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Pataphonie biography
Before Pataphonie was unofficially "born" in 1973, the band members who were friends, played in several rock groups for the 3 previous years before that and mainly did covers. This trio consisted of Andre Viaud (guitars), Gilles Rousseau (drums and percussions) and Pierre Demouron (bass and contrabass). They then joined forces in a group without name that played a mixture of rock and jazz. Gradually they started opting for a more free-form rock. For a certain project they were joined by two other musicians; Bernard Audureau on piano and Alain Seve on saxophone. This group did this project which was inspired by contemporary compositors such as Bela Bartok, Eric Satie and Maurice Ravel and was reputed to have influenced Weather Report, Hugh Hopper and Henry Cow.
The band chose their name at random using a dictionary, going first for Mussel and then Patagonie. The sound of Patagonie attracted them and they opted for a fusion of two words - Pata from Pataphysique (unclassified) and Phonie which stands for sound, making them unclassifiable sounding. The band was to be an instrumental guitar, bass and drums trio. Their sound appeared to appeal to music critics in several journals that said in 1975 that Pataphonie "could be the great European discovery of the year". In 1976 the Pole records label collected their past recorded tracks from 1972 to 1976 and released them under "Pataphonie". However this mainly improvisational-based collection did not show the band member's abilities. The band members themselves said in 1977 that "To be free in music, you must work for yourself. Freedom isn't the notes recitation, but the feeling that you put into. You must work on the sound as a clay model. We think that we play an innovator music with his defaults. We can be wrong commercially, but musically, we're right. Music is not synonymous of success at all". It is only in 1978 that the band can allow itself financially to record in a studio. It is in July 1978 that they record their phenomenal album "Le Matin Blanc" (The White Morning). The album is instrumental, experimental, inspired by free-jazz and traces of contemporary classical composers. This release was embraced by their fans and media. Since no major label was interested in distributing this album the members decided to create their own with the purpose of distributing it themselves - Feeri Music. The album was sold by mail-order to about 1000 people. On the reissue of this album on CD there are bonus tracks. A...
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PATAPHONIE discography

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

2.76 | 17 ratings
Le Matin Blanc

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

1.25 | 9 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pataphonie by PATAPHONIE album cover Live, 1975
1.25 | 9 ratings

Pataphonie RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars French band Pataphonie was found in 1973 by André Viaud (guitars), Gilles Rousseau (drums, percussion) and Pierre Demouron (bass, double bass), joined a bit later by Alain Seve on saxes and pianist Bernard Audureau.While starting as a Jazz-Rock band, they soom transmitted into an Experimental Jazz act as shown in their self-titled release from 1975.''Patagonie'' contains two long recordings, released initially on Pole Records and a couple of years later by Tapioca, a short-lived label which bought out Pole Records.

Unfortunately to call this material music is simply an insult.The album contains two long experimental improvisations,one on each side of the LP, which start and continue for the most of its parts with a soundscape of silence interrupted constantly by sporadic guitar, piano and bass notes along with some very annoying percussion and obscure trippy noises.To search for any harmonic, cohesive or listenable piece among these minutes is totally meaningless.Even worse these notes are not connected, every member plays a short part, then suddenly stops and the next instrument comes over.A few minutes only by the end of each track see the band playing together, but still this is difficult improvisational Jazz musicianship, far from any sense of structure.

I think all the above words are the full description of this album.To even give it the lowest rate is some sort of an achievment, because this is not music, this is abstract noisy material.Avoid it.

 Le Matin Blanc by PATAPHONIE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.76 | 17 ratings

Le Matin Blanc
Pataphonie RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A loosely constructed album which has a mysterious sound to it. This can safely be classed under RIO. The guitars are twisted in such a way that they occasionally start sounding like violins and cellos. The drums are quite chaotic and the bass is very jazz-like.

Probably a bit too avant-garde for most listeners. 'Chantarelle' opens the album with a multitude of scrapes, squiggly keyboards and creepy female vocals which rapidly turns into a 'Henry Cow' performance. Other than the first minutes, it's an entirely instrumental affair.

Long term pals, Viaud (guitars), Rousseau (percussion) and Demouron (bass), recorded this whole album in just four days - and it shows. It's as rough as a badgers ass around the edges and sounds a bit messy.

The last few minutes of 'Rue Alice' are pretty good, with lots of spooky electric slide guitar creating a reasonably frightening atmosphere. The title track continues in this vein which lifts the overall rating.

The bonus tracks at the end are mostly live versions of what you've just heard and don't really contribute very much. I'm surprised to find myself quite bored by this but still, it's better than their first album on 'Pole' records.

A noisy and tuneless album which I don't really have the patience for.

My chimney's clogged.

 Le Matin Blanc by PATAPHONIE album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.76 | 17 ratings

Le Matin Blanc
Pataphonie RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Pataphonie's second album presents a different facet of the group than their debut did. This is a very dark dissonant album somewhere stuck between pure RIO and a weird Zeuhl music. The trio was definitely not looking to make hundreds of thousands of sales with this kind of experimental music

Starting out on Chanterelle and its highly irritating high-operatic vocal intro, the track veers into an almost Canterbury-esque jazz-rock, but driving with a bowed-contrabass into a lugubrious and haunting climate on Valse Noble that only UZ on Hérésie could match, this sombre and grandiose tune is the first of a few highlights on this album. The following Kerouac is probably their most disjointed and almost atonal/dissonant piece. It sounds like a completely spaced out Soft Machine (circa "Fourth") crossing out with Henry Cow, but the incredible thing is to hear out that there are no keyboards (at least announced) but you'd swear Ratledge paid a visit in the studio.

Over the second side of the album, stands the lengthy Rue Alice track (obviously the Wonderland one) and its quarter hour feast of cacophonic maelstrom-ian chaos, which is pure delight for the deranged proghead crazy enough to have wandered (wondered?) here. Fripp/Crimson, Henry Cow, Soft Machine, Heldon/Pinhas, Shub- Niggurath and Univers Zero, need I say more?? The last two tracks (including the title track) are not any brighter (I did not say brilliant) and the gloomy contrabass is counterbalanced with the doomy guitar (sounding like a violin) are certainly helping out losing your sanity.

The album now comes with a series of four live tracks recorded in '80 (on its '99 Gazul/Musea reissue), some months before the group stopped operations, and the least we can say is that they had not really gotten any wiser musically. Two of the four live tracks are from this album, while the other two are from their first album, but are shortened. Automne Souvenir is relatively calm and repetitive, while Memoire Baroque is very dissonant. The last bonus track was foreseen on the Matin Blanc album, but for some weird reasons, it did not make it.

A weird but not devoid-of-class album, that merits to be heard by anyone wishing how far France took prog rock. Well they almost stretched to the extreme that the proghead may not come back completely unscathed. This proghead declines any kind of responsibility in the case of this kind of event occurring, for they were warned ahead of time.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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