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MOVING GELATINE PLATES

Canterbury Scene • France


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Moving Gelatine Plates biography
MOVING GELATINE PLATES were in retrospect one of France's finest progressive rock bands. Forming in the wake of the tumultuous political situation of France in the late 60s, their music was distinctly apolitical, filled with a refreshing sense of humor and an irreverence that distinguished them from many of their more brooding contemporaries.

The seeds sown for success, their debut album was finally released by CBS in 1971 to a heavy critical acclaim. Lack of proper promotion, combined with poor management, led to a less successful tour this time around, but the band were nonetheless obliged to hit the studio again later that year to record their second album. As it turned out, "The World of Genius Hans" stands among the finest French progressive rock albums ever released, but the promotional problems that band had experienced with the first album continued throughout the touring and promotion of the second.

The two albums released by MOVING GELATINE PLATES cannot be considered anything less than classics, drawing together and fusing all manner of influences and setting the tone early on for a eclectic national French scene that was among the strongest in Europe.

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The World Of Genius HansThe World Of Genius Hans
Import
Musea 1972
Audio CD$17.17
$12.00 (used)
Moving Gelatine PlatesMoving Gelatine Plates
Import
Musea 1971
Audio CD$11.75
$7.81 (used)
Moving Gelatine PlatesMoving Gelatine Plates
Musea 2003
Audio CD$71.37
$70.19 (used)
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MOVING GELATINE PLATES discography


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MOVING GELATINE PLATES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 63 ratings
Moving Gelatine Plates
1971
4.20 | 70 ratings
The World of Genius Hans
1972
3.43 | 8 ratings
Moving
1980
3.81 | 13 ratings
ReMoving
2006

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MOVING GELATINE PLATES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 ReMoving by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.81 | 13 ratings

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ReMoving
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars This must be one of the best comeback albums I've ever heard, I'm always a little hesitant in purchasing an album by a band who's golden era was 30 years ago, especially if I really liked their albums. I'm not sure Moving Gelatine Plates needs any introduction around here since so many people thinks so highly of their two first albums. Their third album "Moving" released in 1980, although contained some good material, is often regarded as subpar to the previous ones, but this is not the case with their latest album "Removing" which proves that Didier Thibault, the man (and voice) behind this band has still got it. This line up is completely new but still manages to sound very much like the old MGP, infact they are not trying to bring the 70's sound again, just the old spirit.

So when you're approaching a MGP album, what do you expect it to have? Fuzz bass, clever arrangements played with wind instruments as an integral part of their sound, fun vocals and overall a humoristic and breezy atmosphere. Well, everything seems to be in order then, you have all the ingredients for one more terrific album from this ultra cool band. As much as we all love those 70's albums, this is not trying to be a retro kind of album, but on the other hand succeeds on being a product of its time. The band's style is pretty much intact and you can easily sense they are much more mature now, the compositions are a little more focused and less experimental and adventurous then before, that of course doesn't mean it's less progy, these guys are far from losing their artistic side. The music this time has less canterbury feel (infact you can say it's almost gone) and more jazzy progressive style. There are no freak out outbursts or any crazy ideas, they are not trying to challenge the listener with sudden breaks or all kind of freaky directions, everything is on the spot, so carefully thought out, and immaculately executed, the songwriting is mature and right and the songs contains a huge amount of small details weaved into the melodies, which I think might take a little time to fully notice and appreciate. While their first two albums had a more complex nature, this album, although still maintaining a certain amount of complexity is trying to focus on delivering a good melody or have a cool theme which the band develops. I can't say which side of the band I prefer, but I certainly like both of them.

As I said the songs are not as complex as before but the band knows how to compensate it by a clever use of layers, the wind instruments contribute so much, and colorfully painting the songs with all kinds of warm colors, from filling the songs with a beautiful background to playing the leads or essentially soloing, this is of course achieved with a respectable arsenal of instruments like saxophone, trumpet, violin, flute, piano and cello, in addition to keys, guitars, bass and drums. Needless to say that this band is incapable of delivering anything weak, the high level of creativity is maintained throughout the entire album. But as much as I enjoy their songwriting and arrangements, what truly wins the jackpot here is the playing itself, which is no less than stellar!! every member delivers memorable hooks played with great passion and feel, just check out "Enigme" a jazzy jam featuring a stunning playful trumpet along with some cool guitar playing. "Breakdown" is another highlight, a progy tune which includes all the instruments weaved inside each other with an inspiring interplay, excellent violin work on this one. I won't go into each song because it will take forever, but I think you get the picture.

I hope Mr. Thibault hasen't said his final words yet and will grace us with at least one more album sometime soon, but in the meantime we have this beautiful album to enjoy. He cleverly surrounded himself with an incredible set of musicians and by this managed to outdo himself and deliver a well crafted album full of great sensitivity. Although it's hard to beat the classics this is recommended not only to fans of the band but to newcomers as well. A little more than 4 stars by my book.

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 The World of Genius Hans by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.20 | 70 ratings

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The World of Genius Hans
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Here we have one of the greatest albums from the Canterbury Scene, and would you expect any less from a French band? Along with Gong and Magma this band is one of the more interesting and important French prog groups of the 1970s. Speaking of Gong, you can hear some similarities here with them but generally this is more pre-Third Softs influenced. This second album is much better than the first, as good as the debut was. The writing, playing and production are all an improvement. Oh, and that cover! Probably one of the most interesting and iconic album covers in prog rock, I bet more people are familiar with that cover than a note of the band's music!

This features the same line-up as the debut. Once again Maurice Hemlinger flawlessly switches between organ, trumpet, flute and saxes. Supposedly the members were having a lot of financial difficulty and had to borrow instruments from other French rock bands or sell their own. That's the price you pay for trying to make Canterbury style music in early '70s France. Again the lyrics are in English but there seems to be more wordless harmony singing than on the debut. Still lots of great fuzz-bass and wah-guitar.

The 14-minute title track is the highlight of the whole album and one of the best Canterbury epics. Great guitar and bass tones (including wah-bass). Before 2 minutes you hear some haunting "ohh" harmony vocals, this slowly turns into more Gregorian chant like vocals in English; one of the members has a cool deep voice. Gets almost Gong sounding after 4 minutes, not too surprising since both groups are based in France. I love when the sax and guitar play in unison. More great harmony vocals later. Before 11 minutes is one of the best parts with modified organ and wah-bass. This track keeps changing but nothing ever seems forced or out of place. A very flawless epic.

"Funny Doll" is a very jazzy track, almost reminds me of the first Henry Cow album. That is until the vocals come in, then it sounds more like the brass-rock of Blood, Sweat & Tears or early Chicago...except with no brass section. "Astromonster" starts out very Gong-like. Once the fuzz-bass kicks in things get exciting. When the drums enter the band goes into classic Canterbury jamming. In the middle is some awesome drumming with some great organ and guitar. I love the guitar filtered through a Leslie speaker sound, popular in the late '60s/early 70s.

"Moving Theme" begins slowed down then gets sped up to normal speed as the band jams away in full odd-metered jazzy Canterbury fashion with the obligatory fuzz-bass. Features a bit of start/stop playing. As is typical with this group the song changes into different sections (some not long at all) often. "Cauchemar" features what sounds like a harpsichord at the beginning. A very melodic song for the most part. More great guitar/sax unison playing. Later on is more of that great harmony singing, this time doubling the sax.

I like the sustained organ chord that opens "We Were Loving Her." Overdubbed sounds from an unidentified source and fuzz-bass are joined by more oddball sounds. Then the bass takes the band (without drums) into a song with English lyrics. Love the spacey sound in the background. "Un Jour..." is a mellow and laid-back closer with a great guitar tone. Like the previous song, there are no drums. That last song and "Funny Doll" are about the only things keeping this from being a masterpiece. Both are good but not quite as strong as the rest of the album, which is excellent Canterbury. I would rate this a 4.5 (almost masterpiece) but will round down to 4 stars. Highly recommended.

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 The World of Genius Hans by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.20 | 70 ratings

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The World of Genius Hans
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This one is slightly better than the group's debut, but there's not much to tell them apart. Once again, the Canterbury scene is the primary inspiration - particularly Soft Machine before that band took a turn into po-faced jazz, with Caravan also peeping through here and there and a bit of Zappa-esque humour to boot (check out that album cover - Cow Mask Replica, anyone?). This album sees them broaden their musical horizon a bit, the first track opening with a furious bassline which sounds like the more progressive end of the funk scene before developing into a Canterbury epic, but they don't diverge from the first album's approach so greatly as to alienate anyone who enjoyed that one. These first two Moving Gelatine Plates albums are essential listening for anyone who needs reminding that the Canterbury scene extended well beyond Canterbury.

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 Moving Gelatine Plates by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 63 ratings

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Moving Gelatine Plates
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars An extremely confident debut album which proves that you don't have to be British to play in the Canterbury style, the first Moving Gelatine Plates album shows a heavy influence from Third- era Soft Machine. In particular, the band seem to have been inspired by the band's loud, fast, and energetic live performances from the time (as documented on the archival release Grides), rather than the more lethargic and occasionally quasi-ambient approach of the Third album itself.

But these guys are no clones; as well as incorporating a mild influence from Zappa's more fusion-oriented tracks from the era, the band also work to carve out their own distinct sound within the Canterbury pattern. The most obvious deviation from the Softs' approach is the inclusion of prominent acoustic and electric guitar performances from the talented Gerard Bertram, whose contributions at several points saves the band's sound from drifting into full-on clone territory. The music on offer is also somewhat more diverse than what Soft Machine were getting into at the time, as well as getting into areas the original Mothers of Invention never got around to despoiling - in particular, the gentle flute and acoustic guitar that opens closing track Memories provides a sound that neither of the band's major influences ever dabbled in, and doesn't really sound much like Caravan (the other flute-friendly Canterbury band of the era) either.

The debut Moving Gelatine Plates album is a decidedly worthwhile treasure for Canterbury fans to track down, not least because it hits such an absolutely perfect balance between acknowledging the band's influences and matching the quality of their work on the one hand, and creating a distinct identity for the band on the other. A true gem.

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 Moving Gelatine Plates by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 63 ratings

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Moving Gelatine Plates
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Moving Gelatine Plates are a Canterbury group from France. Unlike RPI for example, where you have very different sounding bands together because they come from the same country, Canterbury was first and foremost a style. Not only did most of the musicians involved in that scene not come from Canterbury, but some of the best music from the scene was made by non-UK groups. Besides MGP, there was Supersister(Holland), Cos (Belgium) and Picchio Dal Pozzo(Italy). The American group The Muffins are usually regarded as being Canterbury as well.

What MGP has in common with most Canterbury bands is an eclectic jazz-rock sound with a sense of humour. They also use the typical fuzz and wah-wah on the guitars and keyboards. In some ways, this album is closer to the sound of Supersister than to the UK bands. Maurice Hemlinger does a great job of switching between organ, flute, sax and trumpet. Impressive. The other three members play the usual guitars, bass and drums. Both the bassist and guitar player sing.

"London Cab" starts things off with odd spacey noises. Some flute starts playing before the rest of the band comes in. They jam away for awhile with some sax soloing. The music stops and some phased drumming before other instruments join in and the tempo increses. A guitar solo follows. After 5 minutes some more sax soloing and you hear a sped-up 'chipmunk' voice recite the lyrics to the song "Three Blind Mice". An unaltered voice is also talking; I like the line "she cut off her tail with a carving knife!" Then it immediately goes into a marching beat, followed by a very early '70s hard rock riff with some more vocals. Ends very jazzy.

"X-25" begins sounding like the later French group Etron Fou Leloublan. Then it gets very Canterbury sounding. At the end it switches to a polka-style and an announcement on megaphone. Nice song but too short. "Gelatine" is probably the best song on the album. Love the organ at the beginning. Some harmonized singing, love what the drummer is doing with the snare drum here. Later a very quiet bass solo with no other instruments. This song changes quite a bit. I like the upbeat section they go into halfway with some sax soloing. The sax and guitar play in unison at times. Later on a trumpet solo. Great drumming near the end.

The 15-minute "Last Song" is not actually the last song (more of that Canterbury humour). It starts off with some guitar harmonics before the rest of the bnad comes in. They waste no time jamming away and changing to different sections. Lots of soloing from sax and guitar in this track. At one point there is lots of start/stop playing before a very, very long drum solo. A little too long, really. Eventually other instruments come in and it switches to a more laid- back part. Later on some harmony singing. Goes into a riff briefly near the end. Great organ playing until it goes jazzy and ends with more guitar harmonics. "Memories" has two acoustic guitars; one playing in a Spanish/classical style. Then some flute. A little bit of bass buried in the mix. The weakest song but a nice way to end the album.

Because they were from France and didn't get a lot of promotion from their record label, these guys slipped into obscurity, many missing out on a chance to hear their albums. In a perfect world, this group and album would be much more popular. The next album will be even better, but it too will not get much promotion. If you are really into the UK Canterbury groups, you should have no problem getting into MGP. A really good debut album. This gets 3.5 but I'll round it up to 4 stars.

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 The World of Genius Hans by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.20 | 70 ratings

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The World of Genius Hans
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars Good old Moving Gelatine Plates!. A first rate 'Canterbury' band from France who sound very unusual. I can't go any further without mentioning the wonderfully bizarre front cover... One of my all time favourites. A pig in a bomber jacket, smoking a fag with parsley on it's head and also stuffed up its nose is the stuff of genius... Genius Hans.

Music wise, the band are very tight. There's a fair bit of of jazz rock involved. The title track has some great vocals and also some very 70's keyboards which fit in brilliantly. The themes are similar to their first self titled album. This one however just does it for me. At times it sounds like late night Jazz followed by 'Test Card transmission Music' cheese.

There's some decent vocals on track two which devolves into 'Two Ronnies' jazz malarky.

An uplifting album which bounces about randomly over the place but which always seems to fall back together again beautifully. 'Moving Theme' pretty much sums up this strange album - beginning with some backwards tapes and transmogrifying quickly into jazz rock styled madness.

Now... here's where the big problem lies in giving 'World of Genius hans' a rating. The last third is taken up by half of the following album 'Moving' from '80. As an entity in its own right it's brillant, sounding like Sammla Mammas Manna at many points. I may even prefer this to the disc I'm reviewing presently. There's lots of French vocals and pretty instruments involved, sounding quite different from the '72 album

Does this mean I'm reviewing 'World of Genius hans' or 'Moving' ?

Baahhh! It's very confusing. The last 20 minutes push this recording to a perfect five stars. In an unusual way the tracks from the '80 album sit very comfortably with the original LP from '72. But it means I can't review 'Moving' on it's own.

I love this weird and wonderful album and would recommend it to all prog fans.

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 Moving Gelatine Plates by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 63 ratings

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Moving Gelatine Plates
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Legendary yet short-lived French group,formed in 1969 by schoolmates guitarist Gerard Bertram and bassist Didier Thibault in Sartrouville in July 1969.They were joined by drummer Michel Coulon,who soon left to be replaced by Gerard Pons and Maurice Helmlinger completed the line-up.In 1970 a performance in front of 5000 people at the Le Bourget Festival was the incident ,which changed their career.They gained wide recognition before even releasing an official album and were soon signed by CBS and recorded their debut in just six days.

''London Cab'' opens the album and it is a great presentation of the band's complex sound with flutes and saxes in a rather free form accompanying Bertram's complicated playing with definite hints from SUPERSISTER's style.In this track Pons' performance on percussion is trully memorable,while the band surprisingly included some lyrics from the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice''.A jazzy and humurous yet always demanding short ''X-25'' will follow,before ''Gelatine'' bring hints of the Canterbury scene,especially SOFT MACHINE and CARAVAN.Nice and adventuruous Psychedelic Prog with delicious and atmospheric Hammond organ parts,relaxed bass lines by Thibault,again a complex offering by Bertram full of fine breaks and a mass of sax attacks by Helmlinger.

Heading for the long 15-min.''Last Song'',an electric outburst will start for it,pounded by electric guitars (both in a rhytmic way and solo's performances),some furious drumming and melodic saxes in a frenetic groove.For a 3 min. time the solo drumming of Pons is always good,but drum solos are not my cup of tea.Fortunately the track starts to develop again in a psychedelic mood with obscure work on guitars and organ and also a soft series of vocals (always sung in English) until its horn-based end.Good track,but I expected a little more of it.''Memories'' will correctly close the album with some softer music dominated by acoustic guitars and Helmlinger's melodic flutes on another professional performance.This man almost turned to be the band's main hero.

So did the album worth all the praise about it,before even it was released?Mostly,yes.MOVING GELATINE PLATES show some incredible talent and deliver both great individual and team performances,but seem to lack a bit in compositional skills.Still the album is a fantastic listening for Canterbury Prog,Jazz Rock and complex rock fans.3.5 stars and strongly recommended.

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 Moving Gelatine Plates by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 63 ratings

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Moving Gelatine Plates
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Their name and the artwork pretty much describe the music on this album. Pretty difficult to put in words. Style wise, they are somewhere between Gong, Soft Machine and Frank Zappa. A mix of RIO and the Canterbury scene. They have one and a half leg in Canterbury, I would say. But just to confuse us, some of their music (the last track) is Focus'esque. What a lovely stew.

This is their debut album, I have to add. Their music is based on much of the same instruments as Soft Machine used. Various saxophones, trumpet, flutes, keyboards, electric guitars, drums and bass. There is even some lunatic vocals here. With the exception from the final track and the pretty eccentric inclusion of a long drum solo at the end of the fifteen minutes long Last Song (yes, that's the name of the song), the songs are pretty bouncy avant-garde songs. They all sounds like a blend of Gong and Soft Machine's two first albums. I guess that is a good description. Most of the songs here sounds like jazzy improvisations over a theme, the Soft Machine way of doing things from Third to Seven.

I think the songs are pretty good. My only gripe, and this is my usual gripe, is the lack of any signature tunes or any excellent songs. If "blindtested" and asked which album from which band this is, I am not sure if I would answer the debut album from Moving Gelatine Plates. But as a debut album, this is a good effort. For fans of the Canterbury scene, both their first two albums is worthy an investment.

3 stars

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 The World of Genius Hans by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.20 | 70 ratings

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The World of Genius Hans
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars An interesting addition to the Canterbury scene from France.

The name of the band kind of gives away the game here. It is jazz/fusion Canterbury scene prog. Those who think SOFT MACHINE and GONG is as far as you can go in the direction of fusion/jazz, this album will take you even further into the fields of unearthly jazz and avant garde.

The sax reminds me about SOFT MACHINE. The bass is not millions of miles away from GONG. The music is in the same direction, just a lot more jazz. The interplay is mostly very impressive and full of small, very interesting details. The mood is nice. Overall; this is a very challenging album. This is also a very nice album with small details like a choir as a bonus. It manage to keep my attention. The title track is very good with it's changing themes and moods.

I have to admit that this album is probably too left-field avant-garde for my tastebuds. But I still likes it in my own way. PA is right to brand it as a hidden gem, well worth exploring. I believe most Canterbury scene fans will like what they get here. Like I do.

3 stars

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 Moving Gelatine Plates by MOVING GELATINE PLATES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.03 | 63 ratings

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Moving Gelatine Plates
Moving Gelatine Plates Canterbury Scene

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Moving Gelatine Plates is the debut studio album from French act Moving Gelatine Plates. Moving Gelatine Plates is placed in the Canterbury catagory but if you ask me it´s hard to find what should give them a place in that catagory with this album except that they take some of their influences from the jazzy part of Soft Machine´s music.

The music is in jazz/ rock territory. The dominant lead instrument is saxophone and the music is generally more jazz than it is rock. There are a few vocal parts but the music is predominantly instrumental. The most notable vocal part is the last section in the 15:20 minute long Last Song. Last Song by the way also hosts an unbearably long drum solo. I hear both influences from Soft Machine and Frank Zappa but a band like Pazop also comes to mind when Moving Gelatine Plates are at their most loony. Moving Gelatine Plates doesn´t reach the excellence of Pazop IMO though.

The musicianship is excellent. Lots of jamming parts that are really well played.

The production is good even though I don´t enjoy the drum sound much.

This album is highly praised by most reviewers on PA, but for me this sounds very much like most other jazz/ rock albums from the early seventies. Way too much wailing sax ( it´s actually not as wailing as on many other albums), extensive jamming and too little structured song writing. I know this is an aquired taste and I´ll aknowledge that this is good music but personally I don´t enjoy it much. 3 stars is all I can give. If you like more jazz than rock in your jazz/ rock this will be a treat I´m sure.

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