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ABUS DANGEREUX

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Abus Dangereux biography
Abus Dangereux is the brainchild of Pierrejean Gaucher, the guitarist of the band. His love for music began at age 10 when he received for his birthday the single Let It Be by The Beatles. It made him continue to explore this music and got Deep Purple and Pink Floyd albums. This lead him to listen to prog - Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and from there he got to know fusion and jazz based prog bands such as Soft Machine, Gong, Magma and Mahavishnu Orchestra. However it would take several more years until he became aware of modern jazz. He also started playing a guitar alone in his room at this time.

At the age of 18 (1977) he started Abus Dangereux. The name was chosen as a reference to a health warning on cigarette packets (the first bassist was a heavy smoker). As he recalls the first album, Le Quatrieme Mouvement, was a band effort in that everyone did their part in composing the tracks. So the heavy fusion and Zeuhl influences are not solely Gaucher's "fault". Looking back or rather listening back, he gives much credit to the keyboardist Eric Bono. However the lineup for the first album was temporary and hired for the studio recording. Only Eric Bono and Laurent Krewina played before with Abus Dangereux. The album itself was recoreded in London at Rockstar studio in December 1979. They had to trim the music from 2 hours to around 40 minutes for the recording.
This album contains, as Gaucher said in an interview, all the music influences he absorbed until then, which explains the trimming down that was needed. He also states this is an immature album, and finds his guitar playing horrible. And still, he is proud of this album. And he should. This thrilling release has exciting fusion based tracks with Zeuhl references which can be heard in the drumming and bass.

Between this first album and the next, Gaucher went for six months to Berklee (Boston) to study music where he discovered modern jazz and it inspired him to start composing more jazz-oriented music. In accordance with this, the next albums were more jazz-rock in nature. In the meantime the band dissolved and the only remaining member was Alain Mourey the drummer.

Abus' instruments included vibes and marimba and in January 1981 Benoit Moerlen joined the group for several shows before the temporary break. However this was to end with the Live album (1985) when the Gaucher shortened the name to Abus (1986) and started using computers and programming in his music.

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LE QUATRLEME MOUVEMENT +7(remaster+SHM-CD)(paper-sleeve)LE QUATRLEME MOUVEMENT +7(remaster+SHM-CD)(paper-sleeve)
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ABUS DANGEREUX discography


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

4.07 | 27 ratings
Le Quatrieme Mouvement
1980
2.78 | 8 ratings
Bis
1982
2.96 | 9 ratings
Happy French Band
1983

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

2.05 | 4 ratings
Live
1985

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ABUS DANGEREUX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Bis by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.78 | 8 ratings

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Bis
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The follow up from their excellent debut album. The follow up and a change of direction. An unfortunate change of direction.

Bis is a jazz album with a Latin flavour. Not the language with the same name but with Latin as in Latin America. The likes of Santana and the Caribean islands. There are some salsa flavours here. But this is mainly a straight jazz album with woodwinds and some guitars. The percussions are great here.

This album is rather good. It's achilles heal is the lack of any real great tracks. This album trundles along nicely from start to finish with some good non offensive jazz. The musicians are great but they cannot save an album which comes across as too safe and too dull. Hence my verdict.

2.5 stars

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 Live by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Live, 1985
2.05 | 4 ratings

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Live
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The final Abus Dangereux album before the Dangereux extention was dropped and Abus continued on it's own on the next three albums.

According to Pierrejean Gaucher in the interview we did sometime ago, this is an album with new material recorded in a live environment. Just like Soft Machine did on Alive & Well, in other words.

The music here is fusion with guitars, woodwinds, bass and percussion. The sound is reasonable good.

After some first very positive impressions, I am not that impressed after repeated listenings. The album is devoid of any good tunes. I don't think the dynamics is particular good here. The music sounds a bit safe. This album lacks the sparks that makes fusion and jazz so interesting. In short; I am not amused. Hence my verdict.

2.5 stars

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 Happy French Band by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.96 | 9 ratings

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Happy French Band
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I had a look at the ratings given and took a deep breathe before submitting this LP to the turnplayer. Reviewing this album is just one of the trials I have to endure as a reviewer here in PA. Pity little me. Then I got a shock. A positive one, that is.

This is the third album from this French band. I really love their first album which is leaning heavily on the likes of Magma and Soft Machine. Happy French Band though is a different beast altogether. But we are still partly stucked in the shadows of the Canterbury cathedral (Gilgamesh and National Health) when it comes to my references. There and in Frank Zappa's world. But there is also a lot of standard jazz here. It seems like I am turning into a jazzhead in my old days because I am really enjoying this.

The keyboards and drums has been largely replaced with saxophones, trumpets, soft percussions, vibraphone and marimba. The solos are mostly by saxophones and there is also a lot of interesting details delivered by the other instruments too.

This album does not really reach the highest echelons in the quality stakes. But I find this album really enjoyable although the lack of some really great tracks is it's main shortcomings. But it is better than it's reputation and well worth checking out.

3 stars

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 Le Quatrieme Mouvement by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Le Quatrieme Mouvement
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Another gemstone from the archives of ProgArchives.

This French band released three studio albums under the Abus Dangereux name and further three albums under the Abus name. This is their debut album and to my knowledge, an album that differs a lot from their other albums. If that's the case, that's a shame.

Le Quatrieme Mouvement is a heady mix of National Health, Magma and fusion. Some here has labelled this a zeuhl album. I would almost label this as a Canterbury scene album, although the zeuhl influences is also very strong. Fusion/Jazz..... not as much as zeuhl and Canterbury scene, though. In short, this album hits jackpot style wise, in my view.

The female vocals here are excellent. The musicianship is superb. The songs are also great. In particular the title track with the hypnotic zeuhl like female vocals. But the rest of the album is also great. A killer track or even a killer melody line is missing though. But fans of fusion, zeuhl and canterbury has found one common album to gather around. This album, that is.

4 stars and a very happy reviewer

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 Happy French Band by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.96 | 9 ratings

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Happy French Band
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tmay102436

5 stars For me, this is one really fine outing for Abus Dangereux. In fact, all of their releases are wonderful, and this, for my taste, is by far and large, their best. Don't get me wrong, I love the other two, and one of the other reviewers this was possibly a bit more 80's (I think Spyra Gyra) mix of jazz, rock, and disco. And possibly it is. But the extended Voyage Sans Étiquettes (23:46) is proggy enough that it breaks free of any comparison, except to wonderful jazzier period GONG.

The execution is completely perfect by all players. The blend of instrumentation is superb, with a nice group feel to the ever changing themes and motifs. The production is absolutely top notch.

So, again for my taste, this is one "must have" - but where to get it!!! PLEASE someone release their entire catalog on remastered CD's!!!

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 Le Quatrieme Mouvement by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Le Quatrieme Mouvement
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by progressive

5 stars Very tasty zeuhl. Reminds me of Kultivator, with many resemblances with Canterbury scene music (I call some jazzy zeuhl as canterbury zeuhl.. but as a canterbury this isn't so disjointed but smooth jazz), and nice bright female vocals in the background (though the music is still instrumental). I think Abus Dangereux is more plain but maybe even more complicated. symphonic. Sounds are very comfortable and full - like the compositions are also. Bass is thrombling like Dün's, but there's more jazz fusion elements, sometimes quite funky. Melodies and rhythms are catchy and there isn't too much "headless" jazz improvisation. Le Roy es Mort, Vive le Roy; Funk au Chateau and Ballade Courte are very good songs, but the whole albums is very full and excellent. Eskaton and Pseu are quite original bands, but so is this. I recommend this album for everyone who like psychedelic and pompous music, because there's really psychedelic moments here. I have more than 70 zeuhl albums and this is maybe my favourite, at least as a whole, not boring at all. Absolutely necessary for all zeuhl fans, but also for fusion and Hatfield and the North and National Health friends.

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 Le Quatrieme Mouvement by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Le Quatrieme Mouvement
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Groovy Jazz-Rock-Zeuhl

I added Abus Dangereux to PA after being introduced to them by several friends here in PA, including Adam (Black Velvet) who recommended this particular album for zeuhl fans. Indeed, this album grew out to be one that I love and the funny thing is what the founder of Abus Dangereux said about this particular album. Pierrejean Gaucher said on this album that "this is an immature album"; he then adds that he finds his guitar playing "horrible". And still, he is proud of this album. And you know what? This may be true (though I disagree about the guitar playing being terrible) but then it's also the reason why this album is that good - sometimes immaturity or naivety are things that make albums special to me (another case for me would be Explosions In The Sky's album, How Strange, Innocence).

This band and this album in particular are regarded by many as Zeuhl and for good reason. The bass work, the drums and saxophones, the female chanting and slightly theatrical style give the music its Zeuhl characteristics and quality but when I asked Pierrejean Gaucher how to tag his band, he preferred jazz-rock since he was looking at the entire discography and not just one album. So I look at this album as a fusion/zeuhl (not unrelated styles obviously) with each sound being the dominant in each specific tune and even within the tracks there is alternation between those two, one giving way to the other. The combined effect is captivating and thrilling as can be heard on the opening track. With the title track, the zeuhl fans will probably feel at home and love the bass work and chanting. There are also touches of "avant-garde-ness" in certain points - Le Roy est Mort, Vive le Roy around 6:00 for instance; and in Ballade Courte brings in more of that avant-garde spirit again, with a dynamic repetitive and stressed bass line and the improvisation by the saxes and at the end comes in again the Zeuhl with the chanting and bass and slightly disharmonic melody. The second track, "Le Quatrieme Mouvement" as it starts makes me think of Eskaton - the bass, wacky chanting and jazz rhythm. Funk au Chateau is another fine example of the combined efforts to mix and intertwine those two related sounds. Groovy rhythm and a wandering bass start this piece which at some point goes for a stroll in the weird sound department with the guitar and keyboard and then the sax taking over, improvising at will around the theme the bass and guitar play. It is indeed a funky tune.

The music is bumpy, mostly on the happier side of things and with great rhythms, funky at times. The bass is doing great work going about either supporting the melody or in its own independent line. The keyboards too provide an important supporting element, sometimes giving extra ornaments to the music. The drumming and percussion give excellent rhythm and at times a more exotic sounding flavour to the music.

This is one of those albums that brings a smile to my face while listening to them, mainly due to the groovy rhythms, but not least because of the bass playing which I love to follow as it goes about, at times seeming oblivious to anything around it. Whether you're looking for a jazz-rock or a zeuhl album, with an experimental edge I think this will be a great album to get, although if you do not like the Magma-type zeuhl, I would first listen to samples if possible (try the title track, as it would be the highest level of it played here). I think this is an excellent album to add to your collection, and while it may be as immature as Mr. Gaucher says, it doesn't mean it's bad; au contraire. It is a good-spirited album, that will make you feel good and make you want to move to the music in those groovy parts - not many albums here in PA you say that about them, eh?

A note on finding the album - this album has been hard to track down. I looked in several places for this one and finally had to opt for buying directly from Musea (a cross-atlantic purchase). However at the time of writing (October 2007) I see that Greg Walker has it on his Syn-Phonic mailorder for sale, so grab it while you can.

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 Le Quatrieme Mouvement by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.07 | 27 ratings

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Le Quatrieme Mouvement
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I had seen this bands name mentioned on a couple of Zeuhl threads so I was surprised to see them listed here under Jazz / Fusion. Well after spending some time with this album lets just say it's jazzy Zeuhl. Actually on the back of the cd it says "...one of the best French Jazz-rock Lp's in recent memory. The approach harkens back to the golden days of ZAO, MAGMA, GONG... A tight rhythm section serves as the backdrop over which guitar, keyboards and female voice dance, counterpointing each other with delicate intertwining. Cerebral, melodic sections alternate with high energy jams effectively. Definite French Fusion..."(Eurock Music Magazine-November 1980). And I would say that the two females who sing the vocal melodies bring to mind the Zeuhl genre too, although they are very much reserved in their singing and not out front like on ESKATON or MAGMA. Still that bass and electric piano has Zeuhl all over it.

"Le Roy Est Mort, Vive Le Roy" opens with vocal melodies and liquid sounding keys. The drums join in as things start to accellerate 2 minutes in. I really like the sound after 4 minutes. The mood changes after 6 minutes as it becomes pastoral. Sax comes in late. "Le Quatrieme Mouvement" features high pitched vocal melodies that come and go. The tempo changes a lot. We get some sax and then percussion 2 minutes in before the bass player shows us what he's got. And he's got plenty. Keyboard melodies join in the fun. "Interlude" is a short percussion filled piece. "Funk Au Chateau" is a light jazzy tune with a fantastic display of sax playing. Late in the song we get a beat as vocal melodies come in to end the song.

"Theme D'Hiver" might be my favourite on this album. This one is more reserved with cello, bass and light drums. The sound builds 2 minutes in briefly as it becomes brighter with more energy. "Ballade Courte" begins with vocal melodies and we get a melody a minute in with some great sax as well as a good beat. More sax 3 minutes in as the song starts and stops. Bass, liquid keys and percussion follow. The guitar takes over for 1 1/2 minutes before the vocal melodies return. "Danse Du Paques" has more vocal melodies, sax, keys, drums and bass. The mood and tempo changes. There is a light jazzy passage as well as some good intricate guitar melodies.

If you like both Zeuhl and Jazz then this is a must. Check out the very well done biography penned by Avestin to learn more. I must say for my tastes this is a 4.5 star record and it's certainly an excellent addition to anyone's Jazz / Zeuhl collection. A classic from 1980.

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 Live by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Live, 1985
2.05 | 4 ratings

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Live
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

In 85, Abus Dangereux released a Live album without Devos' marimba, but he's replaced by vibraphonist Marugg and bassist Talet is also a newcomer. Unfortunately, the live setting is not really helping the band sound more energetic than in the studio. Same old song and dance, my friend!! Even if we get a small dissonant surprise with Puzzle, this hardly enough to wake you from the general boredom that pervades through the album. If I must give one track, I'll take Cinq Ans Après (five years after), but even then AD does not manage to recapture its original spirit. Nothing worth writing home to, this album is really for fans who dig deep into apathic pure fusion.

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 Happy French Band by ABUS DANGEREUX album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.96 | 9 ratings

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Happy French Band
Abus Dangereux Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Recorded the following year, the third AD album, Happy French Band, is pursuing the changes occurred in Bis and refining it, with the line-up again evolving: the whole rhythm section of Mourey and Gaillard leaving, replaced by Verly Benavides (respectively on drums and bass). The Latino fusion is now much dominant with Devos's all-too-present marimba, and the group starts sounding like Spiro Gyra. Hardly a bad news if you enjoy that, but I must say that I've never warmed to that style. The album is not particularly inspired; Abus's Blues is rather weak, as is Aye Schango. Easily the better track of the album Voyage Sans Etiquette is still not fascinating to say the least. Not any better than its predecessor, HFB is hardly anything essential (we are far from the mid-70's exciting ground breaking albums), as there are literally hundreds of albums of this calibre haunting the early-80's catalogues, most of them lacking energy.

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