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ARNAUD BUKWALD

Eclectic Prog • France


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Arnaud Bukwald biography
Self-proclaimed underground troubadour Arnaud Bukwald, a native of France, is certainly one of the more unique creative forces to enter the prog sphere in the 21st century. With a whimsical, unpredictable approach to composing music, Bukwald's output is every bit as eccentric as it is eclectic. After the world music-oriented Moondragore - ethnic collection, Bukwald's prog career began with the 2011 album bizarremporium. A humorous, almost vaudevillian work, bizarremporium marked the beginning of Bukwald's signature style, mixing jazz and psychedelic rock in a soundtrack-like context. Over the years, Bukwald's music shifted away from its jazz-heavy roots and began to explore psychedelic influences to a greater extent. Although his later output, such as 2016's la marmite cosmique trilogy, puts less emphasis on jazz than on his earlier works, fusion elements are still to be heard, in addition to space rock, electronic, and even symphonic-style keyboard work. For those who like their prog whimsical, Arnaud Bukwald's strange catalogue should offer plenty of amusement - and perhaps even bemusement.

-Magnum Vaeltaja

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ARNAUD BUKWALD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ARNAUD BUKWALD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Bizarremporium
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Mysterious Vampire
2013
3.00 | 2 ratings
Juke-Box (Vocal covers)
2015
3.96 | 7 ratings
La Marmite Cosmique
2016
4.00 | 5 ratings
La Marmite Cosmique III
2016
3.77 | 7 ratings
La Marmite Cosmique 4
2018
3.46 | 3 ratings
La Marmite Cosmique V
2019

ARNAUD BUKWALD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ARNAUD BUKWALD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ARNAUD BUKWALD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Moondragore - ethnic collection
2010
3.75 | 4 ratings
retrospective
2013
5.00 | 1 ratings
the lost archives
2015

ARNAUD BUKWALD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 4 ratings
la marmite cosmique volume 2
2016

ARNAUD BUKWALD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Marmite Cosmique V by BUKWALD, ARNAUD  album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.46 | 3 ratings

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La Marmite Cosmique V
Arnaud Bukwald Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Master synthesist of familiar musical styles Arnaud Bukwald is back with the fifth installment of his fascinating "La marmite cosmique" series of album releases--all of which seem to choose several prog subgenres or specific artists from the past to emulate. What makes Arnaud's work so unusual and enjoyable, though, is that though you recognize the sounds and the styles within each song, the compositions and performances are all so fresh--it's as if he has discovered old tapes or manuscripts from past masters that no one has ever heard and then performed and published them himself.

I think his work genius. Whereas on previous "marmite cosmique" releases he has masterfully replicated the sounds of such stalwarts as Frank Zappa, Greg Lake, Genesis, Camel, Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, as well as many, many Canterbury and Krautrock artists (as well as many modern artists), this one presents some Zeuhl, modern West Coast Psychedelia, Berlin School, as well as electronic masters like JEAN-MICHEL JARRE.

1. "Z'hr" (12:27) opens like POPUL VUH before presenting the theatricality of MAGMA and then turning into the engaging melody-delivery medium of BRAINTICKET, this song rocks like CAMEL and it surprises and it sucks you in like KLAUS DOLDINGER's PASSPORT with its grooves, twists and turns, instrumental sounds and skills, not to mention its multiple earworm melodic hooks and ecstatic choral Zeuhlish parts. The best prog epic I've heard so far in this year of 2019. (24/25)

2. "New Dawn" (2:05) West Coast funk on the level of STARVING DAUGHTERS and BRIAN ELLIS. Awesome! Another little gem of Arnaud's that I wish went on and on. (That's why we have repeat and playlist mixes.) (5/5)

3. "Mandarine" (5:46) wonderful Kosmische Musik of the Berlin School ilk. (9/10)

4. "Kinky Boots" (3:58) funky psychedelia that doesn't work as well as "New Dawn." Nice elements but they don't gel as well as I'd like. (7.5/10)

5. "Theremoon" (9:24) opens with some light, playful fairy-like TANGERINE DREAM or JEAN-MICHEL JARRE synth play which is then joined by dobro, percussion and another wooden flute-like synth playing mostly in the lower registers. I can't quite peg the influences/references, but I like it. A lot. Cool space weave. Maybe KITARO or Larry Fast's SYNERGY or Patrick MORAZ's I (or a combination of all of the above) are also appropriate comparisons. Just before the 4:00 mark a truly spacey synth makes a brief appearance before African hand drums enter. While the song never really goes anywhere too exciting or unexpected, it contains great weaves throughout and incorporates genius sound/instrument selections. (18/20)

Total Time 33:40

Five stars; a minor masterpiece of wonderfully creative, nostalgic instrumental progressive rock music.

 La Marmite Cosmique V by BUKWALD, ARNAUD  album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.46 | 3 ratings

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La Marmite Cosmique V
Arnaud Bukwald Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars Arnaud Bukwald is an Eclectic Prog artist that calls himself the underground troubadour and an astronaut. His music consists of a wide array of influences and styles. This multi-instrumentalist has been making albums since 2011. His 7th album, released in August of 2019 is the fifth (four albums and one EP) in a series named "La Marmite Cosmique" (literally translated as The Cosmic Pot). This album is completely performed by Bukwald except for the guest vocalist Cherry Pob who provides vocals for tracks 1 and 4. The album consists of 5 tracks with a total run time of over 33 minutes.

The first track is "Zohr" (12:27) and is the longest track on the album. A sustained synth provides a light drone and the word Zohr is repeated with Bukwald and Pob harmonizing in dissonant manner. Rolling and crashing cymbals build tension, and finally percussion, psych organs and keys, and some brassy instruments work together to play a nice progressive, jazzy music that has a nice psychedelic ring to it. The mostly instrumental track is driven mostly by synths and brass with occasional appearances of guitar. The rhythm switches up throughout the track to keep it from getting too stagnant, even slowing up a bit in the middle section, removing percussion and then reverting to that strange zohr vocals again. Finally at 8 minutes, different words come into play for a short time before it switches back to mysterious instrumentals provided by synth and brass, this time adding in some cool effects. Soon, the keys start a rhythmic pattern, and more repeated singing of the word zohr. The tracks first half was definitely much more interesting as the 2nd half doesn't really ever catch hold, but kind of meanders about.

"New Dawn" (2:05) starts off with birds and natural sound effects before the beat kicks in and a jazzy and slightly cinematic sound kicks in with the synth providing a melodic line. The sound has a 70's funky vibe to it with a Herbie Hancock-style vibe. "Mandarine" (5:46) starts with a repeating synth loop and space effects and noises swirling around it. The music builds aided by crashing cymbals and a gong, the background pattern getting louder as the effects continue. It's not until the 4th minutes that anything with a semblance of a melody comes in, and the music loses the repeated pattern and becomes more pensive and soft, fading to almost nothing when the repeated synth pattern returns quietly in the background as it ends with a minimilistic sound. "Kinky Boots" (3:58) goes for the funky vibe again, Buckwald reaches for his inner Herbie Hancock again. Cherry Pob sings mostly wordless vocals as she improvises along with the melodic lines established by the synths. At 3 minutes, the music cuts out leaving only a percussive noise sounding like someone walking, then suddenly a full band sound comes in sounding like a piece of another fully developed song, but quickly ends.

"Theremoon" (9:24) begins with a nice atmospheric ascending and descending synth while other keys play softly around it. This space jive continues for a while, it's nice, but it doesn't really develop into much as a melody soars and abates randomly around the repeating synth background. Finally, at 4 minutes, percussion comes in with a layer of sustained chords that help to ground this flighty track. As it continues, it all seems more like underdeveloped improvisation on the synths to only fill up time. It just goes on forever without much change.

Not much really happens on this album as it seems more like one long track that has a strong first half and then meanders around on the 2nd half, 3 tracks of mostly patched together material and another long track of improvised space music without any real foundation or direction. Sure, there is some interesting melding of styles, especially in the first and 2nd tracks that bring psych, jazz and electronica together in a nice way, but unfortunately, those tracks just don't justify the laziness of the rest of the short album. The first part of the album lives up to it's eclectic and eccentric nature, but the remainder just feels like music without a real direction or haphazardly pasted together.

 La Marmite Cosmique 4 by BUKWALD, ARNAUD  album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.77 | 7 ratings

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La Marmite Cosmique 4
Arnaud Bukwald Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Frenchman Arnaud Bukwald is back with this year's (first) installment of La marmite cosmique and, as usual, it's a rollercoaster ride through nostalgic prog styles. With only two songs over three minutes long, it serves as a bit of a challenge to get a grip on what the master of imitation is trying to accomplish, but the one 14-minute epic makes it all worthwhile--and is sure to end up on my year-end list of favorite prog epics.

1. "brats" (2:11) stage piano and female voice make this one sound like a setup for a vaudeville song, but Arnaud's Frank Zappa-like voice and the quirky anti-pop song that develops says otherwise. A lyric Frank would be proud of. (4.5/5)

2. "gravelax de spleen" (14:16) another one of Arnaud's masterpieces that crossover several subgenres of prog rock. With the atmospheric, spacey opening section (0:00-2:30) I thought I was in for some Kosmische Musik, but the it goes full Jazz Fusion (both Canterburian and a little avant garde) (2:30-5:06) before seguing into a gorgeous, slow, emotional, SOFT MACHINE section (5:07- 7:11) (with some lovely flute playing) before returning to the faster, upbeat Canterbury music of Section II (8:01- 9:50), cycling back to the slow, emotional themes and styles of Section III (9:52- 11:57) (I love the Hammond, brush play on the drum kit, and the upright bass!) and then ending in a kind of Stefano Musso/ALIO DIE tuned percussion display for the final section (12:00-14:16). Awesome and beautiful song! One of my favorites of the year (so far)! (10/10)

3. "bromridrosis" (2:28) stylistically and lyrically this sounds like a FRANK ZAPPA song though there are elements that remind me of MAJOR PARKINSON, too. The vocal contributions of female singer Geneviève Palley are quite welcome. Definitely the funky side of Frank Z.... (4.5/5)

4. "polymorphous roach" (2:44) a "horn"-supported jazz set up for ancient keyboard exposition (Hammond, Fender Rhodes, and synths). (4.5/5)

5. "mont de venus" (1:53) opening with a bit of a circus/carnival music sound, the title suggests Anaïs Nin while the music weaves more into a PHILLIP GLASS spiral--though the odd second fade out of xylophone soloing catches one off guard. (4/5)

6. "rumpology" (6:42) The study of rumps. Cute. Though this song opens up much like the B horror movie "soundtrack" music of bands like ATOMC APE, the music turns, in the second minute, into an experimental Berlin School type that I never really particularly enjoyed (Todd Rundgren played in this way a lot, as well): fragments of noise and sound experiments strung together in a seemingly random way. Perhaps this music represents more the study of toilet flushing. (7.5/10)

4.5 stars; a wonderful collection of very well produced songs that any prog lover would love to hear for its great sound, compositional genius, and nostalgic effect. Still, 30 minutes of music is a bit short to be considered for album of the year.

P.S. Nice album cover!

 La Marmite Cosmique by BUKWALD, ARNAUD  album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 7 ratings

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La Marmite Cosmique
Arnaud Bukwald Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A brilliant and totally fresh smorgasborg of avant jazz/jazz fusion song stylings from French composer/musician Arnaud Bukwald. The journey that Arnaud takes one on through the songs on this album is quite nostalgiac as there are familiar sounds, riffs, and stylings in virtually every song. And yet, the music is totally fresh, new, and unpredictable. The compositions and arrangements work very well throughout.

1. 'Chop suey' (2:15) opens the album on a wild and crazy percussive journey with xylophone and drums leading flutes and synths along like lemmings over the cliff. Then a jazzy JERRY LEE LEWIS-like piano section ushers in vocals, horns, psychedelic electric guitar lead and drums for about 30 seconds before a toilet flush signals the end and exit. (7/10)

2. 'Dedicated to Hugh' (3:10) (Hopper? or the same 'Hugh' of Robert WYATT's 1972 dedication on his first MATCHING MOLE album?) 'a m'est 'gal, for in the end this is a truly wonderful instrumental tribute to all Canterbury artists of the late 60s and 1970s'so perfectly composed and performed. (10/10)

3. 'Mars caravan' (3:06) opens with a voice sample from a 1950s-60s film about alien/(Martian) before turning into a kind of film score soundtrack to a credits roll or film montage of alien visuals. Very dramatic, even melodramatic, ' la ENNIO MORRICONE or someone else of that ilk. (8/10)

4. 'Gran Torino' (3:39) ventures into the funk jazz fusion found in a lot of late 60s early seventies film and television themes (especially Black exploitation and disco-era cinema.) Very catchy, dance-groovy. (9/10)

5. 'Time and space' (2:11) opens with heavily spaced flute and then Fender Rhodes piano play before a vocal (!) from a very deep GREG LAKE-like voice. The second minute turns into quite the upbeat 70s television theme song. Very fun song! (10/10)

6. 'Fairy Tales' (10:23) opens with its first two minutes feeling very much like a section out of ELP's 'Tarkus.' The next section shifts gears and moods into feeling like GENESIS's 'Watcher in the Sky mixed with Mike Oldfield's tubular bells. Then, at the end of the fourth minute we get to hear the sounds of birds, woodsy-lumberjack sounds, and then crackling sticks over the fire next to the babbling brook. This is then replaced by the gradual fade in at the 4:50 mark of strummed mandolin, harp, and woodwinds, before a more rollicking orchestrated section bursts in at 5:48: double bass, orchestral strings, tympani and orchestral percussion'which are soon joined by a jazzy horn section but the, just as quickly, all is dropped in favor of an extended section of some strum-play on the strings inside a piano. Slowly a mysterious organ enters in the background before tribal drum play and piano percussives play over the top. The final 45 seconds of the song engage a Moog synth solo played with tubular bells and church organ. Not all of Arno's influences/references are clear to me. He's told me that Cyrille Verdeaux, Art Zoyd, Gong, and Ange are among his all-time favorites'all of whom are not as familiar to me as they could be'thus I suspect that some of the references I miss are from nods to those bands. (9/10)

7. 'Cirrus sequence' (9:26) opens with a combination of STEVE HOWE acoustic guitar harmonics play with David Gilmour 'Wish You Were Here' blues guitar lead and synth play common to TANGERINE DREAM work taking turns and then woven together. Clever and awesome! After the 3:40 mark, the Wish You Were Here' section ends and an eerie, spacey 'screaming alien howler monkey' section plays out over the same crackling fire noises from the previous song to the end of the song. Again, I am disappointed to say that this reference is lost upon me. But it is unique and interesting. (8/10)

8. 'T'ton effrayant - sauerkraut' (16:57) is a tribute to the Kosmische Musik (aka 'Krautrock') happening in the musk schools and hippie ashrams in Germany in the late 60s and early 70s. Bands like CAN, ASH RA TEMPEL, NEU!, AMON D''L, and even FAUST can be heard in this one. The shifts in the play of the rhythm section in this one are particularly noteworthy and fascinating. You can tell Arnaud gave great attention and love to the details of this one. Synths, percussions, saxes, and effects all play such critical roles in the weave of this one. It is hypnotic as well as trippy (like a circus-like acid trip). The Kraut rock fathers would be proud! At 8:10 there is a break leading into another GENESIS-like organ-synth and martial drum-led 'Watcher of the Skies' section before the previous Kosmische rhtythm reestablishes itself to support various independent appearances from Keith Emerson synth, Mellotron, Another break at 10:30 yields a very airy-empty space wash out of which a 'rocket takeoff' rising synth not appears and leads us into a very spacey, Berlin School of Electronic Music section. Could be straight out of any of TANGERINE DREAM, Manuel G'TTSCHING or the KLAUS-meister's 1970s masterpieces. Brilliant! Masterful end with avery slowly decaying synth sequence. My favorite song on this wonderful album! (10/10)

A near-masterpiece of true progressive rock music. Check this guy's music out! You won't be sorry!

Thanks to epignosis for the artist addition.

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