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LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux biography
Background :
La Société Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux (roughly translated to Shy Society at the Bird Parade) is a French band from Rennes, founded in 1984 by J (guitar), Jim B (guitar) and Pascal Godjikian (vocals). In 1985 Patrice Babin (drums, percussion) replaced the former bassist which agreed to record two tracks on the coming release (underground woman, vitellus).
In 1986 the band released an EP (a 45T, which will serve as its name) with 4 tracks through the Illusion Production label. The recording of those two mentioned above tracks were not in a recording studio, but in a bar with the noise of motorcycles from outside, practicing for a race. The recording had to be stopped each time the motorcycles came in too close. The band thought of only doing those two tracks, but the label was far more enthusiastic about those two tracks and told the band to add two more tracks and make this a EP. The two other tracks (idol, thousand days) were done with J playing the bass and guitar. The band was allowed to create its own cover art and Jim B did it.
Another release was in 1990. The tracks for this release were recorded during 1987-89. The reason was that the owner of the recording studio was also the sound engineer and he was only willing to give them so much of studio recording time. This period was a time when members left the band due to their desperation of the slow rate of advancing. And so when the recording was over, half the band was gone. There were 12 musicians in the lineup, which include in addition to the band members, a clarinet player, a saxophonist, a trumpet player, synthesizer player, a violoncello player and 3 bass players. For the track Asaphum, Pascal aimed to have a primitive feel to it (it talks about sacrificing animals in ancient times), and so they recorded it just outside of the studio, suffering from noise from cars and birds, and also rain which got them soaked and cold.
The lineup changed a couple of times and among others arrived Christophe Gautheur (saxophones, synthesizer). In 1993 the band released a concept mini-cd called Le Femme: Portrait. An additional musician, François Morel (bass) joins in and helps stabilize the lineup during that time.
In the following years they release 3 recordings: Les Explositionnistes in 1995, L'Enciversel Marsac in 1998 and Experiences de Survie in 1999. in 2001 Benoît Delaune replaces Morel on bass.
From this point on, there is a series of re-issues and compilations ...
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LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
La STPO
1990
3.00 | 3 ratings
Les Explositionnistes
1995
3.05 | 2 ratings
Expériences De Survie
1999
4.02 | 4 ratings
Tranches De Temps Jeté
2006

LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Combat Occulté
2005

LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
1000 Days
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Femme: Portraits
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
L'enciversel Marsac
1998

LA SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tranches De Temps Jeté by SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX, LA album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.02 | 4 ratings

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Tranches De Temps Jeté
La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars As far as I've been able to see, I can't exactly tell which CD « album » relates to an STPO original album, as it seems that everything has been retouched re-recorded and whatever else is imaginable around. It appears to me that the last two albums (including TdTJ) are maybe the only CD disc of STPO, to have still their original form. In either case this Rennes (the unofficial capital of Brettons in eastern Brittany and a university city) collective is obviously born out of some art faculty and obviously treated in many different forms of arts including theatre and drawing/paintings, just to name these. Their brand of RIO is a bit the crazy French type of RIO, between Albert Marcoeur, Hector Zazou and Etronfou, rather than the more Zeuhl/classical Art Zoyd.

And the latest in the STPO discography, Tranches Du Temps Jeté might seem more user-friendly (OK, listener-serviceable ;o)), partly due to the fun animation figures on this digipack artwork, but it is maybe not the most accessible album of theirs. The least we can say is that as the collective nears its second full decade of existence, it is definitely not going soft on itself. Somehow stuck between their usual craziness and (new twist) a certain kind of post rock, the music doesn't have that theatrical Post Punk with chamber music twist anymore.

I wouldn't really suggest starting your introduction of STPO with this album, because it would be completely misleading in regards with the huge majority of their discography. Nevertheless, such a bizarre album still deserves an attentive ear from the RIO fanatic, because it might be opening a new avenue for RIO group to thread upon. Good but unrepresentative.

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 Expériences De Survie by SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX, LA album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Expériences De Survie
La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

This is the album that included the EP L'Enciversel, containing both tracks (different versions) and many more, but it doesn't make STPO any less weird. Some people compare STOP with Etronfou, and while I am not really in accordance with this, I can only say that effectively Etronfou might be as close as it gets to STPO, with no cigars. UZ Jsme Doma is also fairly close at times and so are countless other RIO groups, but none of them are just as insane as STPO. Graced with a hideous plasticine artwork, making Wallace & Grommit look like top models (a bit like X-Legged Sally does on some records) and depicting the band.

Again this album is close to what you'd expect from Explositionnistes or other albums of theirs, so don't be expecting to get laid by your partner if you select this or any other STPO, as we are close to a marriage between progressive post-punk (ala Cardiacs), the odd Chamber rock, some noise/indus (ala Don Caballero) and math rock (ala Flying Luttenbacher), but There are some really nice moments, but often cut short by another musical idea that doesn't get it right and even ruins the previous good ideas. There are some completely improvised tracks (Mécontent comes to mind), while others are close to Indus/Math (Bebalanbébant) mixed with eastern wind instruments and many more weird stuff. Among the better tracks is the closing Contraste D'Or with its persisting xylophone themes and cleverly short interruptions.

Most likely some 90% of progheads would appreciate hearing this record at least once (the tribal choirs of Skylab are not only hilarious, but quite engaging), but it is a safe bet that the vast majority would probably not invest in a second STPO, as a good deal of them would probably get rid of it as well, for it's not likely to get frequent spins, compared with some of the more ancient RIO kings. Despite my reservations, I can only tell you that this album is a very good one and just missing the essential mark by as little as the width of a ditch.

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 L'enciversel Marsac by SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX, LA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

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L'enciversel Marsac
La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

— First review of this album —
3 stars A two-track EP lasting just under 20 minutes, the Cd reissue had a third track thrown in there, a remastered track that can also be found on Les Explositionnistes. While this theatrical and experimental Post Punk might certainly be progressive in terms of musical adventures, it won't hold much interest for progheads, unless into extreme form of RIO, Math and Noise Rock and eventually free jazz. Lyrically denouncing Yougoslavian massacres and probably being leftist militants, this type of project makes little sense unless you adhere and concentrate solly on it, and even then, full comprehension of such projects is still not garanteed.

The lyrics are mostly spoken, taken from a multi-discipline project, and the monologue is interesting once, gets semi-amusing with the bruitages done by musicians behind the speaker. The track overstays its welcome by the time it gets to the end of the first Expériences De Survie, and one can only cringe at the thought of two more to come. Fortunately the the second is fairly short and the third benefits from a Cello background, which makes it bearable. Markale 2 is thankfully short, while the "bonus" track is the better one on the Les Explositionnistes album, so it gets favourable reviews here as well. Hardly essential, but worth a listen to those that might find their thrills on this thing. I'll personally stick to the full-length album.

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 Les Explositionnistes by SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX, LA album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Les Explositionnistes
La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Not an album proper, Les Explositionnistes is a rework of their early works from the 92-93 era and might even be the evolution of Le Combat Occulté. Tracing a proper line-up from one session to another is a difficult task, because the group evolved from a quartet to an octet overnight and back down to a quintet the next gig. Just as their line-up and discography seem rather extremely complicated, their theatrical post punk laced with chamber music and RIO makes this band sound completely out of the humanly feasible, and description particularly difficult. A strange mix from GonG, Univers Zero, Etronfou, News From Babel, Art Bears and Faust are just a few elements that can help you start understanding where these guys were aiming at, you might even pick some Crimson (LTIA) or This Heat along the way.

This "reissue/rework" is the product of Nantes' very own (and very weird) Prikosnovénie label (as opposed to the American Beta- Lactam-Ring label who had released other early works) and gets a superbly illustrated booklet with artworks from which are inspired 2/3 of the tracks, the rest of them being more of a revolutionary spirit as can be heard from Le Parc Des Avant-Tués (fore-killed park). The lyrics are at least in four different languages (and possibly in Kobaian as well, but there is no Magma) plus the odd Slavic or Armenian lyrics for the genocide-denouncing track of Sarajevo-Stepanakert massacres of the 90's. The instruments they use vary greatly from the Viole De Gambe and the contrabass for the strings, from the tubaga to the clarinet for the winds and from the balafon to the drums in terms of percussion.

Easily the album's highlight, the longest and closing BarfuBerkirche In Erfurt might just be the most accessible too, partly because the usual RIO gets a touch of space rock that seems to emanate from the Planet GonG's Radio Gnome Invisible. Whether to recommend this weird but awesome record or not is your guess, but this is the kind of album that's best not put into everybody's hands, but might also serve as a possible cure for cretin warmonger like W.

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 Tranches De Temps Jeté by SOCIETE DES TIMIDES À LA PARADE DES OISEAUX, LA album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.02 | 4 ratings

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Tranches De Temps Jeté
La Societe des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by laplace
Prog Reviewer

5 stars How wonderful it is to learn of a previously unheard-of band with twenty years of rich musical history. La STPO have managed to avoid detection by our prog rock radars for far too long! Fortunately, it's not too late, as "Tranches de Temps Jeté" - their most recent release at the time of this review - sounds vital and fresh, performed by a band with undwindling enthusiasm and musical momentum.

Stylistically, the album falls on the border between avant-progressive and post-rock in the GY!BE vein. As you'd expect from such a combination, the music is at a considerable intellectual level. Vocals are sung (or more usually proclaimed in a strained, urgent voice) in at least three separate languages - whether this is a reward to polyglots or an attempt to shake you off the album's true concept, it is remarkable.

A great arsenal of varied and unusual instruments are employed to surprising effect, although the standard rock fall-backs still have an important role to play; a good example of this manic approach to instrumentation is the opening track, "I Cuento Blumen" which opens with glassy chimes and drones serving as a backdrop to a brief opening monologue. However, the song soon locks into a fast-paced, stripped down rock affair with a similar acid guitar tone to that found on Mars Volta albums - as the track progresses it grows, evolving into jangling post-guitar rock.

"Cet à-Mort Vibre l'Air" opens strikingly and menacingly - a deep ominous sound crashes against you like the tide, leaving this reviewer expecting a funeral doom metal song to unfold! Instead, the piece is far more abstract (although exactly as creepy as anticipated) and features stringy bass guitar abuse, echoing whispers and distant percussion, both tuned and not - the song doesn't have a discernable pulse for over half its length (shouldn't a Kayo Dot comparison appear here?) but it's hard to complain, as the follow-up "Jeune Fille Devant le Miroir" is an involved avant-rocker deserving of such progressive adjectives as "Beefheartian", "Fantômas-ish" and even "Henry Cow-esque."

Next, we have "L'Intitulé Crème" which is variously clickity-percussive and fluid, with obtusely silly vocals sung over plunging wound bass. Another song that's deliberately misleading and structurally vague, then, but it's short and rewards your patience with a well-timed return to the opening passages. This reviewer is put in mind of an impossible collaboration between Disco Volante-era Mr. Bungle and Gentle Giant at their most meandering (note that this is not necessarily a bad thing) - think "Edge of Twilight" but with some of the langurous beauty stripped out in favour of dada-tic havoc. "The Sounds of the City Seem Not to Disappear" pretends to grab the reins but descends into a glorious rant over semi-improvised avant-rock rumblings - again, Fantômas and Beefheart are your touchstones, but this song is something that grows way past the point of comparisons.

The closer "Lorsque" promises and delivers the furious anti-epic that La STPO have hinted at and snatched away at times during the album. Growing out of a furious zeuhl bass-line, the song is fed energy via guitar and marimba-skree until the delicate drumline is confident enough to unfurl its wings. From here we have Mogwai meeting Isis meeting a group of french surrealists with enough imagination to hijack the proceedings and take it in an unprecented and dizzying direction.

If you enjoyed Kayo Dot's "Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue" and can afford an album right now, don't hesitate to make it "Tranches de Temps Jeté" as it is strikingly similar in places. However, don't let this comparison put you off as there's plenty of fun to be had here, even for a relative newcomer but especially for those of you who like their music challenging, alternatingly dense and spacy and most of all - uncontainably inventive.

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