promotion from their record label, these guys slipped into obscurity, many missing out on a chance to hear their albums. In a perfect world, this group and album would be much more popular. The next album will be even better, but it too will not get much promotion. If you are really into the UK Canterbury groups, you should have no problem getting into MGP. A really good debut album. This gets 3.5 but I'll round it up to 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
5 stars An extremely confident debut album which proves that you don't have to be British to play in the Canterbury style, the first Moving Gelatine Plates album shows a heavy influence from Third- era Soft Machine. In particular, the band seem to have been inspired by the band's loud, fast, and energetic live performances from the time (as documented on the archival release Grides), rather than the more lethargic and occasionally quasi-ambient approach of the Third album itself.

But these guys are no clones; as well as incorporating a mild influence from Zappa's more fusion-oriented tracks from the era, the band also work to carve out their own distinct sound within the Canterbury pattern. The most obvious deviation from the Softs' approach is the inclusion of prominent acoustic and electric guitar performances from the talented Gerard Bertram, whose contributions at several points saves the band's sound from drifting into full-on clone territory. The music on offer is also somewhat more diverse than what Soft Machine were getting into at the time, as well as getting into areas the original Mothers of Invention never got around to despoiling - in particular, the gentle flute and acoustic guitar that opens closing track Memories provides a sound that neither of the band's major influences ever dabbled in, and doesn't really sound much like Caravan (the other flute-friendly Canterbury band of the era) either.

The debut Moving Gelatine Plates album is a decidedly worthwhile treasure for Canterbury fans to track down, not least because it hits such an absolutely perfect balance between acknowledging the band's influences and matching the quality of their work on the one hand, and creating a distinct identity for the band on the other. A true gem.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars MOVING GELATINE PLATES was a short-lived band formed by Gérard Bertram (guitarist) and Didier Thibault (bassist) who met in 1966 when they were both wee teenagers at 14 years of age in school. These guys had a huge interest in the jazz-fusion scene that was blossoming in the late 60s and were especially influenced by Soft Machine and Caravan. MOVING GELATINE PLATES are also notorious for being the first non-English band to fall into the Canterbury Scene. These guys came from from Sartrouville, France but because of their strong influences and willingness to eschew the political leanings of the early 70s and worship the whimsical and predominantly instrumental instead, they have been lumped into the Canterbury Scene labeling. The music sounds very Canterbury and yet maintains a strong uniqueness at the same time.

After acquiring the extra talents of Gérard Pons (drums) and Maurice Hemlinger (organ, trumpet, soprano and tenor sax, flute) the band found the right chemistry and talent to create one EXCELLENT debut album. This album is so packed full of musical integrity that it is hard to believe that it is only slightly over 36 minutes long. These guys hit all the right notes and created all the best aspects of rock and jazz-fusion with tight sophisticated melodic compositions. This is one of the most energetic albums i've heard from 1971. The band is simply on fire with all the hooks, leads and infectious grooves that somehow maintain an accessible and seductive melodic systematic approach married with the extreme complexity that every progressive rock band of the day was striving to create in order to outdo the others. This is catchy enough to keep you entertained but complex enough that you keep coming back for more.They simply created a perfectly balanced sound that took all the complexities of progressive rock, all the addictive melodic approaches of jazz and classical musical, put them in a blender and dished them out like the tastiest of fresh pastries on the Champs-Élysées.

Despite this being a brilliant debut album that blows away most of the competition, i am in agreement with everyone else who feels that the drum solo on "Last Song" is waaaaaaaay too long for its own good, but other than that one faux pas (and really it isn't bad, it just ruins an otherwise perfect album) we have a ridiculously consistent album that more than stands the test of time. In a perfect world this band would have made the cover of Rolling Stone. Yeah, that perfect world that i wish i was in, but hey! This album is real. It was made and believe it or not, the next one is even BETTER :P

If you own the CD you will find that in addition to the original 5 tracks there are 4 bonus tracks that come from their comeback album under the truncated band name MOVING. For some reason someone deemed it wise to disperse these tracks in no particular order between the debut and album and the second "The Genius Of Hans." Makes no sense but if you own the first two albums on CD you will essentially own the third one as well. No it's not as good as the first two but not totally shabby either. 4.5 rounded up!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Bursting onto the Canterbury Scene from across La Manche in 1971 came Moving Gelatine Plates with a much more dynamic, jazz foundation but with all the requisite quirky, silliness that The Softs had given the world in the previous two or three years. A quartet, the band was greatly enhanced by the multi-instrumental talents of organ and reed player Maurice HEMLINGER. The rhythm section is quite skilled and the compositional content is quite mature. Guitarist Gerard BERTRAM is quite creative and versatile. In my opinion the only song deserving of a full five star rating is the rollicking, hillarious, rollercoaster-ride that is "London Cab" (7:34) (10/10)--though the flute-dominated instrumental "Memories" (3:21) is quite nice. The other songs are far more technically jazz tunes with some experimental production techniques and Canterbury structures. The down-tempo vocal section and final five minutes of "Last Song" is less jazzy and more experimental oddness, but not as fun or engaging as the like from EGG, The Softs, or NATIONAL HEALTH. Culturally, this album is quite an amazing accomplishment to come out of France after all of the political upheaval they had been through. Based on the musicianship alone this album earns a four star rating.
Review by ALotOfBottle
5 stars Moving Gelatine Plates were one of the European bands playing Canterbury-style progressive rock under the influence of Soft Machine and Caravan. When the two bands put out their first and second albums in the late sixties and early seventies, they did not enjoy much success in their motherland. So instead, they decided to tour mainland Europe extensively and create a name for themselves in that part of the world. The large European fanbase gave birth to bands such as Picchio Dal Pozzo, Cos, Supersister, Pazop and many more. Moving Gelatine Plates was one of these bands. After the political conflicts in France in the late sixties, the group decided not to play politically-charged music, like so many of their contemporary countrymen did, and, as band members recall, to create art for the sake of creating art.

The music on Moving Gelatine Plates' self-titled debut album is to a high degree shaped by the previously mentioned Canterbury pioneers such as Caravan and Soft Machine. However, their music goes a lot further. Avant-rock influences of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention often reverbrate in many places. In addition, Moving Gelatine Plates have a characteristic quality, that may remind one of the style found on Henry Cow's 1973 debut album, Legend. The group does not put strong emphasis on songwriting nor improvisation, but rather on the natural progressing of the music, from once sequence to another. Despite their strong jazz influences, Moving Gelatine Plates' material is organized. In result, the music sounds unforced and therefore authentic, flowing naturally like the Seine river.

All of the band's complex musical ideas are executed in a professional and accurate way. The case with Moving Gelatine Plates is that one does not usually associate one musician with only one instrument, but rather assigns instruments to the musical layers individually. Gerard Bertram handles all the guitar parts. While he finds himself proficient on rapid guitar solos, he plays the role of a rhythm guitarist extremely well too. Maurice Hemlinger is responsible for all the keyboard parts. And by this I do not mean that there are a lot of keyboards on the album. The group seems to use keyboard instruments economically, only where keyboards are actually needed. Most of the time, however, Hemlinger is busy blowing air into his saxophones and a trumpet. His style could be associated with that of John Coltrane, Ronland Rahsaan Kirk, and Soft Machine's Elton Dean. The two soloists, Hemlinger and Bertram are supported by an extremely proficient rhythm section of Didier Thibault on bass and Gerard Pons on drums. Thibault and Pons also get a few solo parts in places.

There are five tracks on the album. These have a good amount of diversity between them. The album opens with odd electronic sounds on "London Cab", which quickly dissolves into a rapid jazz-rock jam, quite similar to what East Of Eden did on their album Snafu. "X-25" follows an interesting, organized construction with contrasting segments. On "Gelatine", the bassist Didier Thibault gets to display his great instrumentalism. With various solo parts on wind instruments and a guitar, the piece turns into a tasty jazz jam. "Last Song", the 14-minute highlight of the album, showcases all of the band's most characteristic elements. The album is closed with "Memories", a gentle, quiet piece with mellow flute and acoustic guitar parts.

All in all, Moving Gelatine Plates' self-titled debut album is definitely a must-listen for every Canterbury scene sound. Although it might not automatically remind one of works by Soft Machine, Caravan, Hatfield and the North or Egg, it owes a great deal to the sub-genre's distinctive sound. The band's sound is characterized by a high amount of vigor and energy combined with technical know-how and originality. In short: highly recommended!

Latest members reviews

3 stars Their name and the artwork pretty much describe the music on this album. Pretty difficult to put in words. Style wise, they are somewhere between Gong, Soft Machine and Frank Zappa. A mix of RIO and the Canterbury scene. They have one and a half leg in Canterbury, I would say. But just to conf ... (read more)

Report this review (#250475) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars MGP were doubtlessly in the league of the SOFT MACHINE, so here much of the material is jazz-tinged. My first recommendation on you would be not to acquire the remaster (because pointless tracks from the 80's were added up at the end of the album ¦( The record sounds a bit like a cross betwee ... (read more)

Report this review (#46831) | Posted by | Friday, September 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the groups groups mythical French progressive rock and a splendid album. In a style fusion - dominated by the fantastic percussions of Gerald Pons - and with much of humour, this group created its own style, very virtuoso who never wearies. I have a light preference for this first album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#33428) | Posted by | Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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