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RICHARD PINHAS

Progressive Electronic • France


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Richard Pinhas biography
Electronic music pioneer and leader member of the legendary Heldon, Richard Pinhas also has a prolific career in solo. In 1977 e he released his first essay called "Rhizosphère" (whose name is inspired by G. Deleuze philosophy). The content is largely made of cerebral-obsessional electronic loops. Guitars are more discreet and the music is progressively getting more and more into a lysergic post-modern space odissey. The magnetic and seductive "Chronolyse" (1978) is a little classic and a good example of Richard Pinhas' hability to explore the complex droning quality of electronic sound textures. The hypnotic and entrancing "Events and Repetitions" (2002) can be considered as the French answer to Eno/Fripp collaboration in the minimalist ambient spectrum. The last opus "Metatron" (2006) perfectly combines Richard Pinhas guitar style (in the vein of Robert Fripp's weird manipulations) to sonic cyclical electronics. Outside of his solo career richard pinhas also founded the project «schizotrope» and released several CDs in collaboration with numerous artists such as Peter Frohmader (Fossil Culture, 1999), Pascal Comelade (Obliques Sessions II, 1999). Highly recommended for those who like sci-fi psych jamming, Heldon's propulsive neurotic-electronics and Eno/ Fripp duet.

See also: HELDON - SPACECRAFT - FLAMEN DIALIS - LARD FREE - ZED - Flip Side (of Sophism) (With Richard Pinhas)

:::Interview::: (09/09)

P.B: afterward, what was the release mechanism, the beginning of the musical odyssey Heldon?
R.P: at the beginning there was a group of blues, " blues convention " which I had formed with the one who became the first singer of magma Klaus Basquiz. After one year or two we stopped because we did not get any more, not with Klaus who remained a good friend but with the two others. At the same time to my studies at the faculty I thought of making some music more "seriously". I formed a group which was called schizo, a kind of introduction to Heldon. A first disk was published and distributed for free of charge in...
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IcelandIceland
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$11.36
$19.10 (used)
Victoriaville Mai 2011Victoriaville Mai 2011
Victo 2012
Audio CD$10.36
ChronolyseChronolyse
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$10.42
$9.85 (used)
Single Collection 1972-1980Single Collection 1972-1980
Import
Captain Trip Japan 2006
Audio CD$34.69
$20.45 (used)
Desolation RowDesolation Row
CUNEIFORM 2013
Audio CD$12.47
$10.40 (used)
Metal / CrystalMetal / Crystal
Cuneiform 2010
Audio CD$11.84
$10.29 (used)
MetatronMetatron
Cuneiform 2006
Audio CD$17.31
$17.30 (used)
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RICHARD PINHAS shows & tickets


  • Unsound Festival 2014 on 12 Oct 2014

RICHARD PINHAS discography


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

RICHARD PINHAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.03 | 15 ratings
Rhizosphère
1977
3.81 | 24 ratings
Chronolyse
1978
4.07 | 27 ratings
Iceland
1980
3.04 | 10 ratings
East West
1980
3.77 | 15 ratings
L'Ethique
1982
3.77 | 4 ratings
DWW
1992
3.33 | 3 ratings
Cyborg Sally
1994
2.08 | 3 ratings
De l'Un et du Multiple
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Schizotrope: the Richard Pinhas & Maurice Dantec Schozotropic Experience
1998
2.75 | 4 ratings
Events And Repetitions
2002
2.98 | 4 ratings
Tranzition
2004
3.79 | 10 ratings
Metatron
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Keio Line (with Merzbow)
2008
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rhizome (with Merzbow)
2011
3.00 | 2 ratings
Desolation Row
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome... ... In The Void (with Yoshida Tatsuya)
2014
2.33 | 3 ratings
Tikkun (with Oren Ambarchi)
2014

RICHARD PINHAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Rhizosphère / Live Paris 1982
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Schizotrope: The Life And Death Of Marie Zorn * North American Tour 1999
2000

RICHARD PINHAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RICHARD PINHAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Single Collection 1972-1980
2006

RICHARD PINHAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
West Side / Houston 69
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Beautiful May
1980
4.00 | 2 ratings
Cyborg Sally
1994

RICHARD PINHAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Iceland by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Iceland
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars At once robotic and martial in technique, the very electronic 'Iceland' sits comfortably in the Pinhas discography. He sounds like a less commercial, slower and heavier Kraftwerk. Some of it sounds like it should have been the official soundtrack to John Carpenter's 'The Thing' from 1982. Frequently it sounds like something awful is going to happen... it's just that, it never really does.

At times it seems to lose focus - particularly on 'Iceland pt 3' which takes a step backwards on what is otherwise a good electronic progressive album. I don't give a monkeys though - it's full of big fat splodgy analogue keyboards which keeps me entertained throughout.

The Robert Fripp inspired 'Heldon' guitars pop up now and again leading you to believe you're listening to 'Agneta Nilsson' from '76. This however is far more electronically based.

Pinhas has a definite sound and style all of his own that I would recognise anywhere and therefore he'll always be in my good books.

'Greenland' is the undoubted highlight on this recording. A slowly paced but tunefully arpeggiated sequence of electronic splendour.

The 25 minute beatless 'Wintermusic' is where things take a turn for the worse. In the past you could choose which side of vinyl album to put on the turntable. This would have been side two on an old crackly vinyl recording. Now however it abruptly joins the first half of the album on this cd version. The problem is that this would have been far better as the intro track. Everything's back to front when you hear it on CD.

As a whole however, this album may be a bit repetitive to some listeners. I however, find it enjoyable nonetheless.

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 Iceland by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Iceland
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This late '70s solo album by ambient synth pioneer Richard Pinhas may not be the coolest album hereabouts, but musically it's definitely one of the coldest: in terms of heat-loss reaching the absolute zero degree nadir of Progressive Electronics.

The best ambient music (as defined by ENO and others) is meant to be inseparable from its surrounding environment, and here's a perfect case in point. The inspiration for the album wasn't the tiny island nation in the North Atlantic, but a more general evocation of the light and space of higher latitudes, from Spitsbergen to Point Barrow by way of Siberia.

Part One of the divided title track sets the mood with a short series of chords hanging frozen in mid-air, setting up a shivering monotonic sequencer pattern overlaid like hoar frost with synth 'strings' and sound effects. Each note is so finely sustained that the actual warp of the master tape is audible, something I had always heard as a flaw in the vinyl until I upgraded to compact disc. Like the world it depicts the music is austere but beautiful, and seemingly untouched by human hands.

"The Last King of Thule" (the title references the mythical northernmost inhabited region of ancient Earth) reveals an altogether harsher landscape, with an urgent, almost industrial rhythm track and lots of atonal Fripp-like guitar soloing. A pair of shorter soundscapes (one of them a mere 35-second transition) won't provide you any relief from the chill, but a glorious exception to the album's arctic mood can be found in the final track, "Greenland": a wonder of simple yet hypnotic sequencers, real drumming (thank you François Auger), and lush orchestral synths, warm enough to melt the polar ice caps.

Even more impressive, and almost as long as the original LP, is the CD-only bonus "Wintermusic", a study in icy abstraction borrowing from the minimalism of FRIPP & ENO (two idols of Pinhas from early in his career). The length of the piece may look self- defeating, but give it time: there's a meditative calm at the heart of all the unending, overlapping drones, making a fitting extended epilogue to one of the more effective albums from the analog synth era.

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 East West by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.04 | 10 ratings

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East West
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars For his last album of the 1970s, guitarist / provocateur Richard Pinhas incited a kinder, gentler form of musical dissent, just in time to exploit the dumbed-down expectations of a more accessible decade. It's not exactly techno-pop (although the song "West Side" comes uncomfortably close), but the album certainly represented a conscious effort to simplify the once radical manifesto of his erstwhile band HELDON.

Nine brief tracks (actually less: one was needlessly repeated) were squeezed into the album's 38-total minutes, with most of the cuts arranged in the radio-friendly four-minute range, including a DAVID BOWIE cover ("Sense of Doubt", from his "Heroes" album), and at least one misguided stab at the singles market. Needless to say, it was a major change of pace for an artist who only six years earlier had released an album appropriately titled "Électronique Guérilla".

A saving grace is the lack of digital instrumentation. Sampling technology would homogenize the music industry in the 1980s, but here the analog synths still retained their distinct character, and the textured rhythms even more so. "Sense of Doubt" carries its shambling beat in what sounds like a kitchen broom snagging on cheap linoleum; "Paris: Beautiful May" has a liquid castanet accent underneath its lilting synth melody and Fripp-like guitar sustains. (All the tracks, by the way, are identified geographically: New York, Kyoto, Paris and so forth. The Bowie song is linked to London, instead of the more obvious Berlin.)

And then there's "Houston 69", the only selection to feature an actual drummer: old comrade François Auger. But was the repetition of the track at the end of the album a makeshift bid for artificial closure, or compensation for the overall shortage of material? Maybe the song was included twice because it's the best thing here by far, with the restless momentum and alarming vocoder-vocals resembling a stripped-down, economically remodeled update of Heldon.

Elsewhere the album is synthetically repetitive, but in a too lazy and mechanical way. This isn't the hypnotic pulse of classic TANGERINE DREAM, although maybe Pinhas was simply dogging the footsteps of his German role models into the brave new commercial world of the 1980s.

Whatever his motivation, there's something a little disturbing about hearing such an outspoken musical agitator poaching on territory previously claimed by the likes of VANGELIS or JEAN MICHEL JARRE. But the lack of any real challenge at least has a silver lining: it's the perfect first step for newcomers to the more seditious discography of Pinhas and Heldon.

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 Rhizome (with Merzbow) by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Rhizome (with Merzbow)
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

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

4 stars Electronic drizzles

Well blow me sideways! The year 2011 seems to be a far better year for music than what I originally thought. This album blew me right out of the water, and while I have had a long time love affair going on with Richard Pinhas and what he did with Heldon, his newer releases have somehow escaped me completely. I've never taken the plunge, but boy am I glad I did!

On this highly intoxicating release he works together with Japanese noise artist Merzbow, who is (in)famous for being too loud and abrasive for people over 25. I know, because I've had similar thoughts and preconceptions about him, and never really cared to take a chance on his power white noise electronics. So what we have here is actually my Merzbow cherry being popped as well as my initiation into the modern French Frippertronics shaman - Monsieur Pinhas.

I expected this to be grinding, abrasive, jarring, avant guarde and noisy like a broken robot practising kung fu from the insides of a skip, and what I got was a voyage into these soothing and relaxing musical oceans - that had me cursing and shouting at myself for being so uptight and narrow-minded - not having the courage to sample this collaboration earlier on in the year. Sometimes the hardest boundaries we face, are indeed the ones we conjure up ourselves for no reason whatsoever other than perhaps latching on to our fake and hollow safety nets. Futile I say!

Pinhas sounds better than ever, sling-shooting himself around these orbital sound textures - like the Icarus likened flight of Apollo 13 conveyed in guitar sorcery. He plays that thing with the confidence of an old man who trust nothing else than music, maybe because it never deceives, but that's for another written essay altogether, - and yet what strikes me the most about this man's playing, is his will to push the limits and add to the music that little extra - making it intensify, loop, shrink, dissolve or transform into these immense tunnelling vortexes of shimmering sound. Some of this is distorted and muddy - akin to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music yet highly ethereal and fruitful without ever coming across like music you'd use for interrogation or as paint peeler. Other times the guitars take on the character of electric howling wolves - crying out in the most beautiful and yearning way - almost loosing its natural timber in the process for something completely different, which is what in the end colours this album in a kind of otherworldly shine. These almost frightening overpowering inhuman electrified wolf howls slicing through in the music - reaching for the skies in icy cathedrals of sound. Beautiful like knives of glass.

Merzbow is the carpet supplier. He weaves the Persian rugs here, which in all fairness are nowhere near your every day rugs - these are dense as rainforests and thick like maple syrup all at the same time - y'know those carpets that grab you - holds you in threatening to smother you in woolly harshness of floor pillows and eiderdown thickets. The electronics emanating from this guy is like electronically charged drizzle - electrified raindrops that are so small and minute - yet so extreme in numbers that you have an entire surface upon surface upon surface of these electronic drizzles - multiplying and zooming in and out of a seemingly ever changing rainy day flickering mosaic. Combined with what Pinhas is trying to do with his yearning fuzzy guitar experiments, somehow these drizzles put their arms around you like warm summer rain - comforting and nurturing you like manna from the heavens.

This album is like mermaid music, or maybe like worming Japanese eiderdown tunnelling raindrop music coming from underground and upwards - always upwards. It's fizzing like a sparkling soda-pop - feels like putting your head too close to the bottle after removing the cap - getting showered in all these bubbling stenches whilst hearing the miniature sounds of the jumping gassy water calling you from the surface of the drink: We are the bubbles!!!! 4.5 stars and maybe more in time. What a beautiful album!

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 Rhizome (with Merzbow) by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Rhizome (with Merzbow)
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars More of the same, but why try to fix what isn't broken? As the cover of this album implies, this is an experiment in the beast versus beauty, and the wonderful companionship that can result from the two also coming together.

Being a fan of the previous Pinhas and Merzbow collaboration album, deciding to listen to Rhizome was a no-brainer. I'm kind of surprised that it's taken me so long to do this review since I've been listening to this album for months now.

This album is very similar to Keio Lane; the Pinhas-tronic guitar looping, the comfortably noisy Japanese electo-experimentation, and the sonic density that results is as good as it was before. One thing that is especially interesting about this collaboration is that Merzbow's influence is much more "Merzbow" than with his collaborations with other artists, where he is forced to tune down his noisiness almost completely as if he weren't even there (like with Boris). Richard Pinhas and Merzbow meld their styles to work in the forefront of the music rather than let either one of them fall behind into the backdrop, which definitely adds to the incomparable density and the soothing/harsh dynamic. Soothing and alarming, ethereal and grinding, there are plenty of seemingly paradoxical adjectives that can be used to describe this album.

Pinhas' guitar looping and noodling is the same as before, giving off both the cold and warm radiating audio sensations found in his best work, as always sounding like a much more interesting alternative to Robert Fripp's Frippertronic methods. Though Merzbow isn't forced to pull back too much on his noisiness, it's worth mentioning that this definitely isn't "harsh" compared to his solo work (this is only about as harsh as Music for Bondage Performance or Kamadhenu which are among the most subtle of Merzbow's discography). Instead, these two artists really work together to accentuate each other's sound, creating music that is soothing, compelling, dynamic, active, and unique.

Each of the tracks on Rhizome run together as one, resulting in an album with layers and layers being added and released in a continuously developing cycle until it all climaxes and ceases. A close visual counterpart to this album would be watching sped-up time lapse footage of glaciers melting and refreezing from the sun's influence. Some of the tracks have moments of profound rock influence (something new for the duo) while maintaining the loud ambiance that mostly defines this collaboration.

Rhizome is a great album that displays the best of Pinhas and Merzbow's talents, and should appeal to fans of the solo work of either Merzbow or Pinhas as well as their previous collaborative album.

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 Chronolyse by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.81 | 24 ratings

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Chronolyse
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Far more synth-dominated than his concurrent work in Heldon, Richard Pinhas' Chronolyse is an electronic tribute to Frank Herbert's famous Dune saga. In terms of compositional style, the album takes its lead from Klaus Schulze (who would record his own Dune album some years later) - half the album consists of "busy" pieces with plenty of electronic tweeterings going on, whilst the other half (the track Paul Atredes) is slower and more ambient, growing gently towards thunderous climaxes towards the end. Schulze fans interested in Pinhas' work might find this one a nice place to start before exploring his Heldon work, whilst Heldon fans will enjoy hearing Pinhas produce an album that doesn't rely on Robert Fripp-inspired guitar heroics.

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 Chronolyse by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.81 | 24 ratings

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Chronolyse
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars 'Chronolyse' is a super analogue electronic album. Many may find it too repetitive to be of much interest, but if you really tune into it you're sure to get swept along with those cold emotionless keyboards that travel in continuous waves and loops. Very European in sound and structure.

Entirely instrumental as almost all Pinhas / Heldon recordings are, this is probably one of the coolest, most laid back recordings he produced. There's no Heldon aggression - nothing frantic. 'Chronolyse' sounds almost robotic in a Kraftwerk 'Die Mensch Maschine' kind of way. This is probably the album it's most similar to.

'Chronolyse' uses electronic sounds that are similar to those used by Chris Carter from Throbbing Gristle around '79.

Highly recommended to fans of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Michael Garrison, Zanov and Neuronium.

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 Chronolyse by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.81 | 24 ratings

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Chronolyse
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars Richard Pinhas is known as the "French Fripp" for his guitar playing, but his solo albums are generally dominated by synthesizers. The leader of Heldon recorded this album, his first, in 1976 but it was not released until 1978. The song titles refer to the book Dune. The majority of the first half of the album consists of "Variations Sur le Theme de Bene Gesserit" which is diveded into seven different tracks. Basically, these are sequencer pieces with no guitar or drums (unlike Heldon). The most interesting and memorable of the seven tracks is part III with it's hypnotic and rhythmic sequencer patterns.

"Duncan Idaho" fills out the first half and is generally more interesting than the seven previous tracks. It's the most melodic thing on the whole album. The song opens with metallic sequencer sounds similar to Tangerine Dream of the time. Repeated melodies change notes and more rhythmic sequencer patterns join them. You hear a droning, spacey synth sound towards the end. The rest of the album is made up of the 30 minute "Paul Atreides" which sounds more like Heldon due to the presence of drums, bass and Pinhas' guitar.

It begins very spacey and ambient sounding. It starts to get more noisy and trippy as sustained guitar notes first enter after 5 minutes. Becomes less noisy and cymbals start to enter after 7 minutes. Everything is fairly slow paced and laid-back up to this point. You start to hear some Mellotron after 10 minutes as the drummer gets a little more loose in his playing. Double-tracked guitars start to solo away. Before 20 minutes the drums die out. Lots of trippy and sci-fi sounding synth sounds follow.

I much prefer Heldon to Pinhas solo. For some reason I don't like some of the synth tones on his solo albums, whereas I don't have a problem with them on Heldon's albums. The presence of drums and guitar in Heldon also helps. The last two tracks are good but the first seven just sound like sequencer experiments, not anything you would really remember after hearing once. This is a good album just not great, not anything I would want to listen to more than once a year. I'll give this a 3.5 but can't bring myself to give it 4 stars. So 3 stars.

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 L'Ethique by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.77 | 15 ratings

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L'Ethique
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm going to quote the Wayside Music site because they say it better than I can. "During a fairly incredible 7 year run that began in the mid 1970's, Richard Pinhas released a large string of influencial albums; 7 by HELDON and 5 under his own name, all of which attempted in one way or another to meld (Avant-garde) Rock music with Electronics. "L'Ethique" was his final release of that 12, recorded in 1981 and originally released in 1982. It was his final solo album before his musical retirement throughout the 1980's and it's one of his great "classic period" works. It also features the only studio recordings by the short lived Richard Pinhas Band.This group featured a great cast of musicians who had all previously played in MAGMA. Clement Bailly (drums), Patrick Gauthier (synthesizers) ( also of HELDON and WEIDORJE) , Bernard Paganotti (bass) (also of WEIDORJE) and Richard on electronics, synthesizes and guitar." I also would mention J. Philippe Goude (minimmog, percussion) and Francois Auger (drums) just because i'm big fans of both.Yes it would be another 10 years until we'd get another album from Pinhas after this one.

"L'Ethique (Part 1) has this electronic beat with bass and percussion as synths join in.The guitar comes in soloing around 3 minutes. It settles right down after 4 1/2 minutes and we get spoken word samples and atmosphere taking over. "Dedication To KC" opens with guitar as drums and bass join in. It turns KING CRIMSON-like before a minute and those angular guitar excursions kick in before 2 1/2 minutes.This really reminds me of BI KYO RAN. Intense stuff. It changes after 4 minutes as the intensity levels off then it picks back up before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Melodic Simple Transition" builds and we get an uptempo beat in an electronic soundscape. I like it ! "Belfast" has these different electronic sounds that come and go in a rhythmic pattern. Drums after a minute and bass too.This is so good as those electronics continue.The guitar after 2 minutes is lighting it up. "L'Ethique (Part 2)" sounds great with the guitar grinding away in the background. "The Western Wail (Part 1)" is minimoog crazy early on then the drums join in.This is uptempo with lots going on. Percussion too as the guitar joins in. It settles down before 5 minutes then the rhythm stops before 6 1/2 minutes as we get random drum patterns, guitar and more.

"L'Ethique (Part 3)" has these sounds that echo along with samples and atmosphere. It's getting louder and drums join in.It settles down around 4 minutes to a spacey mode. "The Western Wail (Part 2)" is dominated by synths. Beautiful stuff right here. "L'Ethique (Part 4)" is a short elecrtronic piece. "Southbound" is my favourite because they just rock out like a Metal band. The drumming from Auger is relentless as is the guitar from Pinhas. Gauthier is on bass here adding depth. A powerful and intense track.

An interesting album where those spacey soundscapes take a back seat as the guitar, drums and bass come to the fore.

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 Keio Line (with Merzbow) by PINHAS, RICHARD album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Keio Line (with Merzbow)
Richard Pinhas Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars You'd probably expect Keio Line to be insufferably harsh, giving that Richard Pinhas collaborates with infamous japanoise leader Merzbow on this album, but you'd be wrong. This long album (110 minutes long) is beautiful and ethereal ambience at its best with experimental distortion and hypnotizing pulses.

The textures of this recording are many. It's occasionally dark and icy (much like Pinhas' Iceland album), and sometimes it shows a warmer side that sounds like the sun's rays hitting the earth and warming the beaches. There is also a strong spatial feel that is strongly accentuated by Merzbow's radio-static-like effects that appear occasionally. The guitar playing by Pinhas is mostly peripheral, but still very noticeable, and it adds a slightly organic touch to this very electronic sounding album (though the guitars also are synthesized also). "Merzdon/Heldow Kills Animals Killers" is especially interesting and sounds like an ambient soundtrack to a slow-motion rendering of a space-shuttle launch. Very warm, bright and beautiful with periodical bouts of explosive power.

I'm sure that as soon as most reviewers see the name "Merzbow", they'll turn and run from this album. Bad choice, sirs. This is one of the top ambient albums I've ever heard, and there's so much of it.

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