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BRASSÉ

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Brassé biography
BRASSÉ is the solo project of Marc Brassé who runs Dutch record label LaBraD'or. Marc is also known for his successful project/album THE READING ROOM, which features a string of neo-prog artists such as The NIGHT WATCH, ARAGON, GALLEON, LIKE WENDY, FINAL CONFLICT, GALAHAD and CLIFFHANGER to name a few. Various guest musicians appear on BRASSÉ's four albums, whose material is penned by Marc himself. Quite well produced, the cds mostly feature spacey melodies with good old-fashioned Clive Nolan-like keyboards and floydian guitar solos. The dark themes and atmospheres easily evoke PINK FLOYD; the vocals, shared by both female and male artists (mostly Brassé's own), are interspersed with narrative passages.

"Sand, Water and Heroes" ('88) and "Pawn" ('93) are rather tame but still contain a few good tracks. Like a dark impressionist painting, "Dante's Inferno" ('97) is a modern musical adaptation of the famous 'Divinia Comedia' - some sort of modern version of hell. Its musical contents is varied but constant in quality. On the concept album "Turbulence" (2001), Brassé is joined by various artists from some of the bands mentioned above: LIKE WENDY's guitarist/vocalist Bert Heinen, VERTIGO/JACOB'S LADDER guitarist Maarten Huiskamp, CLIFFHANGER's drummer Hans Boonk, VERTIGO's vocalists Leny Caanen and Frans Hermans, ARAGON's guitarist John Poloyannis as well as guitarist Peter Heinen. This cd features a 20-minute epic that encompasses just about every facet of BRASSÉ's répertoire.

Recommended for neo-prog fans of the bands named above.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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BRASSÉ discography


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

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Sand, Water And Heroes
1988
4.00 | 5 ratings
Pawn
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
Dante's Inferno
1997
2.51 | 3 ratings
Turbulence
2001

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BRASSÉ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dante's Inferno by BRASSÉ album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Dante's Inferno
Brassé Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Mid-90's found Marc Brasse in a workaholic period.Not only he was working on the next Brasse album, but he also set the process to establish his own record label.Eventually LaBraD'or Records, based in Apeldoorn, came to life and Brasse's third album ''Dante's Inferno as performed by Brasse'' was its first release in 1997, an ambitious concept work, where Brasse recruited female vocalist Leny Caanen along with the usual suspect Maarten Huiskamp on bass and guitars.

The familiar sound of the band is still there, but this time Brasse seems to have lose much of its grandiosity and unique inspiration.The album is split in 17 pieces with its ups and downs with Brasse trying to capture a unique personal approach on the concept , alternating between different moods and atmospheres, always under the Neo Prog umbrella.The result though is an album of inconsistency, with some tracks sounding a bit cheesy or uninspired, sometimes having a too mechanical keyboard sound or uninteresting electronic effects like the horrible sampled flutes.The vocals of the album range from angry performances to sweet deliveries, depending on the track.However Brasse never stopped to be an incredible composer and thus you can still find pieces with bombastic keyboard parts, great guitar hooks and plenty of symphonic grandieur.And like in ''Pawn'' there are melodic symphonic passages mixed with powerful bombastic keyboard parts to satisfy the prog listener, just to make you a bit nostangic over the previous album.

Maybe Brasse's definite Neo Prog approach on a concept like this was not the right choice, but if you skip this fact, this album is still a good effort among the genre's releases, with interesting keyboard, vocal and guitar parts, though a bit flat at moments.Recommended.

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 Turbulence  by BRASSÉ album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.51 | 3 ratings

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Turbulence
Brassé Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If nothing else this is an interesting album. For one thing I had a hard time even finding this album on our site here because it just says "Turbulence" on the cover and the band BRASSE is nowhere to be found anywhere on it, except that it's the last name of the leader of this project. Maybe it's because of all the guests that are featured on here or maybe it was an oversight. Anyway we have CLIFFHANGER's drummer playing throughout as well as ARAGON's guitarist doing the same. Bert from LIKE WENDY plays and sings on some tracks and there are more guests as well helping out.

"Storm" is a short fast paced instrumental track. "The Eye Of The Storm" features pulsating synths as Bert from LIKE WENDY comes in vocally in a reserved manner. It's kind of spacey too. "Sinful City" has this instrumental intro and reserved vocals arrive when it settles. It builds some and the guitar solos late. "Trickster" is the other track Bert sings on. Atmospheric synths early as reserved vocals join in.The tempo does eventually pick up some. "Fairground Knight" is orchestral to start then the tempo picks up when the vocals arrive.This is better and I like his vocals. It does settle and pick back up again as contrasts continue. Good song.

"Greedmaster" is divided into two short tracks. I'm not a fan of the first part at all but the second section is cool. "A Selection Of Short Love Songs" consists of three songs. First is the less than one minute "Song" which is not cool at all. Yikes ! "Bonny Marlene" is different with the samples and such. "Travellers" is another one of those "What were they thinking ?!" moments. "Storm" is the over 20 minute center-piece. My favourite track by far. Nature sounds to start then piano and a beat both arrive. A calm follows and you can hear the weather report in the background. Another calm and vocals come in.Then it builds and guitar comes in later. An interesting suite. "In My Blood" is orchestral flavoured with piano as reserved vocals join in.

Barely 3 stars despite some highlights.

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 Pawn by BRASSÉ album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Pawn
Brassé Neo-Prog

Review by beebs

4 stars This CD is not unlike one by a Swedish band called Galleon. The songs on this release are neo-prog, which means (I guess) their sound is somewhat derivative of Marillion, although that's pretty much where the similarity ends. "Pawn" is an enjoyable romp and the band has carved a niche all its own with this release. The numbers here are catchy and melodic with some great hooks. Perhaps the only fault I find with this band is a seeming relucatance to do anything "risky". But don't let that detract from the enjoyment that can be derived from listens to this CD. My favorite track here is the title track "Pawn" with a majestic, anthemic feel to it.

Fans of IQ, Galleon, Marillion, et al, should find this an enjoyable listen.

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 Turbulence  by BRASSÉ album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.51 | 3 ratings

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Turbulence
Brassé Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

2 stars What if ARENA or IQ would play a PINK FLOYD/ALAN PARSONS PROJECT album?

Then we'd probably get another "Turbulence" ;) Yes, this band is very much influenced by above-mentioned ones, and the CD itself is more Neo in the beginning (with nice songs like "Sinful City" and "Trickster") ,then Neo/Space-rock in the middle (with selection of short and weird - almost experimental - pieces like "Do you sleep at Night?" and "Bonny Marlene") and finally Space-rock in the end (closing 20-minute long epic "Strom", which is actually non-worthy of its length - could have been much shorter). Nice record despite the low-budget quality and overall absence of new ideas (good musicianship though). Not recommended (only for fans of Spacy Neo) and 2.5 stars

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 Dante's Inferno by BRASSÉ album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Dante's Inferno
Brassé Neo-Prog

Review by Hibou
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Here is a little progressive nugget from Holland whose theme is Dante's 'Divina Comedia'. Although not as dark as you would expect, the music is nevertheless quite dramatic and faintly reminiscent of DAVID BOWIE and PETER GABRIEL. It does, however, have a quality of its own, thanks in part to some catchy hooks and to BRASSÉ's unique vocals. Unfortunately, about one third of the 17 tracks are what I would call 'transition noises'; so I'll concentrate on the others.

The album opens with "Love & Hate", a tune with a pulsating, disjointed beat, ARENA style; unfortunately, however, it soon degenerates into a very average ballad. The ominous "Vigil" follows where BRASSÉ steps in with his 'satanic' vocals, a bit like STEVE HACKETT's on "The Devil Is an Englishman". Then comes "Follow Me Down" with some catchy, almost disco beat, and the instrumental "Inferno" which would would fit in perfectly onto an AYREON album. This is where the CD starts to get interesting. "Dante - The Pit" is a throbbing piece with a crisp, prominent drum play. 'Paolo and Francesca" is a simple but effective ballad with an interesting exchange of male and female vocals. "Sharks & Herrings" and "Betrayal" are both a little weird (imagine yourself finger-popping on some machine-gun drumming - hard to explain, really). "Lucifer" is a hellish vocal piece with an African beat and some female wailing in the background (another weird one!); the voice is faintly reminiscent of Clare Torry on PINK FLOYD's "Dark Side of the Moon". The track "Beatrice" reminds me a lot of the FLOYD's "Comfortably Numb". Finally, the album closes with a short but nostalgic instrumental with a strong 'CAMEL' feel to it. This is far from a masterpiece and I would gladly have welcomed a fuller production; nevertheless, it's worth seeking out because it truly stands on its own.

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