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ALBERT MARCOEUR

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Albert Marcoeur biography
ALBERT MARCOEUR, French multi-instrumentalist/composer, was born on December 12 1947, in Dijon, France. During his formal education of clarinet at the National Academy of Music and Dance of Dijon, Marcoeur actively participated in many straightforward college rock 'n roll bands. Closing an end to his formal training Marcoeur's musical visions had gravitated towards the experimental facets of music, wishing "to do nothing else but make my own music".

In 1970, the realisations of Marcoeur's 'unclassifiable' forays found their conception, marking the being of studio life. It was to be another four years until the release of his first self-titled album, which still ranks as his greatest recording to date. Loosely classified as proto-RIO chamber-rock, the album lays down several RIO foundations [much like Robert Wyatt's, "The End of an Ear"], later to be picked up by the likes of Aksak Maboul. As with all great albums, controversy was only a step around the corner, with a helping hand of an unauthorised 'loan', the albums closing bars containing "two two-note chords that I had found on a jazz classics album".

While embracing the 'avant-garde' in the true sense on of the word, Marcoeur's compositions took a tight but balanced approach, giving even the most absurd noises a homely feel. Smitten with humour, Marcoeur has more than once been hailed the French reply to Zappa [though less prolific]. Historically his influence cannot be denied, producing another three albums of high calibre, before wandering off into more clichéd avenues.

While an acquired taste, ALBERT MARCOEUR's early works are highly recommended.

===Adam (Black Velvet)===



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Discography:
Albert Marcoeur, studio album (1974)
Album à colorier, studio album (1974)
Armes et cycles, studio album (1979)
Celui où y'a Joseph, studio album (1984)
Ma vie avec elles, studio album (1990)
Sports et percussions, studio album (1994)
m,a,r et cour, comme cour, studio album (1998)
Plusieurs cas de figure, studio album (2001)
L'Apostrophe, studio album (2005)
Bus 24, DVD (2006)

Albert Marcoeur official website

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ALBERT MARCOEUR discography


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

4.14 | 9 ratings
Albert Marcoeur
1974
3.16 | 10 ratings
Album a Colorier
1976
3.28 | 6 ratings
Armes & Cycles
1979
3.21 | 5 ratings
Celui où y'a Joseph
1984
4.50 | 4 ratings
Ma vie avec elles
1990
4.67 | 3 ratings
m,a,r, et coeur comme coeur
1998
4.67 | 3 ratings
Plusieurs cas de figure
2001
5.00 | 2 ratings
L'Apostrophe
2005
3.18 | 3 ratings
Travaux Pratiques
2008

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

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Untitled (split with This Heat )
1982

ALBERT MARCOEUR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Travaux Pratiques by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.18 | 3 ratings

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Travaux Pratiques
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars With his last album L'Apostrophe, Albert he had already worked with the Bela Quartet (I'll let you guess what are this ensemble's major influence) and he had carried on in various works with Anne Bitran and her show (2006 I think) and some film music Le Pressentiment for actor JP Daroussin (released 2007). Both works had used the quartet and now in Marcoeur's tenth album Travaux Pratiques, he's still busy exploring possibilities with the quartet. With only his two brothers as other musicians (aside Albert's multi-instrumentalism), the ambiance stay relatively the same as l'Apostrophe, but the text seem to relate more with 2001's Plusieurs Cas De Figure where Albert was attacking a few personalities, here he seems to attacks "les beaufs" (best translated as the mindless pack of society) and more precisely their habits such as TV, smoking, ambitions and conflicts (of interest?), and its consequences (stats, women and forced libido, competitiveness etc?.

Sooo, the loops used inside the movie are the direct source of this album (or at least the start of more experimentations, made into a show called Travaux Pratiques in Dijon in June 07, and subsequently recorded afterwards to see release in spring 08? Right from the start Bourrée En La gives you the main ambiance with the quartet being the focus of the music throughout the whole album, sometimes with acidic lyrics Si Les Fumeurs) sometimes a bit deeper (Stock De Statistiques), but it seems that he is less humorous than previously. The music is also peppered with electronics, but keeps a slightly dissonant feel as it always had. While the quartet's string-only sound is modern-classic-sounding (ala Bartok), we're tempted to seea little of AZ or UZ in the music, and it's only partly so, because the music has much vocals, which not the case of these two formations. Is TP a more essential album than Apostrophe or any other Marcoeur album? I don't believe so, but then again all of his album are at least worth a hearing, beit from 35 years ago or from last year.

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 Celui où y'a Joseph by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Celui où y'a Joseph
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Fourth album recorded almost 5 years after A&C, but Albert keeps almost the same team, even if he lost François Ovide (guitars), replaced by Jacques Garret; and by now Herouville was a little passé so he changed studios, but it wasn't enough to change much to Albert's musical adventures. Again there are a bunch of shorter tracks, but the would-be title track is well over 8 minutes-long. And the original artwork has been changed apparently

Opening on two almost instrumental tracks, the first being about waking-up in the late morning and the music is fittingly relatively simple (by Marcoeur standards) as is the following Téléphone Privé. The album-long Joseph takes a different and repetitive beat and a harmonium and its dronal sonorities slowly bring new sinister moods that were not yet part of his vocabulary. The impressive Con Que J'étais dives into the breach and develops the new grounds and most likely Albert has heard Univers Zero and Present by now. And that track is easily the best track on the album. Ballade A Jean however returns to previous ambiances, as most of the rest of the album. The end of the album is less interesting with Bonne Entente and Comme Avant (like before) that nail the debate shut and ends like previous albums. Just another worthy album in Marcoeur musical endeavours, one that still hovers between Zappa, Samla, Area, Stormy Six and more of the same, even (and that's new) Univers Zero, but it's good to see that the RIO people kept a strong stance throughout the 80's and never allowed themselves to use that decade's dreadful studios techniques and samplings.

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 Armes & Cycles by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.28 | 6 ratings

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Armes & Cycles
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars If the team that had operated on Albert Marcoeur's first adventures had been drastically changed by his second album, he chose to keep roughly the same team (that still included his brothers Claude and Gerard) , but this time he changed the premises, opting for the famous Hérouville Studios and Laurent Thibault behind the console . Opting again for the same artiste for his sleeve artwork as he had for his first two, Armes & Cycles is in the direct continuation of his previous works but, here, he makes sure his musical adventures are more accessible to a wider public. As in the Colorier album, the tracks are kept rather short except for two longer (but mid-length) ones, including a n instrumental that reassures us that Albert is indeed capable of writing "normal music".

Indeed, right from the opening track Ici, and despite a difficult intro, once the track is ion, we get a good guitar-lead tune that opts for ultra nervous vocals, but on the whole the music is not too complex. Ditto with Emploi Du Temps including some normal solos, but the following Dame is not Albert's nicest idea, to say the least, despite a good instrumental ending and overall sound sonic foundation.(are you sure you're following me?) With the first instrumental Linge Sale (dirty laundry) serving a bit as an intro to Histoire d'Offrir and its piano line and the Kelzmer-influenced instrumental Ampoule Grillée doing as much for Reveil with almost Doo-wop vocals, A1C steers towards madness the no-return point at the turning of the disc.

There is an incredible moment halfway into Son Sac where the vocals go into canon-style delivery and the result is simply awesome (although you'd better understand French), and elsewhere the closing Bonjour Monsieur could've been written by Steve Hackett in his early solo effort (from Please to Defektor, but not on Mornings) and features two acoustic guitars, one with steel strings, the other with nylon strings. Interesting

A&C is an easier album to "get", mainly because the music is more evident (and accessorily more accessible) but don't get me wrong, this is not for every pair of ears, even for the ones frequenting our beloved site. Not as good as the debut album, but better than its sophomore effort , this is the third strike for Marcoeur, but he's scoring a run.

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 Album a Colorier by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.16 | 10 ratings

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Album a Colorier
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Marcoeur's second album would have you believe it's got a lot to do with his debut, because the artwork is related to its predecessor. But life is not so easy! Yes indeed we're still in Marcoeur's improbable and whacky world of Looserland, but the personnel is completely different, even down to the technician, while retaining the same recording facility. The tracks are also much shorter on the average), pushing the interplay to smaller songs that emphasize the goofy atmosphere rather than privilege instrumental interplay, even if it doesn't alter Marcoeur's ability to write weird but complex stuff, although Zappa 's comparison might be a bit over-done. The traffic-jammed Monsieur Lépousse opens the album, a fine overall performance by everyone but topped directly by the out-of-breath Fugitif vocals is dictating the insane pace of the music, even if the Chaussure track is a little insignificant. Probably the album's highlight, the Wyatt-influenced Père Grimoine is a strange track that seems to be a natural bonus track for Rock Bottom. Indeed, opening on a piano the track is a slow suicidal soft- layered track. As one highlight is followed-up by the excellent instrumental Doctorine, where the soundscape veers a bit nightmarish, with a rare electric guitar dropping a few decisive growls, the tracks succeed each other effortlessly and the album zips by quickly.

Other tracks are without much interest, not only musically but lyric-wise, like the percussive Jus D'Abricot (goofy & brassy) or Cueillette Des Noix (overstaying its welcome once it gets in the recitative mode) or the only non-Marcoeur track, Fermez La Porte, a short almost- concrète intro to Là D'dans. Later in the album, Marcoeur veers 10 CC with the less- complex Elle Etait Belle, which happens to be another apex in the album with again that same guitar counter-pointing decisively the rhythm, before the album ends in a non-end almost a capella Ouvres-Toi

Definitely not as successful as its predecessor, AAC is still worth a spin for the curious, but is not quite essential and will probably please only hardcore Marcoeur fans. Clearly Marcoeur could e quite successful as a "normal" songwriter for he has many good ideas, but cares not to exploit them by expanding them into commercial music. He prefers hiding his ideas and bury them deeply enough so he becomes a musician's musician.

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 Albert Marcoeur by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.14 | 9 ratings

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Albert Marcoeur
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars There are few albums that are really and truly groundbreaking in the history if rock, but in its opposition subgenre, they seem to abound. But if RIO was groundbreaking, they had to come from somewhere to base their sounds and directions, and three of them were Soft Machine's Third and Wyatt's End Of An Ear, and Samla Manna Mamma's Maltid. Another is obviously Albert Marcoeur's early works, and certainly his self-titled debut. While Marcoeur has often been cited as the French Zappa, I often found that moderately satisfying and partly exaggerated, not only by the width of their respective works, but also by their

Indeed, both frequently delve in avant-garde music and have a certain sense of humour (although Albert does not have Frank's derision), but Marcoeur's music is not as accessible as Zappa. Marcoeur involves his brothers for choirs with François Breant (see his entry), but his main musical pal is Patrice Tison on guitars, bass and even keyboards when needed, while Albert drums and blows in wind instruments mostly, but explores

I'm a bit of a late-comer to Marcoeur as I'm discovering his works over three decades after their initial release, but I find that I'm filling in an immense void in my musicology, as I also delve in Hector Zazou (still to be included as I write now), whom I would consider Marcoeur's spiritual son. Musically this is not far away from Stormy Six's L'Apprendista, mixed with a bit of Maltid. After the almost punkish C'est Raté, which offers a few grins as the music tries every directions to come back directly to itself, There is an instrumental Simone that starts gloomily over an alarm siren, before ending on a calmer line. Tu Tapes Trop Fort (you hit too hard) seems to be the logical follow-up of C'est Raté, not only sonically (same universe), but lyrically trying to violate a safe.

Appalderie recalls Simone's siren alarm at first before dissonant for the first time on the album and the album's centerpiece Que Le Temps Est Long , a lovely intimate song interrupted by a violently intrusive chorus. The darkest and most impenetrable track is P'tit Champs De Pomme (small applefield) where the music has definitely swung dissonant, and most likely improvised, sometimes reminiscent of Italy's Area. Closing (already!?!) on the album-longest and very percussive Qu'est Ce Que Tu As, (what's wrong with you? In this case) with a slow flute, the track soon embarks on Samla-ian boat and the repetitive staccato rhythms are ending in a surprise way.

Although this album's reputation of being a foundation of RIO (and Etron Fou Leloublan were very influenced by it), Marcoeur's debut album remains very accessible despite the dissonant moment in the second-last track. An absolutely essential album if you want to know about how RIO came to be.

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 Album a Colorier by MARCOEUR, ALBERT album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.16 | 10 ratings

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Album a Colorier
Albert Marcoeur RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progressive

3 stars For fans of Débile Menthol or Etron Fou Leloublan, but with more light approach (and maybe some too odd things)

(1.) Monsieur Lipousse is a short track, with some nice rhythmic things, but I think I hate the sound or at least the style of the vocals, whereas those previously mentioned French (language) bands' vocals are mostly nice.

Le Fugitif (2.) children's agent rock, quite bombastic, repetitive heavy jazz patterns.

Le nιcessaire ΰ chaussures (3.) - Of course Albert Marcoeur uses many vocal styles, so there's more raw, punk vocals here, and the music is blend of it, quite proto-punk (With touch of Captain Beefheart for example more glammy Roxy Music, like the song Virginia Plain), energetic, but there are lighter parts mixed. The song isn't very coherent all in all, though it's pretty simple. Albert Marcouer reminds me here and commonly of Central European experimental music, like Buldozer, Dvouletá Fáma, Psí vojáci, with their different view for pop/rock.

(4.) Le pιre grimoine is very nice song when the warm orchestration comes in, bluesy and symphonic but very colourful (see Arachnoïd - Le Chamadère, there's eg same kind of mood changes), but the vocals are so pitiful (well, I mean that the singer is whining like a sick person - it's nice nice concept but not working here so well) in some parts, that the art of it makes it difficult to understand. And again, the track could be longer (with more symphonicism).

Doctorine (5.) is pretty much like Alamaailman Vasarat, light desert jazz. This is maybe the only harmonic piece here, not so experimental, but still, I think Alamaailman Vasarat is even boring.

Le jus d'abricot (6.) is just an alive pop song, with more full orchestration of course, but the melodies just aren't working for me. The ending half emphasizes jazz (quite regular) from the first part, but there's not much special musically.

La cucillette des noix (7.) - Almost spoken word, and there's occasions when orchestra plays (there's also very nice vocals in one part). Could sound messed up, stupid experimental art, but here it works. It's like warm chamber orchestra with Italian folk influences (see for example Mamma Non Piangere). But also lighter Italian folk is here and there through the album.

Elle Ιtait belle (8.) - Stupid lightness with syrup vocals, and I also vomit. And once again, there's some nice parts, warm Gentle-Giant-like structures (but too few, too few!)

Fermez le porte (9.) is a short interlude with noise/speaking and lovely (warm, of course) classical ending!

Lΰ d'dans (10.) has some things that I've expected/hoped here. The briskness goes into weirder poppy things, with weird structures (well, it sound a bit like musical theatre / cabaret music, but it's more like rocky jazz). No complaints, and this is more like Gentle Giant (in some ways).

Ouvre-toi (11.) is light and windy ending, no complaints here either, but there's not much value, either.

Sickening art is art, too, and I almost think that purpose is in Albert's subconscious, at least. There's so many nice things that could be extended and not sillyfied. But I thin the irritating things aren't so irritating for some people, and all in all I recommend this album for anyone who likes a bit more avant-garde music.

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