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AKSAK MABOUL

RIO/Avant-Prog • Belgium


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Aksak Maboul biography
Another typically Belgian oddity/weirdness in the RIO mould or Canterbury, this group managed two highly experimental albums in the late 70's before becoming the HONEYMOON KILLERS. They were led by keyboard man Marc Hollander and had never a stable line-up. In the second album Fred Firth and Chris Cutler both ex- HENRY COW joined and it terms of strangeness of the music developed, this fits well.

Only for fans of extreme music.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Un Peu De L'ame Des BanditsUn Peu De L'ame Des Bandits
Crammed Discs 2012
Audio CD$17.53
Onze Danses Pour Combattre La MigraineOnze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
Import
Crammed Disc Belgium 2003
Audio CD$9.39
$9.38 (used)
Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine by Aksak Maboul [Music CD]Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine by Aksak Maboul [Music CD]
Crammed Discs
Audio CD$36.78
ONZE DANSES POUR COMBATTRE LA MIGRAINE(paper-sleeve)(reissueONZE DANSES POUR COMBATTRE LA MIGRAINE(paper-sleeve)(reissue
VIVID SOUND (JAPAN)
Audio CD$31.26
$36.00 (used)
UN PEU DE L'AME DES BANDITS +bonus(reissue)UN PEU DE L'AME DES BANDITS +bonus(reissue)
VIVID SOUND (JAPAN)
Audio CD$25.75
$26.60 (used)
Un Peu De L'ame Des Bandits by Aksak Maboul [Music CD]Un Peu De L'ame Des Bandits by Aksak Maboul [Music CD]
Crammed
Audio CD$86.47
Paper Sleeve BoxPaper Sleeve Box
Import
Imports 2008
Audio CD$123.18
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  • Aksak Maboul + Véronique Vincent at les ateliers claus, Brussels on 19 Feb 2015

AKSAK MABOUL discography


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

3.74 | 52 ratings
Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
1977
3.75 | 64 ratings
Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
1980

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AKSAK MABOUL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars At least the Prog Archives show the censored cover. Look at 'Rate Your Music' - they trembled in fear of opprobrium and instead show a big 'X' instead! It's political correctness gone mad I tell ya.

If ever the term 'Avant Prog' was suited to a band 'Aksak Maboul' are the culprits. "Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits" is a twisted concoction of Jazz Rock. A hugely overblown wacky chamber prog album that is superior in many ways to 'Univers Zero' and 'Art Zoyd', with their unpredictability and wide variety of instruments.

'Maboul' is very fitting as it means 'mental' in French and you won't hear a much more mental 'RIO' recording this side of Uzbekistan. Chaos reigns supreme with a whacked out Fred Frith and Chris Cutler pulling the strings along with ex "Cos" keyboardist Marc Hollander doing what he does best.

Many genres are pounced upon, ravished then left for dead as they work their way through the fields like a 12 man slaughterhouse team: Middle East, Chamber and Punk are all decimated as the 'Maboul' tank rolls on.

'Cinema' is a monster 23 minute track heavy with woodwind instruments. Despite the rather cacophonous opening it definitely gains shape and form the longer it progresses and at points almost gains some semblance of a tune.

'"Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits" is one of those annoying albums that sounds great when you're listening to it but where you find yourself unable to remember much about it afterwards. There's nothing 'hummable' which would want to make you go back and listen to it again.

Too erratic and random for five stars, too tuneless for four, An album that has very little wrong with it and probably deserves more than the measly three I've given. It's for a certain time and place - a time and place I don't have much time for...

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Second and the last Aksak Mabul album is strongly different from their debut. Three years of intensive concerts under RIO flags have gone, and Aksak Maboul is very different band on this release.

Besides of founding duo of Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis, all the bunch of RIO leading artists participates on the recordings: drummer Chris Cutler and guitarist Fred Frith from Henry Cow, wind player Michel Berckmans from UZ, vocalist Catherine Jauniaux.

If band's debut was beautiful very acoustic, melancholic European urban folk-avant, pleasant and enjoyable, this album from very first minutes opens with dissonances, dark atmospheres and tension. Not even traces of sunny aerial sound of it's predecessor could be found - air is nervous, very noisy, instruments distorted, compositions broken by rhythms and structures. Even more - being in fact quite characteristic RIO album, with strong chamber rock influences and some free jazz moments, every composition of this album is played in different manner.

From free jazz bulky songs to dark chamber rock to street-wise Argentinian tango to excellent Middle Eastern hypnotising tune to almost Iggy Pop-like punk. Such concept makes this album very eclectic, more close to collection of occasional songs, but from the other hand, every composition is very different and listener has no chance to become bored. 23+ minutes long Cinema is a culmination - complex contemporary avant composition ,minimalist by its nature, but with soloing of different instruments one after another over the basic sound.

It's very difficult to compare two this great band's releases: I really love their debut as excellence of European urban folklore-based avant, but this, their second release, has its nerve, its tension and its own world of real RIO against debut's beauty. Recommended as equally good pair for debut.

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 Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.74 | 52 ratings

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Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Aksak Maboul's debut is excellent and quirky European elegant urban folklore known as RIO as well. 17 short compositions indicates more punkish album's structure, but you wouldn't find punk influences there.

Crispy, very acoustic music, based on analog keyboards sound, with addition of many other instruments, including accordion, saxes and electric cello between more traditional others. Musically this album contains short sketches from European street life, but reworked by talented artists with non-mainstream vision of the world. French traditional urban songs, Alpine reeds, some contemporary avant music, plenty of well-balanced European jazz-rock , saloon music, theatrical pieces soundtracks - there are mentioned only a part of their influences.

Music in all is very elegant, a bit melancholic, melodic, with some distortions, but very controlled, some occasional vocals and very imaginative atmosphere. Differently from many RIO genre colleagues, this album is more beautiful, harmonic and in some sense - easier accessible one ( speaking about avant garde music though).

Differently from many other similar recordings, this album has quite limited chamber music influence (or better to say - controlled influence), what is a strong side for me. I really am not a big fan of self-closed chamber rock, where musicians are so attracted by what they are playing, that just often forget that listener exists as well, and very soon such releases become boring to death. This one isn't, and it's a big luck!

In all - still release for fans of experimental music, and possibly will shock symphonic rock purist, but one of great listening for open ears fans of good and interesting music.

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 Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.74 | 52 ratings

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Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by jerryverrier

4 stars I have reviewed each track in order below. My summary is that this is one of the best RIO/Canterbury influenced albums I have heard this year. Several tracks (I have called them standout below) should be in any serious listener's library. Thanks to Ronan Griffin for introducing me to this excellent cd, 1. Mercredi Matin: short folk-dance melody with beautiful ringing tones. 2. (Mit 1) Saure Gurke (Aus 1 Unwald Gelockt) Nice electronic groove with a moving melody 3. Animaux Velpeau Like Dolphy one of the greatest 36 seconds of bass horn playing ever recorded. A standout track! 4. Milano Per caso: lovely acoustic guitar and piano over a central European folk grounding. Magnificent clarinet. A strong contrast with the electronica and even features some elegant vocal work. 5. Fausto Coppi Arrive!: Great Henry Cow/ Picchio Dal Pozzo horn opening. Runs into.. 6. Chanter est sain: now we are in desperate straits territory. Lovely solo vocal piano. Then over-dubbed minimalism. More of the splendid melodic sense which informs the whole. Another standout track as piano dominates beautifully before the return of the lyrics. 7. Son Of L'Idiot: Hand beaten drums provide a platform for great ensemble playing. Keyboards sounding like glockenspiels, a very Canterbury riff and guitar sound. Derivative but brilliant. Would not be out of place on Hatfield album. Great bassoon figure at the end. 8. DBB (Double Bind Baby). Solo piano, introspective but not miserable, lovely chordings, very open and then horn statements. Great composition and like a good abstract painting every second fascinates. 9. Cuic Steppe: time for percussion instruments piano and glocks. Zappa loved glocks and so do I. Bass horns too. This has all the sound textures you need for musical heaven, and they work together in a perfect way as the tune progresses. Standout track. Unfair to say it's like Henry Cow. I hate to say it but it's better than Cow! Best track so far. 10. Tous Les Trucs... a child singing. You can hear the proof that so-called difficult melodic phrasing is innate. The keyboard working from it actually takes away from the point. 11. Ciobane: odd fragment. 12. The Mooche: Ellington gets a treatment. Annoying, but lovely sounds, although the Casio keyboard wrecks it. 13. Vapona Not Glue builds from The Mooche and the improvised keyboard lines are uninspired unlike the soprano sax which is very good. This track drags because of the same pointless Casio ground. Great horn and bass near the end but the keyboard and programmed percussion are killers. To be fair they are eliminated before the finish which is very good. 14. Glympz: hand percussion again with lovely chords on keyboards and horns. Very mellow. 15. Three Epileptic Folk Dances: Great opening riff, more glock, so good. Then we get a splendid staccato phrased melody on bass keyboard and squeaky higher register leading to part three which has lovely bassoon and soprano sax. Another stand out track. 16. Mastoul Alakefak: classic stuff, really like Hatfield. An absolute joy to experience. Great fall apart and make noises ending. Standout again. I regret never seeing them play this live. 17. Comme On A Dit: and indeed as I have said this picks all the best aspects of the acoustic elements of the band for a few seconds to sum up.

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Figglesnout

4 stars Aksak Maboul - Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits

If I were asked to define what exactly Rock-In Opposition was and sounded like, I would do two things: I would first think of a clear, concise definition of what the movement represented, and list a few bands that partook in the movement. Alongside of this, I would compile a mix-album of RIO music--or at least that's what I would've done. Things have changed after hearing Aksak Maboul's Un Peu De L'Ame Des Bandits, and the group has actually made my life a bit easier (or would if ever I had to define the RIO movement), for this album alone stands to me as the epitome of what exactly this RIO business is, and on top of that, it's RIO done impressively well from start to finish, which is quite a feat, truthfully, as sometimes (to me at least), the quirks behind RIO tend to dampen the overall effect of the music at play. But not so with this one!

Now the music:

The album kicks off with some almost early Can-esque music and some eclectic vocal work on A Modern Lesson, and later we are treated to some very unique piano work alongside some interesting horn and percussion work. This song alone is enough to make many turn their heads in shame--I can only imagine the reaction if this song were to come on over a loudspeaker in an American high school or on the jukebox at a pool hall (I'll have to try it one day...)

We are then treated to several tracks of eclectic, playful, full-out RIO music full of twists, turns, drops, assaults, and other mishaps. The entire album comes off as one long-winded joke--but at least it's a good one. Some of the better highlights, besides the opening track include the entirety of the ballad-y (and closest to normal) second track Palmiers En Pots, as well as most of the swirling vortex that is I Viaggi Formano La Gioventú (track 4)...then of course there's Cinema, the highlight track of the album, which spans some 23 minutes. We are treated to ten or so minutes of experimental noise from woodwinds until the song picks up around 11 minutes with some extremely out-there guitar, piano, and percussion work--this song sounds like a mind going insane...what's great about it is, after the topsy-turvy first 25 minutes or the album, this song comes in to treat us with an on-edge break, before climaxing in a devilish swirl of oddities. The song continues in an odd manner, pausing for some nice, soft piano work now and then, before swirling to a close and ending in the same manner that it began, but in a much more chaotic manner...

The album ends on an unsettling note with Age Route Brra, which begins with yet more oddly arranged percussion and other odd noises (that's really what the album is: an assortment of organized, odd, fanciful, and immensely entertaining noises), before ending in a way reminiscent to the way it began. It's a fun feast, and we're all invited...

This album is deeply recommended for those who want a rather extreme (at times at least) first look at the RIO movement in a few fun doses, as well as for fans of RIO that have not heard it yet. Other than that, I'd say it would probably be a bit too eclectic for fans of more modern prog to enjoy in much of a great extent. Either way, it comes deeply recommended from me. Something like an 8.8 on my scale, which makes it 4 stars on this one.

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rileydog22

3 stars Aksak Maboul's debut was, in my opinion, a near-masterpiece. The Rock-In-Opposition movement (which was at the time a collective of five avant-garde bands) thought so as well, and Aksak ended up being one of the three bands added onto the original movement. Unfortunately, though, the RIO boys couldn't leave well enough alone. The duo which produced Onze Danses soon found itself flooded with musicians from other bands in the movement; Chris Cutler, Fred Frith, and Michel Berckmans quickly displaced the Hollander-Kenis duo which had produced the first album.

With the change in musicians came a change in sound; the quirky and unique mixture of ethnic and non-ethnic influences was drowned, and we were left with a somewhat stereotypical RIO album; strange chord progressions, unusual instruments, and mixtures of genres are present, but in a far less inspired fashion than by the original and inspired duo. While there are more than enough moments of RIO joy to satisfy a fan of the genre, there are also many spots that seem to lack inspiration.

Closer to 3.5 stars than it is to 3, this album will be welcome in the collection of a Rock-in-Opposition fan. But do yourself a favor and pick up the debut as well.

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 Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.74 | 52 ratings

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Onze Danses Pour Combattre La Migraine
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rileydog22

4 stars Mark Hollander and Vincent Kenis--overdubbing massively and assisted by a small army of session players--produce a wonderful "dog's breakfast" of music, covering a vast spectrum on this album; everything from various regions' ethnic music to "fake" jazz to proto-techno is covered. Each is twisted, spun, flipped, and combined with other types of music to create a classic of the avant-prog genre. Most of the pieces are well written, but there are a few pieces that drag. However, these tracks are short and quite excusable on a 17-track album.

Ultimately, this is a quite well-written effort which should be enjoyable to fans of the genre. After all, he quality, variety, and uniqueness of this album was considered to be of a high enough caliber for the band to be included in the RIO movement. If you aren't an RIO fan, however, this would probably not be the best introduction.

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Calling a band Maboul (French slang for crazy, nutty) creates certain expectations. And this album does hold up to them. The result might be called Ethnic-Noise-Chamber-Rock. This album alternates between the bizarre (A Modern Lesson) and the obscure (I Viaggi Formano La Gioventu) with the many oriental/arab sounds in some of the tracks and the classical instrumentation in others. I love the opening track for its disharmonic and contrasts between the female vocals and the instruments. The oriental sounds here add a great flavour to the music alongside the punk in several songs and the chamber-rock in others. Inoculating Rabies is a sort of post-punk track with its noisy guitars on the one hand which sound as if they were a bit far away from the microphones and the wind instruments (bassoon and oboe) which are more in the front of the music. The combination which may seem at first to not go together is actually working quite well, as do all other weird instrumental combinations in other tracks such as Bosses De Crosses. The 23 minutes Cinema starts as an abstract piece and then by ~6:00 gets into a more formed shape and becomes a chamber rock piece, and as it develops it brings in more elements into it. The end result is an eclectic album filled with very different styles that are put together and sound (to me) very good when played alongside. If you are a fan of RIO and the weird and avant-garde forms of music, then this album is for you. This receives 4 stars from me. It is a good album, which I enjoy tremendously. Maybe not the most essential RIO record, but it is worthwhile getting it nonetheless, it will enrich your prog collection.

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

4 stars So - personally I like this one much more than the first one of them... obviously because of essential participation of Chris Cutler and Fred Frith (from good ol' Henry Cow) and Michel Berckmans (from great Univers Zero). Really - this album includes large bunch of hints to the musics of very different cultures (for example musical sights to Argentina and Turkey). My personal fave is Geistige Nacht written by Fred Frith. Unfortunately this bonus track (Bosses...) doesn't fit with the other tunes because of thats toothless sound. Anyway - for the rest of the music - four stars!

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 Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits by AKSAK MABOUL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 64 ratings

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Un Peu De L'Âme Des Bandits
Aksak Maboul RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rafabal

5 stars A Masterpiece of the rarities...

Eventhough I haven't heard the First Album, sometimes when the musicians explore new horizons s the music turns in to a a whole experiment, and in some cases they failed. Nevertheless, this Album it's the perfect mixture between experimentation; production, progressive aproach... and even now in 2005 sounds contemporary with a bit of 70's nostalgia. (Great Piece of delightfull music only if u are very well trained in to avant progressive...Stay away begginners. This is the Majors!!!!!).

In the other hand, if you like to explore new music please give a second glance to this Album, you will enjoy it very much.

Why Five? I will give Five Stars to this Akbum because it's great quality in all senses, but don't think that you will be hear something like E.L.P. Try Henry Cow first.

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