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LARD FREE

Krautrock • France


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Lard Free biography
LARD FREE was a bit the project of Gilbert Hartman much the same way that HELDON was Richard Pinhas's project. Both groups hold many common points namely highly experimental but yet accessible music that can be likened to Krautrock, a good understanding of minimalist music such as TERRY RILEY, constant personnel changes and the same musical influences namely CAN, ENO and Robert FRIPP. Both Pinhas and Hartman collaborated on each other's albums.

LARD FREE's eponymous debut album is full of great spacey rock with searing guitars, superb drumming and great sax and bass playing. The follow-up "I'm Around Midnight" veered more towards electronics spacey layers sounding even more like they would come from the other the Rhine River. The last album called III but also known as "Spirale Malax" is yet even more Krautrock sounding and can be likened to some of the best TANGERINE DREAM albums of that era. Recently Spalax Records released a fourth album called "Unnamed" that was recorded well prior to the debut album around 71 & 72. It shows the band in yet another totally different mood this time close to RIO. Some real explicit moments and the music slaps you musically around a few times before you understand what is happening to you.

Although all albums are different from each other, all are warmly recommended if you are into some adventurous mood for discovering experimental prog.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Lard Free: IIILard Free: III
Spalax Music
Audio CD$17.95
$12.98 (used)
Lard FreeLard Free
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Captain Trip Japan 2008
Audio CD$35.03
$40.19 (used)
UnnamedUnnamed
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Captain Trip Japan 2008
Audio CD$4.97
$20.53 (used)
I'm Around at MidnightI'm Around at Midnight
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Captain Trip Japan 2008
Audio CD$38.13
$24.38 (used)
ThirdThird
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Captain Trip Japan 2008
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3 LP3 LP
WAH WAH RECORDS SOUND
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Captain Trip Japan 2008
Audio CD$127.24
I'm Around About MidnightI'm Around About Midnight
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Imports 2010
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IIIIII
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Imports 2010
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Lard FreeLard Free
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LARD FREE - I'M AROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT -MINI LP CD + OBI USD $27.74 Buy It Now 13h 59m
GILBERT ARTMAN'S LARD FREE / I'm Around About Midnight USD $18.00 Buy It Now 22h 40m
GILBERT ARTMAN'S LARD FREE / same -Unopened ! USD $18.00 Buy It Now 22h 44m
LARD FREE: Unnamed LP (Spain, reisue w/ bonus seven inch single) Rock USD $30.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Lard Free - I'm Around About Midnight CD OBI USD $17.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Unnamed (Mini Lp Sleeve) - Lard Free (2008, CD New) USD $28.98 Buy It Now 8 days
Lard Free - Unnamed (Mini Lp Sleeve) [CD New] USD $46.78 Buy It Now 8 days
LARD FREE - UNNAMED (IMPORT) NEW CD USD $48.97 Buy It Now 8 days
LARD FREE: 3 LP (Spain, reissue) Rock & Pop USD $30.00 Buy It Now 10 days
DELIRED CAMELEON FAMILY / FRENCH PROG LP CLEARLIGHT GONG LARD FREE EMI LABEL USD $30.00 Buy It Now 13 days
Lard Free / I'm Around About Midnight JAPAN MINI LP CD USD $27.99 Buy It Now 14 days
LARD FREE - UNNAMED - MINI LP CD + OBI USD $25.10 Buy It Now 14 days
LARD FREE GILBERT ARTMAN S/T 1994 JAPAN CD 2200yen 1ST USD $35.99 Buy It Now 23 days
URBAN SAX GILBERT ARTMAN ST RARE FRANCE AVANT JAZZ PROG COBRA ORIG LP LARD FREE USD $32.88 Buy It Now 24 days
LARD FREE / Deluxe 4CD Box-set - LTD!! Unopened ! Rare! USD $95.00 Buy It Now 25 days
LARD FREE I'm Around About Midnight CD Ltd MLP NEW OBI USD $26.99 Buy It Now 26 days
Gilbert Artman's Lard Free- Lard Free. Krautrock, prog, psych, Spalax 1994 USD $19.90 Buy It Now 27 days
Gilbert Artman's Lard Free- I'm Around About Midnight. Krautrock, prog, psych USD $19.90 Buy It Now 27 days
Lard Free- III. Krautrock, prog, psych, Spalax 1993 USD $19.90 Buy It Now 27 days
LARD FREE - I'M AROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT 1975 FRENCH EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONIC LP RE USD $29.99 Buy It Now 28 days
LARD FREE - III (1977) FRENCH EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONIC ROCK AVANT LP RE Wah-Wah USD $29.99 Buy It Now 28 days
LARD FREE - UNNAMED (LOST ALBUM) 1977 FRENCH ELECTRONIC JAZZ AVANT LP + 7" singl USD $29.99 Buy It Now 28 days
ROBERT WOOD Sonabular LP RARE FRENCH EDICI 1973 MINT * AVANT GARDE * LARD FREE * USD $40.00 Buy It Now 29 days
LP i'm around about midnight ~ USD $23.34
LP lll ~ USD $23.34


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LARD FREE discography


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

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

3.96 | 41 ratings
Lard Free
1973
3.90 | 24 ratings
I'm Around About Midnight
1975
3.92 | 24 ratings
Spirale Malax
1977

LARD FREE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 11 ratings
Unnamed
1998

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LARD FREE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spirale Malax by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 24 ratings

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Spirale Malax
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Lard Free's third album reminds me of early jams by the likes of Tangerine Dream or Amon Duul II, but performed taking into account some 7 or 8 years of subsequent musical development on the prog and krautrock scenes. Yves Lanes' synthesiser work veers between Hawkwind-like starship instrument panel noises and Tangerine Dream-esque soundscapes, whilst Xavier Bauilleret's guitar is a stern, brooding monster that can come out to lay down some discipline on proceedings at any time. The band may have been French, but they'd clearly been paying a lot of attention to what the krautrock scene had been doing and here produce an album that deserves consideration among such peers.

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 Lard Free by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 41 ratings

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Lard Free
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars Lard Free is one of those groups I've heard of for years, but never tried any of their albums, until now. I first knew of them in 2002 after buying the Clearlight Symphony album and noticed Gilbert Artman appears on the album, and did some internet research about the backgrounds of some of the musicians involved (aside from the Gong members which I was already very familiar with then) and found out about Lard Free.

This is the 1973 debut by this project by Gilbert Artman. This is one group that can be easily called eclectic prog, progressive electronic, jazz rock/fusion, and avant prog as you get elements of all of those in their music, so the music ends up being considered Krautrock without even originating in Germany, and it's really difficult how much Artman had picked up on the German scene. It's easier to know he likely picked up on the British prog and the American jazz rock/fusion scene. King Crimson is a rather obvious influence, the guitarist here often sounds like Robert Fripp crossed with John McLaughin, he'd do a lot of those McLaughin-like leads but then include Fripp-like sustains and distortions. Heldon is another comparison, but you have to bear in mind in 1973 Richard Pinhas was in transition from Schizo, a psychedelic band, and Heldon, who had yet to see any albums as of 1973 (although Pinhas does appear on Lard Free's second album, I'm Around About Midnight, solidifying the Heldon comparison). The first cut features a bass line, with some distorted lead guitar and jazzy arrangements. The next piece is a two part, starting off as a purely electronic piece played on an ARP 2600 synthesizer, before going into fusion overdrive that sounds like Crimson meets Mahavishnu. "Acide Framboise" is a nice piece with this big, juicy ARP 2600 synthesizer that completely dominate the piece while "Livarot Rispartion" is a nice, laid back, pleasant piece dominated by Artman's vibraphone, with bass and sax. The last piece is simply low-key droning synth that might not be to everyone's liking (might be too minimalist for some), but I enjoy it. Why have I not tried Lard Free earlier? I don't regret purchasing their albums one bit.

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 Lard Free by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 41 ratings

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Lard Free
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Sagichim
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Lard Free is quite an interesting band, they never produce the same album twice, but always headed for another direction after they finish. Their debut album released in 1973 is a mix of styles, it's mainly dealing with progressive electronic but holds some other elements like a Frippian guitar kind of playing. I would say the best comparison i can make is Heldon, it can be very minimalistic at times but also can go to Krautrock realms. For my taste this is a mixed bag, there are few great tracks and few ok tracks in which i can find my self dozing off or getting bored. It has all the elements i need to be fully blown, cool bass, experimental keys, distorted guitars, and a great addition of the saxophone, but it just didn't happen.

Judging the album by the first track, this is a real winner! this is exactly the kind of stuff i'm looking for, going from easy sounding and climaxing to a wild jam. Featuring a nice bass line, hypnotic kind of rhythm, great sax, playing some atmospheric lines, top that with wild guitar that will make Mr. Fripp applauding and some screaming sax... this is my cup of tea. There are few more parts in this vein that gets me very excited but what holds me from enjoying this all the way, are some mediocare parts where the keys or the saxophone takes the lead and while it's nice, it's actually not that great, it lacks some punch but than again i guess the band is not trying to have a punch all the time, it's minimalistic and quite atmospheric. The last two tracks are my least favorite, they are atmospheric and although one contain nice sax playing, it doesn't hold my interest at all, not to mention the last track which i can summarize as nothing!

The album has a huge amount of potential, the playing is always good and the overall mix of styles is pretty successful, and i can see why there are some very positive reviews. So if you like all the elements i've mentioned, this could be a very very good addition to your collection, but for my taste it's not enough and the music kind of goes over my head. it's 3.2 to be exact by my scale.

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 Lard Free by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 41 ratings

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Lard Free
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

5 stars Sneak attack from the heavens

In many ways jazz and Krautrock are highly reminiscent of each other. They both seek out the obscure in the music, those notes that hide away from the conspicuous. They share a love of the improvised in music as well - letting the mighty gods of interplay decide which way the winds blow, and then pursue the hell out of them on some of the wildest windswept journeys you´ll ever hear in your life.

Where these waters meet, this album originated. -Brought into being by those parenting cultures, and then breaking completely free in what has quickly become one of my favourite musical hybrids. Whilst sharing many facets with the freejazz of the late 60s - especially in the frivolous handling of the saxophone by Philippe Bolliet, - the feel of those early Germanic explorations in electronics also flavours quite a bit of this record. This is one of the most compelling things to me personally, and it was also these electronics that drew me in to begin with. This album is not what I would call an easy listen - not at all, and I had some difficulties breaking through the rather avant garde like surface of it, when I first started listening to it. It had me crawling up the walls with its creepy froggy sounds that seemed to come out of nowhere, and those manic saxophone sections were far too haphazard and unharnessed to possibly be of any use in the music. But then I popped it on one evening after a long day, and I remember the sky was all bloody and black, like it was divided in utter beauty and pitch black evil. I was tired and irritated, and felt my head was somewhere, but not exactly there - not attached to me in any way - just flying about out there in the perimeter. Suddenly this album started to make sense. It felt organic and purposeful, although purpose might be a bit of a stretch when we´re talking about this kind of music, but for what it´s worth, I felt the world speaking back to me in this dramatic scenery and the accompanying music. The otherwise convoluted nature of the tracks unfolded before me like backwards origami, and everything fell into place.

This album is largely built up around the absolute freedom of expression - meaning there are no boundaries and no "right" way to play the instruments, - and even though this freejazz mantra is right at the front seat of its creation, - the music coming out of the speakers acts very orchestrated and in tune with everything. Jumping from minimalistic grooves generated by the motorik laden drum work, not entirely unlike that you´ll find on a NEU! album from around the same time, - to the altogether more happening events of the lead instruments such as the electric guitar and saxophone - the textures of Lard Free´s debut differentiate between these wonderfully crafted musical entities. Just like in the aforementioned NEU! - there´s a certain natural progression attached to all these tracks, and the easiest way of describing this is by comparing it to a fountain or a cornucopia. Like turning on a faucet, and then the music just pours out freely without any hesitations or preconceived ideas. Its just there, and that is something which I find pretty amazing, because when you make music like this, there is an infinite amount of things that can go horribly wrong, but here it just doesn´t. It clicks. It happens and conducts itself on its own premise, and sometimes I´ve wondered whether the instruments are playing the musicians and not the other way around.

This is Gilbert Artman´s project and what he does even better than drumming, playing the piano or sculpturing the cryptic sounding synths - is indeed acting like a psychedelic jazz head honcho from the outer rim of Krautrock - creating one of the most enigmatic and unique debut albums I have ever encountered. Much like Zappa was the conductor of his music, Artman too develops this album through the inspiration of the other people involved - swaying the outcome like a genuine classical conductor standing tall in front of the band wearing a black and white penguin costume waving a little stick maniacally around. I think he had an initial idea with this record - he wanted to make something free and in the vein of what unfolded, and then all these other French saboteurs came into the picture with loads of ideas and alternating perspectives - delivering the final spices to the dish. Just like Zappa, I think Artman did an outstanding job of keeping this project focused on the music at hand - and not only streamlined the whole thing, but also maintained that original spark that once originated somewhere in the embers of his own head.

One of my most beloved things about this album is that whenever I play it, all of my surroundings seem to vanish in favour of the crimson blooded sky, that I told you about before. The colours of this angry and violent heaven slowly and quite beautifully cascade onto this music in the most wonderful and incomprehensible way - and I´m often left with an impression of having survived a sneak attack from a sunset trying to drown me in a blood-red glaze and the appropriate music to go with such a thing.

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 Unnamed by LARD FREE album cover Live, 1998
3.94 | 11 ratings

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Unnamed
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This French band might be listed under Krautrock here but it seems like each album comes from a different genre.This is a posthumous release with these songs coming from 1971 and 1972, so before their debut album in 1973. That makes this really interesting.You gotta love the incredible Gilbert Artman on drums. Such a talented man who has played with HELDON, CLEARLIGHT and others. By the way, HELDON's Richard Pinhas played on a LARD FREE album called "I'm Around About Midnight" the same year Gilbert played on his record. This particular album called "Unnamed" is very much in the Rio / Avant genre.This is wild stuff i'll tell you that much. Definitely a recording for the adventerous and slightly left of centre Prog fan.

"La Chevauchee Des Vaches Qui Rient" is very experimental sounding with all these noises coming and going. Sax 1 1/2 minutes in starts to come and go as well in a dissonant manner. It starts to wind down after 3 minutes and blend into "Cochonailles" where the sax and overall sound starts to build before a minute.The guitar 2 minutes in is not melodic at all (haha). Sax is back after 3 1/2 minutes. Vibes and drums as well. It's getting louder until it's very intense late. "Tobrouck 120 KMS" opens with clarinet that is fairly laid back. Other sounds join in at 2 minutes. It's very Avant-garde here. Flute and bass become prominant as the sound changes 5 1/2 minutes in as the guitar and drums help out. It blends into "Noisy Son Sec" where the vibes become dominant quickly. Acoustic guitar comes to the fore then the vibes return. So much going on here with all these intricate sounds. It's avant sounding here as well. A calm with sax before 4 minutes and the sax gets a little dissonant a minute later then it settles right down. It's picking up before 7 minutes as we get an intense sound to the end.

"Choconailles" opens with the organ floating in as bass joins in then it picks up with fuzzed out organ and sax. This really reminds me of SOFT MACHINE. It's jazzy 3 1/2 minutes in then it builds. A change before 6 minutes and some crazy sax expressions follow. "Petit Tripou Du Matin" opens with guitar sounds then other sounds join in with drums dominating. Sax over the top at 2 1/2 minutes then it stops after 4 minutes and this eerie organ comes in as it settles.The tempo picks up and it's actually catchy right here. I mean this is melodic and really good. Sax joins in with bass and fuzz organ too. So good ! "A Chacun Son Boulez" has these different sounds coming and going. No melody, in fact quite the opposite. Dissonant sax screams out again and again. Insanity. At one I point I swear I hear someone sawing. Nasty horns 6 minutes in.

This is a must for you Avant freaks out there.

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 Spirale Malax by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 24 ratings

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Spirale Malax
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars This is Drummer / keyboardist Gilbert Artman's last outing as the awfully monikered 'Lard Free'. Surely one of the worst named bands of all time?

Comparisons with Heldon are inevitable, and rightly so as they've both played in each others bands. Sometimes sounding a bit repetitive but ultimately leading to a tranced out feeling of stupor, it's very easy to get caught up in this weirdness. I'm sure most folk would find this too cold to listen to. It's almost as if it was composed by androids. 'Spirale Malax' has an excellent use of stereo and the treated guitars sound great too. ARP's and EMS's are used throughout and there's lots of backward rotating drums and echoes.

It's not going to win any prizes, but it's an excellent experiment in electronics.

Mr Artman would later go on to form the even stranger 'Urban Sax' - An orchestra of between 25 -50 people who played saxophone. Now that really was a head scrambler!

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 Lard Free by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 41 ratings

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Lard Free
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Lard Free is French psychedelic minimalism band, formed around drummer and keyboards player Gilbert Artman. He was the only constant member of the band on their few next albums.

Music on their debut album is perfectly composed angular rhythm structures-based synth/rhythm compositions with free-jazz sax improvs over them. All this mix sounds heavy, spacey, psychedelic, minimalistic - and excellent. I am not sure if this music could be labelled as "krautrock" , or let say - it's a French krautrock. You can easily hear there influences from Terry Riley, very jazzy drumming and guitar improvs, and at the same time almost Magma-like Orffian atmosphere.

Six quite short compositions sound all different and absolutely fresh even now! Rare and very successful combination of early spacey psychedelic synth-rock, highest level free-jazz and some neo-classical minimalism.

Excellent work from one of the best French jazzy psychedelic bands from 70-s. Very recommended!

My rating is 4,5, rounded to 5!

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 Lard Free by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.96 | 41 ratings

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Lard Free
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is by far my favourite LARD FREE release. What really does it for me is the Jazz element on this one. Gilbert had played in a Free-Jazz band prior to forming LARD FREE, and so those influences come to the fore on this album. The next two studio albums they put out are more electronic falvoured in the HELDON style. It's really cool as well to have such pleasant music suddenly be crashed by dissonant sounds, this happens on this record a lot. By the way the sax is a nice touch throughout this album.

"Warinabaril" is my favourite song on here.The bass / light drum melody is very catchy as it gets louder with added sax a minute in.Then a minute later the guitar absolutely trashes the sound with some screaming and ripping sounds. "12 Ou 13 Juillet Que Je Sais D'Elle" is divided into 2 parts. Part 1 begins with reserved sax sounds as synths come in and build. Electronics are added after 3 1/2 minutes bringing some dissonance to the proceedings. Part 2 has a jazzy climate as bass throbs lightly with dissonant guitar. Sax after 1 1/2 minutes as the song developes an eastern flavour.

"Honfleur Ecarlate" opens with some nice bass lines before drums and sax join in.The guitar after 1 1/2 minutes is raw,distorted and out of control. "Acide Framboise" features electronics as guitar and drums join in after a minute. I really like this one. The guitar makes some noise 5 1/2 minutes in. "Livarat Respirated" opens with vibes as bass comes in. Sax 1 1/2 minutes in. Guitar comes and goes. This is a very slow moving track. "Culturez-Vous Vous- Memes" features electronics that sort of hum but then there are also waves of sound too. It stops 4 minutes in as piano tinkles away briefly to end it.

Like Sean I believe this one is a 4.5 star album and a very influential one at that.

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 Spirale Malax by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.92 | 24 ratings

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Spirale Malax
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Like the previous record "I'm Around About Midnight" this one is dark and spacey with lots of electronics. Again HELDON is an excellent reference point, and these two bands are about as close to Krautrock as any French bands will come. The album is made up of two side long suites, although the second side is divided into 4 parts, even though these songs all blend together.

"Spirale Malax" opens quietly as sounds slowly rise out of silent space, pulsating as a cosmic wind howls in the background. Guitar comes in at 2 minutes followed by a keyboard melody as the mood lightens. The tempo picks up and the sound gets louder after 4 minutes. The drums become prominant after 10 minutes as the song settles down a bit. The guitar takes the lead before 12 minutes and backs off a couple of minutes later. The drums stop 16 1/2 minutes in as the pulsating sounds like in the beginning end it. Whew ! The trip is over and i'm still in one piece.

"Synthetic Seasons" begins with Part 1. Cold, spacey winds blow for 1 1/2 minutes before being interupted by drums in this haunting soundscape. Part 2 continues with the eerie backdrop as the drums start to beat faster. A guitar melody arrives after 2 minutes. It is replaced by piano a couple of minutes later. Part 3 becomes very haunting after a minute with no beat or melody just creepy sounds. Part 4 gets a drum beat 30 seconds in as angular guitar melodies join in as the sound builds. This is almost catchy. Haha. The guitar makes this the best of the four parts for me.

I actually enjoyed this a little more than the previous one. Flip a coin I guess because it's close. I do enjoy the later HELDON albums a lot more, and would compare these more to his middle period. If you enjoy Krautrock, Electronics or dark and spacey music, you need to check LARD FREE's last two albums out.

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 I'm Around About Midnight by LARD FREE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.90 | 24 ratings

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I'm Around About Midnight
Lard Free Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I couldn't get over how much this record reminded me of HELDON. Of course having Richard Pinhas playing guitar, bass and synths is going to add that flavour. This is Gilbert Artman's baby though, and he plays drums, percussion, vibes, Steinway piano, Hammond organ and sax. There are two other guests playing sax, flute and synths.This has to be the only French Krautrock band that has ever existed.

"Violez L'Espace De Son Refrigerant" opens with what sounds like the wind blowing, but it's cosmic winds that we hear as a humming sound pulsates. "In A Deset-Alambic" has a good, trippy beat to it as Pinhas plays his famous angular melodies over top. Spacey sounds arrive before 5 minutes. "Does East Bakestan Belong To Itself" opens with synths and vibes. Guitar comes in at 2 minutes. "Tatkooz A Roulette" is a very minimilist tune with lots of electronics. Percussion 6 minutes in as the sound swirls. "Pale Violence Under A Reverbere" is my favourite. It opens with heavy drums and bass. Strange mechanical sounds and angular guitar. "Even Silence Stops When Trains Come" features piano melodies throughout.

Pinhas' guitar work doesn't disappoint and neither does this album. Amazing music.

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