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LE GRAND SBAM

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Le Grand Sbam biography
Le Grand Sbam are part of the musical collective based around Lyon France, that includes the likes of PoiL, ni, & Chromb, and whose albums are released through the excellent Dur et Doux label. The band consists of the three members of PoiL, Antoine Arnera (keyboards), Boris Cassone (bass), & Guilhem Meier (drums), along with Mélissa Acchiardi (vibraphone), and vocalist Jessica Martin Maresco & Marie Nachury. The compositions are written by Antoine & Guilhem. The band is as much performance art as music, they bring a Magma vocal sensibility to the manic nature of PoiL's musical gymnastics. There's a Cardiacs feel to the resultant music. Their debut album, Vaisseau Monde was released in 2019 with a live EP released in 2014.

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LE GRAND SBAM discography


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LE GRAND SBAM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.04 | 10 ratings
Vaisseau Monde
2019
4.34 | 4 ratings
Furvent
2020

LE GRAND SBAM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Vaisseau Monde (Live)
2014

LE GRAND SBAM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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LE GRAND SBAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Furvent by GRAND SBAM, LE album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.34 | 4 ratings

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Furvent
Le Grand Sbam RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Harold Needle

5 stars I'm in love, I really am!

After the stellar debut just a year prior, Le Grand Sbam comes back with their second effort, Furvent. The ensemble has grew with two new members now, including additional female vocal, keyboards (Rhodes/Moog Little Phatty) and cimbalom, and the cimbalom is an especially prominent part of Furvent's sound, bringing tons of oriental flavour into the mix. The first time around The Grand Sbam felt to me like a cross between an avant- garde prog band with a travelling satiric theatre, whereas now it feels like a real, proper contemporary music ensemble. In any case, let me tell you: the Sbam is more Grand than it ever was!

"La trace" opens up with an endless cascade of syllabes, and that's exactly what I want! Just so... so many beautiful syllabes! Let me tell you right away: the usage of human voices on this album is out of this world. The piece starts off very dense and rapid, but you will quicly find there is quite a lot of room for quiet, atmospheric moments, which I really like. I can feel I'm in an another universe, it's so god damn immersive. Overall, the suite is very much melodic and graceful, with some neat instrumental surprises (like an up-tempo vocal jazzy run or electronic, moody, Gwyn Wurst-style part towards the end) and dramatic vocals. And the coda, oh man, the coda sends me to the moon. Fantastic, magical, hats off!

"Nephèsh" is definitely my favourite piece on the album. It's not as massive or dense as "La trace", as it features only piano and group vocals. However, it's been stuck real hard in my head ever since I've heard if for the first time. The vocals are so lush and beautiful, I love every single voice: from high, melodic and dancy females to low, rhythmic and sarcastic males. It actually brings tears to my eyes, believe it or not. And Antoine Arnera's piano playing here, MY GOD!!!!! He's been my favourite keyboard player for a while, but what he does here is absolutely outstanding! So fast, yet so full of grace and feeling. His style is truly unique and awe-inspiring, and "Nephèsh" is a 1000% piano killer. I literally can't overstate how much I love it. I'd actually go as far as to say that this is one of the most favourite pieces of music I've heard in my life. Stunning, ravishing, unexplainably magical. I love it, love it with all of my soul!

"Yi Yin" is the main soundgrinder of the album, divided into eight parts and taking over half of the album. The piece is... well, it's massive alright. Gargantuan even. Very experimental, written so densely, I can't fully comprehend. Packed with many different moods, from dark and gloomy creeping chamer-zeuhl combo ("Les morts vont vite" by Shub-Niggurath comes to mind) to fast, wicked avant-prog a'la U-Totem's self-titled debut. I'm especially stunned by the endless supply of ridiculously complicated rhythms - stuff you'd expect to hear on a modern/contemporary music release (which, in its own way, Furvent really is). The composition is simply outstanding, some of the most impressive rock music ever had to offer. I stare at it in awe. How can you even write this stuff?!

"Choon Choon", hahaha! After nearly an hour of musical terror the band says "farewell" to the listener with a short, simple, sweet and dancy song. Very unexpected indeed. I'm gonna be completely honest - I don't really care for the song all that much, though I see it as a sweet, little cherry on the top: a refreshing aftertaste, if you will. Lovely, lovely.

Thanks to the kind people at Dur et Doux I was actuallly able to listen to the album long before even my pre- order CD arrived, and let me tell you: I will probably remember my first listen for the end of my life, it was really special. Truly a spectacular, fresh new way of combining zeuhl, avant-prog, contemporary music and many more influences. I would like to thank the band for making this record become a part of my life. Let's hope by the next release they're gonna grow into a full-sized symphonic orchestra (or at least get a bassoon player, that would be neat)! Whatever future brings, I'm waiting furiously. Vive le Sbam!

 Furvent by GRAND SBAM, LE album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.34 | 4 ratings

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Furvent
Le Grand Sbam RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars The world is confused with coronavirus pandemic, nationalism / populism, riot, terrorism, or so. People all over the world feel uncertain. But please listen to Le GRAND SBAM's second album "Furvent", and we can hear that their sound style should always be confirmed, decent and credible. Their latest creation "Furvent", like the debut one, features complicated rhythmic basis, Zeuhlish female voices / shouts, and stylish, unified, completely matured melodic avantgardism. This combination might be noisy or harsh for avantgarde haters but for us Zeuhlers it would sound like an angel whisper actually.

Broadly speaking, this album consists of four parts - the topnote and masterpiece "La Trace", a short one "Nephesh", a magnificent suite "Yi Yin I", and a tiny epilogue "Choon Choon". Wondering why the masterpiece can absorb us ... the first shot of "La Trace" is dominant. Improvisation-like sound bombs are obviously deliberate and matured, and all instruments including voices, piano, bass, or percussion strictly build their rhythmic turf up, without any dissection nor dissonance. Cadent, modulated melodic development is also sorta treasure. This colourful appearance should grab our mind. In "Nephesh" we can enjoy fascinating piano plays, that be more and more complex than of Kagel but smart and beautiful, mysteriously. "Yi Yin I" is one of the most improvisational, most experimental stuff. It's pretty of Krautrock that randomized pieces of sound are precisely constructed to a brilliant musical jigsaw puzzle. Upon a burning desert ground, deep and heavy keyboard works, serious percussive voices, complex but incredibly supportive percussion plays, and explosive but rigidly harmonized instrumental summaries, are kinda killer. We the listeners should be immersed and intimidated all around for over 30 minutes but could feel like it wrap us up and end at a moment. The last track "Choon Choon" is very charming one, like samba, zamba, or tango ... as if we would listen anytime anywhere.

In conclusion, sounds like they say "There are lots of sarcastic or unexpected issues, but who cares? It's great our soundscape should maintain as it be". Really the second Grand Slam.

 Vaisseau Monde by GRAND SBAM, LE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.04 | 10 ratings

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Vaisseau Monde
Le Grand Sbam RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kurtrongey

4 stars It's a great time to be a fan of adventurous music. This is the kind of album I dream about coming across. It starts out with a great slab of face-smashing neo-Zeuhl, a lot like Koenjihyakkei. But by the middle of the second track, it's in a pretty unique space, with kaleidoscopic tone-painting, much of it non-pitched percussion and perhaps samples of indeterminate origin. Not knowing anything about the band when I first started listening, I almost immediately suspected it was PoiL's rhythm section. Well, it's actually the whole band, augmented by percussion and two lady singers who are absolutely remarkable, playing phoneme games reminiscent of Stockhausen's Stimmung with unbelievable precision over hairpin rhythmic arrangements. For most listeners, this album will be WAY out there, but it actually brings together some cool musical threads in a unique way. And it's easily as heavy as whatever your perception of the heaviest metal band is, despite there being no guitar in the vicinity. Genius level.
 Vaisseau Monde by GRAND SBAM, LE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.04 | 10 ratings

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Vaisseau Monde
Le Grand Sbam RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Back in the Nineties, there is no doubt in my mind that the most important alternative musical magazine was the mighty Organ. It's anarchic layout, the way they raved over bands (they made the decision only to write about music they liked), the in-depth knowledge and the way Sean and Marina were seemingly at every gig in London, made it invaluable. I used to swap copies of Feedback for it, and then take it home and try to make sense of what they were writing about. Needless to say, I am always intrigued when Sean recommends a band to me, given their predilection to bands such as Cardiacs and Poisoned Electrick Head, and he pointed me towards a video of Le Grand Sbam in concert. I watched the clip, then watched it again, but my brain still could not comprehend what on earth it had witnessed. The only thing to do was of course track down the debut album, and now my ears have joined the club, and they have no- one to blame but themselves this time, as at least last time around they could say it was the eyes which were at fault.

I should list the guilty parties, namely Jessica Martin Maresco and Marie Nachury who are the singers at the front of the stage. Obviously professional trained, they stand there in readiness to give virtuoso performances which indeed they do, but I have never heard anything like this as they perform vocal gymnastics and bounce all over the place. The supporting musicians, Mélissa Acchiardi (vibraphone, percussion), Antoine Arnera (keyboards), Boris Cassone (bass) and Guilhem Meier (drums) are also here for the fun, moving between simplicity and complexity and often seemingly at odds with each other, yet somehow it makes musical sense. This is RIO/avant music in the extreme, music which the vast majority of listeners will switch off as it is such a noise, but I believe this is progressive music in its truest sense, pushing boundaries and refusing to accept norms. The percussion can be in control, sometimes the voices, whereas at others it is total anarchy, but anarchy with a purpose. This is music which is jagged, designed to make the listener think, as far away from being a warm comforter as anyone can imagine. Bleak and harsh, it is a work of some importance.

 Vaisseau Monde by GRAND SBAM, LE album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.04 | 10 ratings

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Vaisseau Monde
Le Grand Sbam RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars Another grand slam (aka grand sbam) of the year 2019, and at the same time one of fantastic, fanatical debut opuses in avantgarde- progressive scene. Le GRAND SBAM's debut album "Vaisseau Monde", much-awaited by every avantgarde-progressive rock fan, has been launched in the last month of 2019, and surprisingly appreciated for only a month. No more expression needed because lots of Lyon-oriented avantgarde warriors like ni., PoiL, Chromb!, and so on. And of course, massive energetic, powerful sound connotation you can hear all through this creation.

Plenty of sound approaches and technical appearances come up to your ears. The first shot "Dins O Sbam" is a killer. Sarcastic, deeply heavy, incredibly complicated melodic / rhythmic movements with female voice / shout madness should absorb your brain and inner mind without breath. Oh God. Not only guitar heaviness nor dissected percussion / drumming salad, but also Japanese shakuhachi (amazing) or quirky synthesizer dances will invade deeply in. Quite enjoyable is a chase of female voices and heavy fuzzy guitar sounds in "Kouia" ... in such a melodic confusion, you would find something methodical and methodological. Weird really.

And imho my favourite is the fourth turf "Woubit" featuring hippy spacey ghostly Kraut-y psychedelia. Reminds me like Fille Qui Mousse meet Mahogany Brain. Always feel I would drive myself deeply beneath the sea of the track. In the last one "Vishnu Foutr'line" addictive combination of beautiful lines and adherent complexity can be received here and there. But hey as their sound compilation this track can be felt, methinks.

In conclusion, cannot call this creation as diverse nor colourful easily but for every avant-prog or Zeuhl fan this opus should be of much pleasure. And let me say thanks to Dur et Doux for recommending such a fine production.

Thanks to nogbad_the_bad for the artist addition.

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