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RIO/Avant-Prog • France

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Mosaïc biography
Like fellow countrymen Vortex, this band too was formed by brothers (this is not the only resemblance). Yves (guitar, piano, vocals) and Hubert (drums & percussions) Brebion were self-taught musicians. They formally formed Mosaïc
in 1974. However the band existed in the two preceding years only with no name and played covers of rock bands and musicians such as Cream, Hendrix, Grateful Dead etc. and then moved on to more experimental and innovative bands such as Soft machine, King Crimson, Gong, Magma etc. in 1974 Jean-Yves Escoffier joined the band and took charge of keyboards and guitars. They looked for a bassist and finally found one in Philippe Lemongne. There were also several musicians with whom the band collaborated and some appeared on their album Ultimatum, such as the violinist Valentin Bontchev.
During the years 1974-1978 Mosaïc performed all over France in shows and festivals. They made a demo cassette called Cuvee 77 which was produced in 200 copies. This demo had two tracks recorded in the studio with Bontchev on one side and side two contained two live performances with much improvisations.
In 1978 Mosaïc recorded their album Ultimatum in Paris and it was printed in 500 copies.
However the band was to dissolve soon as Yves would leave the band in May 1978 and the band kept on for a few more shows until September and then disbanded in 1979.

Here is what Yves Brebion wrote in the liner notes for the reissue of Ultimatum:
"Using musical violence, vocal paroxysm, and some frantic and frenzied guitar parts, committed to refined musical developments, Mosaic was a part of that avant-garde progressive rock with a strong taste for complex, polished, adventurous, aggressive and delirious music! "

Mosaïc created music which aligned with RIO criterions - wacky, weird, sometimes psychedelic, avant-garde, experimental, chamber rock sound, dissonances, chaotic and violent at times, calm the next, frequent abrupt rhythm changes - all the required traits you usually get in albums of this genre are present here and most of it is instrumental. The bass work is exceptionally well and brings to mind Zeuhl. This is an album that will appeal to RIO and Avant-garde fans and is worth tracking down.

The album has been reissues by the now defunct Israeli label Mio Records as Ultimatum Plus. This reissue includes their demo Cuvee 77 as well as two bonus tracks.

==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

Why this artist m...
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3.86 | 18 ratings

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MOSAÏC Reviews

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 Ultimatum by MOSAÏC album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.86 | 18 ratings

Mosaïc RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kotro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It is said that most great things come in small doses. In France they seem to take that premise literaly: like Asia Minor's "Between Flesh and Divine", Arachnoid's homonymous or Ange's "Au delà du Delire", this is a short album, at just 34 minutes (I am refering to the original, not bonus-added editions).

Un Trop is a typical jazz-fusion track that could be easily confused with a Brand X or Return to Forever track. It is followeed by the short Croisière sur L'Amoco-cadiz, an cello-led track that serves as interlude between the first song and the third, La Vérite au fond du puits ou Narcisse en Palestine. This starts of as a slight bucolic tune but immediatly fades into nothing but an odd colection of sounds, like metal bending and sticks clacking, with a subtle organ sound in the background. Halfway they get back at doing some proper music, getting back to the jazzy sound, ending it with something more likely to be found of King Crimson's "Red". A sombre strings segment links this song to the next, Souvenirs, souvenirs, which is basicly the same segment slightly dominated by cello, more like avant-guarde classical that avant-prog.

Papapluie FUZZ is almost self-explanatory. It basicly a fuzzy keyboard and guitar driven tune, accompanied by a fast beat that makes this song sound a bit like the famous first seconds of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine". Rue Tabaga starts with sounds of telephone conversation, before the guitar bursts out to open yet another jazz-rock piece a la Brand X. It is followed byPicnic à Grigny, another small bucolic piece of acoustic guitar and cello serving as interlude.

A nice guitar riff and beat open Le torero d'alu, but they only last for a while. Part II of this song is absolutely annoying, even for Avantguarde. It is caracterized by this terrible screeching sound that at points almosts seems like a pig being slaughtered. Halfway to the song begins Part III with the same initial riff, this time featuring some tasteful use of electronics. Part IV is an all-instrument section sounding like an improv that slowly fades out into the final track. Mercenaire recaptures previous track's opening riff, acommpanied by a constant drum and bassline, featuring some rough screeming vocals (but that fit greatly into the general agressiveness of this track) between some very distorted guitar parts. It is a really good track, very raw and agressive.

One of the downsides of the album is it's apparent lack of direction, mixing severall styles without really ever settling for one that could make the album cohesive. Still, if you enjoy Jean-Luc Ponty's solo work, as well as some of the more experimental jazz- fusion acts, you'll probably enjoy it greatly. Also, one cannot cease to wonder if modern french avant-guarde bands, like Taal and, to an extent, Noir Désir, have heard this album, seeing that it is so easy to find some similarities in it. Overall, despite quite good, this is not an exceptionaly memorable album, but that will only make you want to hear it more than once. As a representant of a style so complex, it does his job superbly.

Thanks to avestin for the artist addition.

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