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Jean-Michel Desbouis biography
Jean-Michel DESBOUIS is a French composer of electronic music. He released only one obscure record inspired by Berlin School genre of the 70's in 1982 which also featured Stella VANDER of MAGMA fame. Recommended to fans of TANGERINE DREAM.

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4.00 | 6 ratings

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 Prince by DESBOUIS, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.00 | 6 ratings

Jean-Michel Desbouis Progressive Electronic

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars -- First review for this album --

Another electronic music rarity released on a very obscure label, this time from France. Not much of information can be found on Jean-Michel Desbouis, but undoubtedly the presence of vocalist Stella Vander (Magma) on a couple of tracks has helped this album to reach a high-priced cult status.

The vinyl sides are titled, implying some sort of a narrative level behind music. The first side is "Voyage de la Terre a l'Ether". 'Voyage' (16:00) uses plenty of time to set the mysterious and yet relatively harmonic atmosphere before the multi-layered synth soundscape starts pulsating vibrantly, taking the listener to an otherworldly voyage. It's difficult not to refer to TANGERINE DREAM with just about any electronic artist, and it's fairly reasonable in this case too, but it must be pointed out that Desbouis's music is not a soundalike of the idols, like my yesterday's artist Mick Clarke tended to be. Nor does the music have a clear retro stamp on it (for being made in the early 80's), instead I'm thinking of artists such as MERGENER & WEISSER on the German label Innovative Communication whose haydays were a bit later. Very likely one of Desbouis's influences has been his countryman JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, but he's not copying him either.

'De la Terre a l'Ether' (5:35) is mesmerizing. Synthwork is versatile, stretching from slow-tempo "waves on the shoreline", figuratively speaking, to a pianistic approach and slightly Wakemanesque but serene synth soloing, and the piece is crowned by beautiful singing (with lyrics in French) by Stella Vander.

The three-part second side "Les Fils du Ciel" starts with a tight 'Prince' in which the synths howl and whirl intensively. The middle part 'Les Fils du Ciel' (12:30) is the other track to feature Stella Vander's vocals and predictably it's another highlight as well. The serene first third is very much carried by the vocals, the instrumental middle section is more energetic in a higher tempo, and the final third slows down to a newage-like relaxed mood which distantly reminds me of the mood in the final section 'Soon' in Yes's 'The Gates of Delirium'. The closing piece 'Univers' is perhaps closest to the soundscapes of Jean-Michel Jarre circa Oxygene. Also ROBERT SCHROEDER has sounded rather similar. In the end the music fades away with bright chimes familiar from 'Wot Gorilla?' by Genesis.

All in all this album is a coherent, dynamic, exciting and easily enjoyable work of electronic music, perfected by beautiful female vocals -- that I surely would have liked to hear even more too.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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