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Christian Boulé

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Christian Boulé Photo Musik album cover
3.59 | 14 ratings | 5 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Elastic Minute (4:08)
2. Photo Musik (2:44)
3. Cyrstal Palace (7:27)
4. 22 Broad Street (4:25)
5. Radio-Arc-en-Ciel (2:32)
6. 5ème océan (2:37)
7. Aqua Deva (2:57)
8. Inter Galatic Cosmic Triolet (4:03)
9. Orange Climax (7:38)

Bonus Tracks (on CD only)
10. Comet Hotel (3:07)
11. Estella Futur (3:56)

Total Time: 57:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Boulé / guitar, Glissando guitar, EMS synthesizer, harmonica, flute, radio bubbles
- Andy Flatten / vocals
- Cyrille Verdeaux / Grand piano, organ, Fender Rhodes, Micro Moog, Tubular Bells, tambourine
- Jacky Bouladoux / drums & percussion
- Patrice Congas / bass
- Jean Pierre Thirault / Alto & Soprano saxophones
- Géraldine Andre / vocals (5 & 6), Tenor saxophone (7)
- Ian David Jelf / vocals (3)
- Tim Blake / bass, drums (10 & 11), harmonica, synthesizers, vocal (10)
- Cyrille Verdeaux / keyboards (11)
- Liliane Duchene / vocals (11)
- Eva / backing vocals (11)
- Christophe / harmonica (11)

Releases information

CD Musea Records FBG4296.AR
1999 re-issue of 1977 album

Thanks to BaldJean for the addition
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CHRISTIAN BOULÉ Photo Musik ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(71%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CHRISTIAN BOULÉ Photo Musik reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BaldJean
4 stars This is a very good album in the space-rock vein, proving that the genré was not dead in 1977. The beginning opener "Elastick Minute" somehow reminds me of Ash Ra Tempel's "Inventions for Electric Guitar" and also of the beginning of the track "Allez Ali Baba Blacksheep Have You Any Bull[&*!#] Mama Maya Mantram" from the live album of Planet Gong, "Live Floating Anarchy". Tracks like "Crystal Palace" (superb bass work by Patrice Congas here), "Aqua Deva" / "Intergalactic Cosmic Triolet" (these two tracks float into each other) or "Orange Climax" (starting with a Jimi Hendrix theme, "Burning of the Midnight Lamp") really have a free floating feeling to them, while "22 Broad Street" is almost rock'n roll. Christian Boulé sounds a lot like Steve Hillage, which is probably why Hillage had him play rhythm guitar in his band for some time. Anyone who likes the early solo albums of Hillage will like this album too.
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars For those who have already discovered the fantastic universe of Clearlight, the music of Christian Boule in solo is perfectly un necessary, excepted for the talented guitar solo parts. Totally un inspired, despite of the presence of Clearlight keyboardist's Cyrille Verdeaux. The compositions deliver sloppy, laughable, ultimately boring songs for various sorts of spacey rock, freak & roll musical structures. The child like voice of the woman singer is indigestible. The only positive point in this musical "circus" is Boule's very convincing, melodic, technical, heavy guitar solos. It really saves the album from mediocrity. The opening track is the most consistent moment of the album, a catchy repetitive guitar pattern in a similar vein than Gottsching's inventions for electric guitar with an incredibly powerful, brilliant electric guitar solo. We are near to Clearlight magic musical symphony. After that the rest of the album is dull. The self title track is a funny composition with a "silly" hippie flavour. "Cristal palace" is a gentle ballad, interesting if it was only instrumental. "22 Broad Street" is a rock 'n roll composition which sounds terribly old dated. "Radio Arc en Ciel" is an interlude for organ and keyboard. "Aqua Deva" is the best tune after the introduction, an ethereal dreamscape with celestial organ and synth voice imitation. It is directly followed by "Inter Galactic Cosmic triolet", a "trippy" song with repetitive guitar lines, "hypnotic" effects and saxophone passages. The bonus track "Estelle future" is a horrible mechanical, soft composition with ridiculous lyrics and a mix of clean, distorted guitar textures. Two stars for Boule's impressive guitar work and Cyrille Verdeaux's piano arrangements.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Christian Boule has played live or in the studio with such acts as Steve Hillage, GONG, CLEARLIGHT, LARD FREE and many others. His style of guitar playing is very much in the Steve Hillage mode although on this his first studio album he also plays harmonica, synths, flute and glissando guitar. Cyrille Verdeaux from CLEARLIGHT plays organ, electric piano, moog and more on here. We get a variety of saxophones as well plus a female singer who seems to get mixed opinions about her voice. She's not on the two bonus tracks though which feature Tim Blake from GONG as well as male and female vocals and Cyrille on keyboards. I do like the album cover.

"Elastic Minute" opens with intricate fast paced sounds before it kicks into gear around 1 1/2 minutes. Spacey synths help out as well as the sax plays over top. The guitar arrives around 2 minutes sounding really good. This is a Hillage-like track and it's all instrumental. "Photo Musik" starts out with strummed guitar as another solos over top. It turns fuller rather quickly and vocals join in. Some excellent fuzzed out guitar here as well that comes and goes. Again the guitar reminds me of Hillage. Harmonica ends it as the song stops abruptly. "Crystal Palace" is a top three tune for me. It's spacey at first with twittering sounds. It's building but then it settles back after a minute with strummed guitar, a beat and vocals. She reminds me of Sabine from GILA on that "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" album. She stops singing as the guitar comes to the fore after 2 1/2 minutes. Nice! Man this is so good. Check out the guitar before 4 minutes and the drum work that follows. The vocals are back before 4 1/2 minutes as it settles back some. "22 Broad Street" is my least favourite, a little too mainstream I'd say sounding like a New Wave song. Lots of energy and some ripping guitar as well.

"Radio-Arc-En-Ciel" opens with radio samples as the organ floats and these spoken female words join in just before a minute and they will last for about a minute as the floating organ and synths end it. "Seme Ocean" features vocal melodies as strummed guitar and more joins in. It's building as piano comes to the fore. So much going on here, very impressive. "Aqua Deva" is a top three as we get lots of atmosphere and water sounds as spacey synths join in as well. It blends into my final top three tune "Inter Galactic Cosmic Triolet" where it continues to be spacey but a minute in it turns fuller with vocals. The vocals echo and remind me of the female singer on BRAINTICKET's debut just not as out there. Cool song. "Orange Climax" opens with church bells and atmosphere and the tempo picks up after a minute and gets fuller too. Catchy stuff 3 minutes in then piano comes to the fore after 4 minutes. It's the sax now leading around 5 minutes in then it settles down before 6 1/2 minutes and it continues to wind down to the end. The two bonus tracks are pretty good as well, especially "Estella Futur".

It's hard to imagine anyone who's into Steve Hillage not liking this but then again some don't like the vocals. I'm quite pleased to recommend this one though as I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Like many of you I first became aware of Christian Boulé via Steve Hillage as well as Clearlight. Actually, for me, my first album I bought with him involved was Clearlight's Forever Blowing Bubbles, which I purchased in 1997 (it was a recommendation, given I enjoyed Gong). Photo Musik is his first of just two solo album, and it's a great album, for the most part. The music often has a Green-era Hillage feel to it, especially with that delayed guitar effect (something Manuel Göttsching explored three years earlier with Inventions for Electric Guitar, and Pink Floyd ran with it on The Wall on "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1" and "Run Like Hell", not to mention Ozric Tentacles frequently using that same guitar effect). There are these peculiar high pitched female vocals that remind me of Miquette Giraudy. It turns out those female vocals were by Andy Flaten, but because I thought it was a guy with that name, I didn't realize this Andy was a lady, but that makes sense, she's the one credited for a good bulk of the vocal tracks. Ian David Jeff did do some additional vocals, but I can barely hear him. The vocal tracks often end up reminding me of Here & Now or perhaps Nik Turner's Xitintoday without the Egyptian stuff. "22 Broad Street" I can live without, it's just straight up mediocre new wave, the same nice female vocals are there as on the great "Cristal Palace", but the music is clichéd with clichéd lyrics. Come to think of it, that particular song Is just trying too hard to be trendy for 1978, it ends up actually sounding like it belongs more in 1979 or even 1980 than in 1978. I could imagine a cheesy music video to go with it being aired on MTV in its infancy (circa 1981-82) late at night or in the mid 1980s on the USA Network's Night Flight (who did air underground music videos MTV wouldn't touch due to their then focus on hair metal). At least the title track, which includes new wave elements retains that nice space rock/prog that I love of this album, and of this genre in general. I was shocked to hear one instrumental piece that sounded exactly like Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick! Even if it was rather short. This was released a year before that album. I completely forgot to mention Cyrille Verdeaux plays on this album, which is no surprise given Boulé's involvement in Clearlight, not to mention Boulé was recording for Polydor which Clearlight was recording for at the same time (for just one album, Visions). Musically, it's as you expect from this type of space rock, and if you like the Hillage/Gong/Clearlight brand of space rock, this is required.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Thanks BaldJean for the review! untill a few days ago, I didn't know Christian Boule made any solo albums. Drawing inspiration from his work with Clearlight Symphony and Steve Hillage, this album reflects the textural depth and imagination of the fantastic Clearlight, containing as it does Cyr ... (read more)

Report this review (#52867) | Posted by | Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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