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UPPSALA

Zeuhl • France


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Uppsala biography
UPPSALA is the best known project of French guitarist Philippe Cauvin who started his musical carrer at the age of 17, when joining Papoose (one LP and a few singles), then Absinthe (one LP and some singles). He met bassist Dany Lacombe in 1974 in the third and last line-up of Absinthe. When this group disbanded, Lacombe joined the cult band XALPH. Cauvin and Lacombe played together in the experimental orchestra MUSIQUE D'ICI ET MAINTENANT with others members of Xalph (the keyboard player Serge Korjanevski and the drummer André Lesgouarres) and percussionnist Didier Lamarque.

Lamarque, Lacombe and Cauvin soon created their own band Uppsala, wanting to create a fusion of rock, jazz and avant-garde music. They chosed the name "Uppsala" after meeting Costa Apetrea (guitarist of Samla Mammas Manna) and Jukka Tolonen, both natives of this Swedish town. The second song of Uppsala was titled "Coste and Jukka", an evidence of the link with those two musicians. Rehearsing, composing, working, Uppsala became famous for their concerts all over France and began touring abroad.

In March 1979, when playing in Belgium, the band got wounded in a car crash. Didier Lamarque was injuried and Dany Lacombe lost the use of his legs. Cauvin waited for his friends to recover, recording a first solo LP and a few tracks on some compilations, before Lacombe announced being ready to hit the road. In may 1981, Uppsala started a tour in 15 towns, proving their will.

In 1983, the band released its only LP, titled "Uppsala", and a 45rpm single. For the fans of Zeuhl music, this LP is a marvel, due to the high-pitched vocals and the guitar technics of Cauvin, without forgetting the dynamism of the rhythmic section.

The trio existed until 1986, while Cauvin recorded another solo LP, "Memento", with the help of Korjanevski.

In 1995, the LP was reissued by Musea with two live tracks recorded in a reunion concert of the same year, closing the history of Uppsala.

Cauvin had since returned to his solo career, but Uppsala remains a true cult band for every amateur of progressive music, especially for people curious about Zeuhl and daring jazz-rock.

Uppsala official website

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UPPSALA discography


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3.26 | 16 ratings
Uppsala
1984

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

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3.00 | 1 ratings
Uppsala
1986

UPPSALA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Uppsala by UPPSALA album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.26 | 16 ratings

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Uppsala
Uppsala Zeuhl

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars This was actually a French band, found in 1976 in Bordeaux by guitarist Philippe Cauvin, bassist Dany Marcombe and drummer Didier Lamarque.They were named after the birthplace of Coste Apetra and Jukka Tolonen, two great Scandinavian musicians the trio met during their vacation.After series of concerts, in 1979 a tragedy almost struck Uppsala after a car accident, where Lamarque was severely injured and Marcombe lost use of his legs.Two years later Uppsala were back and in the fall of 1983 the trio recorded its self-titled debut at the Carat Studio in Bordeaux, distributed the following year by the Madrigal label.

Actually Apetrea not only influenced the name of the band, but SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA -Apetrea's group- seem to have been a huge inspiration for Uppsala.This is quirky, inventive and often complex Jazz/Fusion with big time breaks and impressive rhythmic patterns all the way.The adventurous musicianship is usually supported by the somekind theatrical and even humourous vocals of Phillipe Cauvin, which are definitely an acquired taste.The music on the other hand is mostly interesting.The album contains plenty of changing tempos, the slower ones having some sort of a psychedelic vibe, the longer ones though are even better with very deep bass lines, solid drumming and Cauvin's Fusion-esque guitar hooks.

17 years later the album was reissued by Musea and contained three live (and unreleased) tracks of Uppsala's comeback concert in Bordeaux in March 1995, where the group was accompanied by trumpeter/synth player Freddy Buzzon.Uppsala's sound had now a more jazzy vibe due to presence of Buzzon's trumpet, but their style still retained strong psychedelic passages, quirky Fusion guitar-driven themes and of course Cauvin over the top vocals.

A solid release for fans of fiery, slightly loose and very technical Jazz/Fusion.Warmly recommended.

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 Uppsala by UPPSALA album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.26 | 16 ratings

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Uppsala
Uppsala Zeuhl

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Uppsala, this unknown zeuhl band from France with only one album released in 1983 and re issued on CD by famous Musea label in 1995. I'm totaly agree with previous reviewer who said that he needed more time then usual to get into, this selftitled album is a real hard to follow from only 2-3 listings, because the music is quite complex, very unusual arrangements, very jazzy sometimes, in other segments is avant gard but melted as a whole with zeuhl elements. Also the album is very mid tempo most of the time, with some more lighter moments then on usual music like this, not bad of course. The head of the band Philippe Cauvin , guitarist and vocalist here did a great job, but as a whole the album is only ok and nothing more. The band name and the longest track from here named aswell Uppsala is taken from the town with same name from Sweden. Other piece is called Coste and Jukka, named after two famouses musicians Coste Apetrea and Jukka Tolonen. So overall a good album, hard to digest in only few spins, but after more then 5-6 listning I begun to realy find the hidden great moments. 3 stars to this album , quite unnoticed by many, even zeuhl fans don't know and heared about this band who manage to make some ripples around them but only for little time.

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 Uppsala by UPPSALA album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.26 | 16 ratings

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Uppsala
Uppsala Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This record took longer than most do for me to really get into. I think part of the reason for that is the fact that this is not like any of the Zeuhl i've heard so far. This is lighter, with mostly slower to mid-paced songs. A lot of acoustic guitar as well, and the electric guitar is very well done I might add. Also this band is a trio instead of the usual "many" members that make up a lot of Zeuhl bands. UPPSALA played over 40 concerts before finally recording their first (and so far only) album in 1983. They had a terrible car accident in Belgium in 1979 in which the bass player lost the use of both his legs, and the drummer was seriously injured. Fortunately the main man Philippe Cauvin the guitarist / vocalist was unscathed. Dany Marcombe the bass player bravely returned, even though he would play bass in a wheelchair. My cd has three bonus live tracks on it that were all recorded in 1995 when they reunited to open for a band called FUSION that consisted of Christian Vander, Janick Top, Didier Lockwood and Benoit Widermann. Nice.

"Algarade" has an island feel to it at times. Vocal melodies, bass, drums and guitar lead the way until a minute in when the song calms down. Vocals are back before 3 minutes, and the guitar is great. "Coste And Jukka" is named after two Swedish guitarists they met while vacationing. Coste Apretrea from SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA and the great Jukka Tolonen. Actually they named the band after the Swedish town (Uppsala) that these two guitarists are from. It opens with the band having some fun as they are carrying on. There are some spoken words that come and go while we get some singing a minute in that turns into dual vocals. Some higher pitched vocals later. This is a very good tune. "Les Nouvelles" has a RUSH vibe to the guitar sounds.This song has such a relaxing melody with vocals after 5 minutes.

"Boucle Aux Oiseaux D'en Face" is another highlight with the acoustic guitar, vocal melodies, bass and drums. "Coup De Folie" has a good beat along with some steller vocals.This reminds me a little of THE TALKING HEADS. Some scorching guitar 2 minutes in. "Etude N 1" has some great guitar and bass work. The vocals are getting close to theatrical. "Uppsala" is the longest track. It is mid-paced as they just jam for over 12 minutes.The three live bonus songs also feature a guest trumpet and synth player named Freddy Buzon. "Antrada" has some serious atmosphere in the beginning before giving way to a nice acoustic guitar melody that is RUSH-like. Trumpet comes in after 4 minutes as the song becomes jazzy until bass and guitar take over followed by the drums 7 1/2 minutes in. "Chant De Nuit" has some strange vocals with not much in the way of a melody. "Entrechocs" has an impressive drum solo for 2 1/2 minutes that is followed by the crowd cheering. The guitar and bass then share the spotlight, with the guitarist playing a few bars from the happy birthday song.

This has grown into a 4 star record for me, but just barely. I really think all Zeuhl fans should check out this bands take on Zeuhl music as it is both refreshing and very well played. Well done !

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