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MEMORIANCE

Symphonic Prog • France


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Memoriance biography
MEMORIANCE is a unique sounding French symphonic progressive band from the 1970s who released 2 albums and a 7" single.

Their debut album, "Et après", is a fine blend of styles, ranging from fellow French symphonic bands like Ange, Atoll and Carpe Diem, but also with a blend of Steve Hackett style guitar playing, as well as a hint of "Wish You Were Here", era Pink Floyd.

After their debut release, there were some line-up changes, with drummer, Didier Busson being replaced by Christopher Boulanger. Pascal Libergé came into the band as a keyboard player, alongside Jean-François Périer.

Their second release "L'Écume des jours d'après Boris Vian" is a concept album, based on the 1947 philosophical novel "L'Ecume des jours" (Froth on the Daydream), by Boris Vian.

It appears that in 1981, they released a single "Sparadrap/Telephone", but there seems to be no accompanying album.

MEMORIANCE's style on "Et Après", has somewhat of a jazz rock feel at times, but also prevalent is a strong bass sound, some luscious guitar playing (two lead guitars at times) - that is never outrageous - yet is skillfully played. There is also psychedelic rock moments, reminiscent of Pink Floyd, especially in the keyboard and guitar sounds. Overall, they're never over-the-top or heavy, but they always manage to stay interesting, due to their songs having several movements.

A relatively unknown and unique band, even in France, they have managed to record some excellent music and deserve to be heard. If you enjoy the ROGER WATERS era PINK FLOYD, ANGE, ATOLL, CARPE DIEM as well as other symphonic prog, you will enjoy MEMORIANCE.

James R. Yeowell



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MEMORIANCE discography


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

3.78 | 27 ratings
Et Après
1976
3.30 | 10 ratings
L'Écume des Jours d'Apres Boris Vian
1979

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Sparadrap/Téléphone
1981

MEMORIANCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Et Après by MEMORIANCE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.78 | 27 ratings

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Et Après
Memoriance Symphonic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

4 stars Memoriance was a french symphonic prog band. This album, Et Après, from 1976, traces an amazing progressive line, between the classic french symphonic and Pink Floyd. The compositions are very well framed. I like the bass mixing. A festival of guitar riffs and deep solos. The keyboard that sets the mood for the songs is fine. Je Ne San Plus starts the album with mad drums and psychedelic riffage, but it moves to a slow, beautiful song. At the middle of the track it changes to a happier mood. La Grange Memoriance is a atmospheric prog piece, mostly focused on instrumental. Again, it starts slowly and gets faster and loud. The main track, Et Après, is the worst song of the album in my opinion. Tracsir, the fourth and last track, is the shortest song, the only one counting under 8 minutes, is good enough as the rest of the album. Finishing, the cover art rules.

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 Et Après by MEMORIANCE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.78 | 27 ratings

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Et Après
Memoriance Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Another French obscurity from the 70's by a band relatively unknown to the public. MEMORIANCE existed and recorded between mid-70's and early-80's,having two full-length albums and two singles on their backs.This French sextet came from Le Havre and released their debut in 1976,finally earning a re-issue by the Japanese Label Tachika.

Their sound definitely belongs to the French Symphonic Rock school with plenty of sensitive guitars,atmospheric keys and generally the tracks follow a slow tempo.The opener ''Je ne san plus'' offers hypnotic pianos,intense French vocals,guitars in the style of STEVE HACKETT and JAN AKKERMAN and even moments with a slightly jazzy feeling and female choirs,resulting a melodic ANGE-like introduction to the band's sound.In ''La Grange Memoriance'' we meet a more spacey mood with tons of atmospheric keys,while drums and bass have a more energetic role and it contains even some psychedelic percussion at the end section,as the track gets close to the sound of CARPE DIEM and PULSAR.The eponymous track has a very dark approach,led by complex breaks,dramatic guitars but again spacey synths and deep bass lines,while the vocals gets more theatrical in the vein of ANGE and MONA LISA.After three rather long tracks,the short closer ''Tracsir'' offers the strongest guitar lines of the album,being in a Symphonic and Jazz-Fusion mood at the same time with little help from keys,but great bass work again by Michel Aze.

A quite good album overall in a typical French Symphonic style.Not that melodramatic as ANGE or that spacey as PULSAR,but certainly well-arranged and executed.Worth chasing it.

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 Et Après by MEMORIANCE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.78 | 27 ratings

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Et Après
Memoriance Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A very enjoyable symphonic record from France that was released in 1976. I like the way they use spacey synths on this album, and the guitar work is quite tasteful. The bass is upfront much of the time.

"Je Ne San Plus" opens with prominant drums until a nice spacey sound comes in around a minute. Vocals are in French and I like them. When the vocals stop the bass,drums and guitar really stand out each time. The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in as we get this prolonged instrumental section with piano. Female vocal melodies 5 1/2 minutes in and the male vocals follow after 6 minutes as she continues. This is my favourite track off the album. "La Grange Memoriance" opens with drums and guitar before it turns spacey. I like the way the guitar seems to play on endlessly. Keys before 4 1/2 minutes as the guitar stops. Guitar and drums are back quickly as the tempo picks up. The tempo slows right down after 6 minutes as vocals arrive for the first time in this song. Great sound. He yells before 9 minutes as they kick into a higher gear. It sounds so good around 10 1/2 minutes in.

"Et Apres" is maybe even better than the opening track. It's like 1a and 1b for me. The guitar is more aggressive on this tune and check out the druming 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals 6 1/2 minutes in for first time are whispered and then spoken. The guitar and drums are outstanding 9 minutes in. "Tracsir" opens with solid drumming and prominant bass as guitar plays over top. The tempo picks up before 3 minutes and shifts again slightly on this instrumental.

A very pleasant and enjoyable listen. 4 stars.

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 Et Après by MEMORIANCE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.78 | 27 ratings

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Et Après
Memoriance Symphonic Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Et Apres? I might ask Memoriance the very same question. And Then? Only two albums? With such talent?

While not too dissimilar from fellow French prog rock bands, Memoriance managed to create their sound niche, reminding me of Atoll and Mona Lisa mostly but also of Shylock and Arachnoid to some extent but only in a few segments. They are not as theatrical as Mona Lisa and Arachnoid, but do show this characteristic, particularly in the title track of this album. They show good musicianship, switch from what can be seen as more common rock parts to showing how intricately and elaborately their composing style can be. They have this slightly melancholic sound and at times dramatic (which coincides with the theatrical aspect) and know very well how to balance the rhythmic vs. the slow and gentle.

The starting song, Je Ne Sais Plus, is rich sounding and powerful; the music reaches out to me as I listen to this and grabs me as soon as it starts. The vocals (mostly sung but at times spoken, such as in other tracks) are soft yet powerful and effective; they fit very well with the music. There are also female backing vocals adding to the harmonies or giving a good support for the vocalist as he sings, a role also shared by the band members. The music is quite varied; from cool 70's classic rock parts (like the beginning of Je Ne Sais Plus) to more complex and elaborate parts where the band members show their talent, like in 3:33 minutes into the first song. Later on they venture to somewhat more fusion-like territories in places (though only subtly doing so). They know well how to craft interesting developments in the songs and keep the melody catchy and appealing.

With the second track, La Grange Memoriance, the dynamic start indicates a shift to a more jazz-rock style, though it then slows down all of a sudden to a slow rock pattern. This is an instrumental piece that goes on smoothly and gently until 6 minutes into it (though getting a bit upbeat as it progresses), at times reminding me of Shylock's first album as the lead guitar paints occasional solo streaks. The end of the track (from about 9 minutes in) is especially awesome as they speed up and in addition introduce a groovy rhythm in.

It is the title track, Et Apres, that shows their most theatrical aspect, their greatest diversity and progressiveness. In it they shift from slow to fast, from temperate to intricate and give a great instrumental first part of the song which visits a wide range of emotions and paces. To me this is the most exciting and interesting song on this album. In it you'll also hear the spoken part where the dramatization comes to a climax and resembles that of Mona Lisa in Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard. Backing up the vocals are at first percussions and guitar playing oddly (by that I mean it's great) and then the backing vocals, synths and bass take over to back up the dramatis vocalization part. The guitar then takes on the leading role giving us a great solo that leads the whole affair into climatic levels, backed up by great drumming and bass playing and then the backing vocals.

The last track, Tracsir, starts with what is probably the catchiest rhythm and melody in here. The shortest track here, it also shows the band switching tempos and styles, though the rock aspect is the dominant one in here. There's great guitar playing that reminded me of early Wishbone Ash in a way. This is the most enjoyable track in here, the one that's great to shake your head to and tap your feet along.

At the time of writing this, this has yet to be reissued on cd and it's available as a cd-r through the Japanese pirate label Tachika. Hopefully it gets reissued as it is an excellent album that needs to see the light of day in a cd format and it would be great to have a booklet with some background about the musicians in the band. As with other bands from this country at this time, this is too a forgotten gem that should be listened by fans of the bands mentioned above and by any fan of prog-rock of the 70's.

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 Et Après by MEMORIANCE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.78 | 27 ratings

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Et Après
Memoriance Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars This is a band I known absolutely nothing about, but I picked up this reissue from the Japanese label Tachika, which I’m not even sure is a legitimate label. No matter, this is a pretty darn good record, and a decent example of the peculiar blend of slightly psychedelic guitar and symphonic arrangements of other French bands like Ange and Pentacle (two other bands I know very little about beyond the occasional sample track).

There is a great deal of repetitive piano work setting the mood for most of the tracks here, along with spacey background vocals and brooding guitar that must have been at least a little influenced by Pink Floyd. The first three tracks are all in the ten minute range, pleasant and rather fast-moving without being overpowering. Besides they keyboards the instrumentation here is pretty sparse and restrained, making these guys one of the few symphonic bands who managed to put together a solid sound with the use of string, woodwind, or horn arrangements. There are at least two guitars and a bass, several keyboard layers and drums. That’s about it.

The guitar work here cannot escape heavy comparisons to Dave Gilmour, especially on the second track “La Grange Memoriance”. The few lyrics are in French (no surprise there), but for the most part the songs are made up of extended instrumental passages that seem to flow along in some predetermined and definitive pattern, but one which is not all that discernible to the casual listener.

It’s always tough to attach context or meaning to instrumental works, especially when little is known of the musicians who play them. In these guy’s case I wouldn’t call that a downside though, as the songs here are all engaging and full of interesting keyboards and rich, fat guitars. In some places the music seems to border into art-film soundtrack territory, especially on the second track. The title song on the other hand moves closer to a funky jazz sound, with copious dissonant guitar chords and some strident keyboards to give it a slightly edgy feel.

For the closing song “Tracsir” the guitarists shift to a more inflected sound and away from the moody Floydian vibe, almost picking in many places. This is a shorter work, but that isn’t really apparent as the numerous tempo shifts make this sound a lot longer and more developed than it probably is. The rolling drums and fadeaway ending are a rather abrupt and unfulfilling end to the album, which I would have liked to have gone on much longer.

Like I said, I know very little about these guys other than what I have read on the web, but it’s really too bad they didn’t hang around long enough to put together more work, and possibly to explore their sounds by branching out into more complex fusion sounds, as the lineup seems to be more suited to that than to the psychedelic-meets-symphonic blend they seems to be experimenting with here.

I’m hoping to come across some other works of theirs some time to see if their sound improved on subsequent recordings, but if this one is any indication, I’m thinking their other couple of recordings are just as interesting. Not sure if they fall into the three or four star category, could go either way. But I’m in a pretty good mood and it’s the weekend, so let’s err on the side of generous and call it four. A pretty darn good addition to any symphonic (or even psychedelic) fan’s collection.

peace

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Thanks to The Symphonic Team for the artist addition.

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