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FRANÇOIS BREANT

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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François Breant biography
François Bréant is one of those unavoidable characters around the French music industry having been around for soo long that many cannot imagine the scene without him. Indeed in the late 60's he was the keyboardist of CRUCIFERUS that recorded the legendary and dark A Nice Way Of Life (now one of the most sought-after French record) along with future Magma Bernard Paganotti. He was then found playing with the later days ERGO SUM (again with marc Perru) then with the jazz-rock NEMO group (not the modern neo band) in 73. He often played with many MAGMA members on different projects but never actually played with the group itself. During the second part of the 70's he became one of the main back up to French singer BERNARD LAVILLIERS whose poignant texts and lyrics as an ex-convict and true leftist rebel figure made him somewhat of a cult figure on the French scene, even when Lavilliers got interested in Brazilian music. In the late 70's, Bréant profited from a break in Lavilliers' career to record two solo albums filled to the brim with KBs and electronica and the unavoidable Zeuhl overtones , the first one (mainly through ALBET MARCOEUR's help) is often close to RIO, while the second is much more electronica-oriented.

Today, Bréant man still leads the band that backs Lavilliers with his friends of ever (Arroyo and Perru have been with Bréant since the Ergo Sum & Cruciferus days) and they certainly are accounting for a lot of the singer's continuing success. Bréant has also signed many music of films theatre plays and ballets and works as an arranger of many French and African stars, the best known being Salif Keita (Mali)


:::: Bio written by Hugues Chantraine, Belgium ::::




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
many links with Magma and French Prog Scene



Discography:
Sons Optiques (78) - Egg 900.553
Voyageur Extra-Lucide (79) - Egg 900.584

François Breant official website

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

3.03 | 10 ratings
Sons Optiques
1978
3.07 | 5 ratings
Voyageur Extra-Lucide
1979

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FRANÇOIS BREANT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sons Optiques by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.03 | 10 ratings

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Sons Optiques
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

2 stars This is a reissue of a 1979 French instrumental progressive jazz album, with two extra 'songs' that were recorded in 2001. It also has some classical leanings and to be honest is an album of background music, certainly nothing more and perhaps something less. François was a keyboard player who had been on the scene in France since the early Seventies but this was his debut solo album. It is mostly piano/keyboards but there are also plenty of others involved including violin and sax. I am sure that some people will enjoy this but it is not something that I can imagine myself returning to again.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

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 Sons Optiques by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.03 | 10 ratings

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Sons Optiques
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars French keyboardist Francois Br'ant was born in 1947 in Rouen and had a decent career as a member of late-60's Psych/Jazz Rockers Cruciferius as well as Prog Rockers Ergo Sum and Nemo until the mid-70's.From this point he became a back up musician for singer Bernard Lavilliers, but in late-70's he returned with the solo album ''Sons optiques'', originally released on Egg and also King Records for the Japanese market.A handful of old bandmates and well- known musicians helped with the recordings, such as guitarist Marc Perru, with whom Breant collaborated in all of the above groups, ex-Nemo bassist Pascal Arroyo as well as Magma's bassist Guy Delacroix, wind-instrumentalist Albert Marc'ur, already known him from Nemo, drummer Emmanuel Lacordaire also from Nemo and Didier Lockwood on violins.

Breant's musical flexibility was already known from the past and ''Sons optiques'' is another good example of his diverse music tastes in composition.His keyboard and piano work is dominant throughout the album and Breant explores the territories and limits between different fields such as Electronic Music, Zeuhl, Jazz, Fusion and Avant-Garde Music.This unmet blending of course hurts a bit the album's consistency but the overall result is trully experimental in a positive way with Breant offering a virtuosic and ecstatic performance as a whole.The album has often a strong MAGMA influence with some inventive and dissonant piano textures by Breant, often flirting with obscure Avant-Garde soundscapes, and a really spacey atmosphere created by his synthesizers.He is helped by the violins of Lockwood and the percussions of Marceur to make this approach sound even more outlandish.Other tracks are certainly closer to Jazz/Fusion, especially when Jean-Luis Chautemps and Eric Letournex with their saxes take over, with superb piano/synths movements by Breant and the whole back- up group delivering a solid background.Still these pieces have an overall cosmic feeling due to Breant's bizarre electronics.The Musea CD reissue contains a couple of bonus tracks composed by Breant in early-80's at home with a sound close to a mix of Avant-Fusion and Zeuhl.

A bit too cosmic for my tastes, but ''Sons optiques'' weird mix of sounds is actually attractive and inventive.Recommended, especially if you like experimental,electronic or Avant-Garde flavors thrown in your music menu.

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 Voyageur Extra-Lucide  by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.07 | 5 ratings

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Voyageur Extra-Lucide
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by silvertree
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I have had this album in vinyl format in my collection for a long time and had not listen to it very often. To be frank, I bought it second hand, listened to it once or twice and just put it away. I didn't feel it had much to offer at the time. So, after a couple of years, I decided to give it a couple of spins to find out if I had missed something. Well, I don't think I have. It's definetely on the electronic side if you must give it a tag. Very close to Vangelis globally. But it's not that simple. Let me give a description of the first two tracks that compose this album : Poursuite sur le Peripherique Nord : an uptempo and instrumental piece. Very lively with nice (real) drumming. The piano and synths remind me of Goblin in their classic period. So quite a good track on the whole. 8 Aout 0H15 125-eme Rue : a slow driving piece which is led by a synth. Has a jazzy guitar solo that comes and goes during the piece. A nice synth solo in the end. And so the tracks are all quite different and never repetitive. Didier Lockwood also appears on this album on four tracks giving it an interest for fans of this violin virtuoso. François Bréant's link with Magma still remains not so much in the music but in the musicians who appear on the album : Didier Lockwood I've already mentioned ; Stella Vander (vocals) and Klaus Blasquiz (vocals). So a nice album but only for completionists although it does deserve for than two stars in my opinion.

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 Sons Optiques by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.03 | 10 ratings

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Sons Optiques
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars C'mon, people. There must be more than (at this writing) two of us here at Prog Archives with a copy of this rare but rewarding French LP gathering dust somewhere in his music library. It was a fairly unique artifact when new in 1978, and even today is an admirably eclectic achievement by an obscure artist who should have been better known outside his native country.

The cover photo shows Bréant clutching what looks like a reel of 35mm film stock: a visual clue to the cinematic nature of his (entirely instrumental) music. You can hear it in the first dramatic fanfare of the opening track, complete with hair-raising Halloween scream and ominous piano arpeggios. And you can perhaps discern an imaginary narrative in some of the track titles (but don't quote me on that).

For the sake of lazy reference a comparison could be made to JAN HAMMER's early LP "The First Seven Days", another not exclusively keyboard-driven exercise with Jazz Fusion colorings: hardly Prog Folk, as it was originally labeled here. And there's a Zeuhl connection too, always a handy point of reference for music so hard to classify. Francophile proggers should recognize the name of Didier Lockwood, responsible for the occasional electric violin fill.

The energy of the first few tracks isn't sustained for the length of the entire album, and by the middle of Side Two Bréant seems to be squeezing as many keyboard sounds as he can into each remaining number. But the music has aged remarkably well since 1979, and I'm reassured to find it not entirely forgotten after so many years.

A quick personal postscript. I probably bought the album on the strength of its label, the always reliable Egg Records, at a time when imported music was still easy to find in the US (at least in the San Francisco Bay area: I'm guessing it was an impulse buy at the late, legendary Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley). The LP managed to survive all of my misguided vinyl purges over the years, which if nothing else is a testament of sorts to its enduring quality.

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 Sons Optiques by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.03 | 10 ratings

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Sons Optiques
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Bréant's first solo album came after years of being around the French prog scene, an dit was recorded with his usual partner in crimes, Perru, Arroyo and Lacordaire, but a few added high-profile "guests" like Didier Lockwood and Albert Marcoeur. Both his albums claim links between sound and visuals. Sons Optiques is a difficult to classify oeuvre because it touches soooo plenty of styles of music, that none seem to be a perfect fit on your shelves. Personally I would put this one not too far from Zeuhl and RIO, but then again the jazz rock and symphonic prog labels re both applicable. Both albums were issued on the very collectible EGG label. Bréant will play an array of keyboards, but will favour many times the piano over synths. Bréant's albums might also be reminiscent of JP Goude's or Wideman's records

Recorded in the famous Hérouville Chateau and produced by master producer Laurent Thibault, Breant's Sons Optiques is anything but accessible, although some passages might appear ridiculously easy. But many of the tracks are pushing RIO-like, the opening one, even ogling towards Univers Zero. There is a fairly constant Zeuhl reminder (although not quite as much as in the follow-up VEL), but what gets this album's special feel is the incredible mix of influences, a bit like what you'll find on producer Laurent Thibault's album later that year. The concept throughout the album is a sound description of different stages in a child's life during the WW2 and was set as an original soundtrack for an imaginary film Succès De Foule is an incredible track that comes very close to Isao Tomita's very early works on Snowflakes Are Dancing and the closing Baiser Au Crépuscule is almost Henry Tomita Cow-esque.

Added on are two early 80's tracks that have been reworked in 01, for the release of this album. How much were these two track rewritten is anybody's guess, but they do sound out of context with the rest of the album, even if it's clear it isn't the same recording sessions. Souffleurs De Verre is very much a piano piece while the Montlhéry track has an almost semi-dance groove. Nothing horrible, but not bringing in added value on the original album. Much recommended..

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 Voyageur Extra-Lucide  by BREANT, FRANÇOIS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.07 | 5 ratings

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Voyageur Extra-Lucide
François Breant RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars After a really successful (artistically anyway) debut album, Bréant quickly recorded a second album, which would turn out fairly different, even if the principle appears much the same: making a soundtrack for a film that doesn't exists, but the titles giving you the general storyboard outlines. What strikes on this album is that in some ways, it's much more accessible (in a Vangelis style) but when looking at the line- up, long-time buddy guitarist Perru is missing (except on one bonus track), and even if Lacordaire and Arroyo are around, something is missing. Some with a new-agey type of jazz-fusion album, with the now obvious Magma bass.

Adopting a more informatics artworks, VEL was not recorded at Herouville studios like its predecessor and it was self-produced. These characteristics will turns the album a very different one from Sons Optiques, certainly less complex and more accessible, even a bit new-agey. Bréant playing much synths on this album than on SO, making the album less organic and less complex and if there wasn't, thankfully, Lockwood's violin helping out on half the tracks, but the absence of the guitar (except for one track and it's almost a joke) is too noticeable. The album closes on the only song that has vocals (Blasquiz and Stella Vander) and it's a ridiculous ditty that IMHO doesn't help the album

About the three bonus tracks (totalling some 9 minutes), we find again a bit the same deal as for Sons Optiques: 80's written and recorded pieces that were recorded for this album's release in 02. Of these three, only Fille De La Vie could've fit in with the original album, the other two... VEL is a much less interesting album than SO, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't have its own charms and should be forgotten about. No, it's like a shy little sister that would've grown in the shadow of an encumbering bigger sister.

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Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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