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PLAT DU JOUR

Eclectic Prog • France


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Plat Du Jour biography
Founded in Rouen, France in 1974 - Disbanded in 1977

Very obscure and unknown, strictly short-lived and super rare to spot, but worth mentioning in the end, PLAT DU JOUR mark a dot on the French eclectic Prog map, somewhere near Rouen apparently, during the year 1977. Their self-titled LP was released under the label Speedball, five compositions (or six, depending on how the first two-part epic is regarded) lasting around 35 minutes. The music can be placed either in jazz-rock, either in avant-prog, but with those two essences clustering and a bit of extra fuzzy psychedelism, cold bass Zeuhl and straight progressive rock being heard, it's wiser to take in account all the nuances.

The details about this project, the story behind it, or the musicians' profile are scarce. The main lineup consists of Vincent Denis (guitars & vocals), Rodolphe Moulin (bass), Oliver Pedron (percussion), Alain Potier (saxophone), Jacques Staub (keyboards, percussion), Francois Ovide(percussion) and Francois Maze (vocals) - the latter two noted as guests, each on one track only. On the SP "Totem/Zil-bra", printed by Speedball around that time as well, Phillipe Doray (likely the artist from PD Asociaux Associes?) is noted as composer. PLAT DU JOUR is mentioned to be one of Ovide's early par-experimental, par-groovy projects (the radical SO & CO. and this laid-back one) - making it more surprising not only that he is a guest musician, but that he also plays drums instead of guitar -, while nothing relevant is known about the other artists. The ensemble's short session could be due to the fact that Ovide moved on to play with Albert MARCOEUR, WEIDORJE, GWENDAL and John GREAVES. There's an additional mention ballparking this band's style close to ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN.

Heavy on the mix, slightly experimental, snappy and groovy and of an uncommon prog taste, Plat Du Jour has its interesting to hear parts. Inside their consistent instrumental universe, rhythms and improvisations kick in, the guitar dominates most of the album, but the saxophone builds one great momentum as well. Tricky music at the beginning - fuzzy, windy, jazzy, mood-mixing afterwards. Vocally, there's both a hoarse, agitated, crazy and a looser taste. The back-cover of the vinyl includes the lyrics.

Fortunately, the album can be nowadays listened for free on myspace.com. Rare if not unique, as a progressive classic collection item, this is first of all for the "catchy/wacko/fun/funk...
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4.48 | 54 ratings
Plat Du Jour
1977

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars One of many prog bands that left only one album and called it a day, the French band PLAT DU JOUR came to the prog party a bit late and released a mere self-titled album in its wake before fading into obscurity for decades to come. 21st century interest in lost artifacts from the 70s however has given new life to once long forgotten artists and this hitherto unknown band even within its own nation has found some new life at least amongst prog treasure hunters who love to seek in the nooks and crannies. Not much is known about the band but it was formed in 1974 in the Rouen region in Normandy. The early lineup played gigs in France and Holland and broke up in 1975.

The group reformed in 1976 with a new lineup that consisted of Vincent Denis (vocals, guitar), Rodolphe Moulin (bass), Oliver Pedron (percussion), François Ovide (percussion), Alain Potier (saxophone), Jacques Staub (keyboards, percussion) and François Maze (vocals) and they recorded this sole album which captured a variety of musical styles that had been popular in the world of progressive rock up til that point. Primarily steeped in jazz/rock/fusion, PLAT DU JOUR engaged in tight musical interplay that allowed jazz chords augmented by saxophone squawks and keyboards right out of the Herbie Hancock playbook to give the album a veritable 70s feel but the band also ripped out the big guns with psychedelic fuzz organ segments as well as meandering spacey passages.

The opener "5 & 1" immediately showcases not only the jazzy touches with psychedelic chill-outs but finds random bursts of heavy rock guitar heft and avant-prog jittery angularities punctuating the cadences at various points. While much of the album is dedicated to instrumental passages in the style of a jam band at many moments, Vincent Denis inserts his vocals in random parts and sounding like a crazed madman showcases one of the weakest elements of an otherwise stellar set of musical performances. During lengthy jazz workouts, Denis proves he's a much better guitarist than vocalist with sizzling fuzzed out psychedelic guitar solos right out heavy metal world.

"Autoroute" debuts the funk vibe to the jazz-rock mix with that develops a rather Mahavishnu Orchestra groove complete with a rampaging bass line and a number of hairpin turns into different musical directions offering one of the more energetic and diverse tracks. "Zilbra" follows suit with a thundering funk bass run along with Denis' unhinged vocals that remind me of that orgasm song on Aphrodite's Child's "666" only not quite as over-the-top. The track continues into primo jazz-fusion territory. "Totem" continues the trend with a lazy bass stomp and another crazed vocal performance by Denis. His antics suggest that PLAT DU JOUR must have been a wild act to see live as the band's general vibe is one of high energy and fiery passion.

"L'Homme" is the softest track with only acoustic guitars and feint percussion which firmly places this in folk territory offering yet another diverse sound in the album's midst. While the chord progressions remain fairly simple, the track picks up psychedelic electric guitar fuzz chords and jazz keyboards accompaniments. The finale "Rock'n Speed" picks up the energetic jazzy rock stance again and is my vote for best track with stellar percussive workouts, sizzling saxophone melodies with some serious squeals along and a brutal bass bang party, ELP worthy keyboard workout and just an overall festive vibe with really cool tradeoffs between the instruments. The track shifts gears a few times and offers some nice interludes of time signatures and other instrument workouts.

In the end PLAT DU JOUR comes off as a sinister electric jazz-fusion-fest laced with heavy prog and psychedelia that is both alienating and inviting at the same time with thumping bass runs, ethereal backdrops and jazzy accoutrements. It excels at mood swings and one of those albums that is instantly appealing for jazz-rock addicts but also requires a few spins to sink your teeth into. While it took 40 years for someone brave enough to re-release this on CD, i also hear that it was done without the band's consent and can be considered a bootleg but i guess if that means saving it from the funny tricks of time then it can't be too overly bad. Not the masterpiece many make this out to be but an excellent long lost relic from the wild 70s.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars A brain melting stew of jazz-fusion, Zeuhl and avant-garde experimentation with a pinch of the Canterbury sound (plus anything else you can think of!), the debut/one-off album from obscure French collective Plat du Jour from 1977 is a bewildering but utterly indispensable work! Holding six tracks of dissonant weary sax, noisy guitars, thick liquid bass, sparkling electric piano, colourful keyboards, a battery of rattling drumming and screeching deranged French vocal twitches, it's an eclectic mix that makes for one completely mad vintage era prog album that's worthy of so much more attention and status!

The schizophrenic lead track `5 & 11' opens with drowsy wafting sax ambience and sighing voices before exploding into stuttering filthy and wild electric guitar spasms, nightmarish electric piano trickles and a pained howling vocal, all permeated with a creeping Zeuhl-like menace. `Autoroute' is book-ended by shimmering dreamy washes of glistening ambient synths and ruminative bass, but diverts into a maddening Zeuhl eruption of snarling guitar gargles and murky fuzzed distortion in between. The baffling `Zilbra' moves through everything from pumping dancing beats with funky serpentine bass to sauntering chilled guitar jamming and crooning falsetto before a Canterbury-flavoured dirty fuzz-organ climax behind a Can/Damo Suzuki-like inane spitting scat vocal rant - phew!

Mud-thick slithering bass and maniacal swirling Hammond organ runs graft supremely dirty grooves to the heavily improvised `Totem', guitar crashing through everything from bluesy struts and snarling psychedelic wailing. `L'Homme' is a pleasingly lo-fi and shambling acoustic ballad flecked with the lightest of electric piano tiptoes, droning electronics and fuzzy electric guitar distortion, and closer `Rock 'N' Speed' is a rip-roaring jazz-fusion blowout of spiralling sax and breakneck drumming with a nice mellow come-down in the closing minutes.

After taunting listeners with only a long-vanished initial vinyl run in the Seventies and some uploaded teasing clips on Youtube, finally the `Plat du Jour' album is available again in 2016 on reissued LP and CD sets from the Paisley Press label, so open-minded prog fans can easily track it down again - likely for the first time!

The schizophrenic nature of this set will either make or break the album for listeners, and some of production is a bit do-it- yourself, but these inconsistencies are exactly what give the album a rough grit that makes it even more delicious. If you click with it, there's a ton of danger-laced, unhinged and addictive grooving noise to love with `Plat du Jour', and those looking for fascinating obscurities and unpolished musical gems will likely relish what they find here. It's another in the long line of bizarre one-and-done acts that left a sole precious work to treasure and count among the absolutely essential prog-related fringe albums.

Four and a half stars.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by olivieraldo

4 stars Hello I am Olivier Pedron, and i was the drummer in Plat du Jour I am really happy and surprised to see this web site about the group I have many things to say but i have to write them in French Sorry

Le groupe a été fondé à Pâques 1974 dans la région de Rouen en Normandie et se composait de : Demos/ chant, P Doray/ Paroles, François Ovide/guitare, Rodolphe Moulin/Bass, Jacques Staub/claviers et Olivier Pédron/batterie Après des mois et des mois de travail il y a eu des concerts dans la région normande, plusieurs villes en France et plusieurs dates en Hollande dont une au Melkweg d'Amsterdam En décembre 1975, le groupe se sépare après de nombreux conflits et chacun part dans son coin pour travailler et rembourser les dettes En juin 1976, le groupe se reforme en vue d'enregistrer un album, mais le personnel est différent: Francois Ovide a définitivement quitté pour jouer avec A Marcoeur, et nous ne souhaitons plus travailler avec Demos au chant ni avec P Doray. Nous contactons un nouveau guitariste (Vincent Denis), nous intégrons un Sax (Alain Potier) et Rodolphe se met au chant C'est dans cette formation que nous enregistrons l'album et la musique est différente de ce qui s'est joué jusqu'alors, beaucoup plus "Jazzy" Ensuite nous faisons plusieurs concerts dont un au festival Beaurock sous chapiteau devant 6000 personnes, dans différentes formatons dont une avec 2 bassistes Fin 1977, c'est la mort définitive du groupe Voila Je suis tout prêt à d'autres commentaires

O Pedron "aldo"

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars This delightful record is enhanced by its obscure, one-off nature. The songs are high caliber, super groovy french rock and roll with prog colors. Zibra is especially effective with it's African beginning and it's pleading, almost whispered lyrics which of course I understand none of the meaning. A rocking screaming minute brings the song to a close. The next song, Totem, is a killer funk jam, it sounds great.

I have a great friend I've worked with a long time, he's an older guy that loves Led Zeppelin and Foghat and classic rock radio. He likes prog too, but he hates anything I share with lyrics other than English. Well, he's now hooked on Plat du Jour, and his wife is hooked too. That's all the proof I need to give this five stars.

This album is great right out of the box, broken in like the finest shoes.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Reminiscent at that point of a looser and less fussy version of mid-1970s King Crimson with influences from Zeuhl, Canterbury, and jazz fusion, Plat du Jour's self-titled album is an intriguing obscurity which combines various challenging strands of 1970s progressive rock into a single cohesive sound. I don't think it's an unalloyed masterpiece, but it's a strong piece of work whose obscurity is thoroughly undeserved. Guitarist Vincent Denis is the most immediately impressive member of the band, but most of his bandmates put in a strong performance too.

It doesn't quite resonate enough with me to get an unalloyed recommendation, mind. Some might find the production values mildly off-putting, and though the sound of the album is quite diverse, in some respects this ends up working against it - it often feels unfocused, and the band seem to touch on a range of styles without carving out a distinctive identity for themselves. Still, it's a very strong three star number that's worth a listen if you are into avant-prog from this period.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Plat Du Jour: unknown french one shot masterpiece (from the later 70s) of the ecletic progressive rock, in the avant garde vein and weird jazz songwriting. Funky rhythms, technical bass playing, noisy guitars, dissonant sax, outstanding drums and dat keyboards. What else did you need? I like the freak time signatures and tempo changes. The first two tracks are most instrumental. They're great! At Zilbra, the third track, you will find some of the vocals habilities from Vincent Denis. Never saw him, but I like his vocals: from high smooth to a proto death metal agression. The B side starts out with Totem, the lenghty track of the album. L'homme is a song to break the chaos, based on the acoustic guitar and vocals. And finally the last track, Rock N Speed, it start as a fast rock, as the title description, and falls into a delicious atmospheric jazz. No weak moment. It's just the way it should be.
 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by twseel

4 stars It's quite strange that such an unknown record is still fully listenable on both Myspace and multiple times on Youtube. I don't know the reason for that but i'm very glad that I can easily listen the entire album on Youtube. Apart from one account called Aenaida, that posted the entire album in a playlist, and two videos with the first two songs from different accounts, there are no videos of anything of Plat du Jour. Together they have just above 2000 views, of which 1500 for a video called 'Plat du Jour - Autoroute', containing 11 Autoroute only. This is probably because it's the first link for the term 'Plat du Jour', which is quite common.

As said before, this album is a forgotten classic album of prog, jazz and avant. Music as never heard before. A fresh relaxed mix of everything, with a clear French taste. I have also tried to find more about the performers, but got stuck on something about Francois Ovide and even rarely any information about Speedball Records. That's why there's little hope that it will ever be re- released on cd and that's too bad, because this is something many music-lovers will enjoy a lot. Still, I will have to break the chain of 5-star ratings because it just lacks the power at some points, but anyone who's a bit into this kind of music should absolutely give it a try, because it's easy to listen, fun and original. An excellent album.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars The only self-titled album from this obscure French band. Released in 1977, this sounds like 70s prog yet also sounds unique at the same time. Musically there are moments of jazz-rock and psych rock with hints of Zeuhl and avant-rock. Sometimes this album sounds like a less crazy Etron Fou Leloublan (who also released their first album in 1977). You can listen to the album on Myspace; I heard it there years ago but forgot the actual URL for it. Thanks to David(Guldbamsen) for reminding me of the address in his review. This is one of the few albums in the PA database that deserves all the 5-star ratings it receives.

"5 Autoroute" starts off the album in a very subdued jazzy manner with saxophone and electric piano. Guitar and drums enter and the music goes into an almost Gong-style, slightly funky jazz-rock vibe. Vocals arrive sounding in between yelling and singing in a rough voice. Some phased guitar picking and steady hi-hat brings some urgency to the track. Killer guitar solo towards the end. "11 Autoroute" is the second half of this mini-epic, although it's basically a different song. After an almost spacey beginning it suddenly switches to some great jazz-rock. About halfway changes to some kind of Zeuhl/Canterbury hybrid. Mellows out later.

"Zilbra" is a highlight. Starting off very upbeat and festive sounding with scat-like singing. A guitar figure leads the band into a more laid-back sound while the vocals become more accessible and melodic. Nice jazzy guitar playing in the middle before the drumming gets more upfront. Suddenly it changes to a heavy rockin' section with aggressive vocals. "Totem" is another highlight which you can listen to on PA. Based around a funky mid-paced groove. The vocals here are pretty nuts, or in other words: awesome! The guitar tones are generally great. Some organ leads the band into an instrumental section. Pretty intense stuff. Goes back to the vocal section before ending on a quiet note with almost whispered singing.

"L'homme" is the most accessible and mainstream track on the album. Basically just vocals and acoustic guitar with a little bit of percussion and electric piano. Features the most 'normal' singing on the album. Around halfway begins a simple yet memorable fuzzed- out guitar line. "Rock N Speed" has a title that would translate into "crack and meth" in today's world. Very jazzy saxophone soloing before the whole band plays hard (rock) and fast (speed). Slows down in the middle but doesn't stop rockin'. Eventually mellows out and the tempo decreases even more. A great one-shot album from the late 1970s. Well written, well played and sounds great (not too polished but fits the mood of the music perfectly). So, I'll give this a 4.5 but bump it up to 5 stars.

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

5 stars Friso's review of this album has made me very curious about it, so I took the suggestion of the free download and after few listens I'm already here for my review.

It's not that every French band or artist has to be classified as Zeuhl, but effectively I initially wondered why Plat Du Jour is not in that subgenre. The opener "5 Autoroute" has everything to be considered Zeuhl: even if the vocals are screamed drums, bass and sax work in a way that's between Magma and Art Zoyd.....two big names just to start. It's with the guitar solo that really rocks that the difference comes to air. Then bass and keys makes it more jazzy for a crescendo that is suddenly interrupted by the end of a track that could have proceeded for twice its length.

At the crossroad we turn to "11 Autoroute". This one starts with keys and bass and still reminds me to the two big ones (let me clarify that even if founder of the RIO I consider Art Zoyd very close to Zeuhl), but after a slow start the music becomes very jazzy and this may explain why they are eclectic: I'm used to call this "Canterbury" in a Soft Machine sense.

"Zilbra", still maintaining the jazzy flavor is different from the previous two. It has clean vocals (apart for the last growled minute) and a lazy bluesy ongoing. Definitely not Zeuhl. It reminds me to the early albums of Modry Efekt. Very in advance with its time for a 1977 release.

"Totem" starts bluesy too and is the album's highlight. How can I describe it? Based mainly on two chords with a good base of bass if flows very well adding a touch of psychedelia to the album. In the last minutes it slows down and fades out in a very melodic way. Great song.

"L'Homme"(The Man) starts from where Totem ends: acoustic guitar and voice and ends to be a very good song.

"Rock 'n Speed" explores the fusion realm with a lot of funk for the first two minutes, then it becomes a little unstructured and surely less easy with the sax in the foreground interpreting the leader's role. Two minutes more and it slows to "dark ambient". Piano and sax add jazz to a floydian keyboard layout and again I think to Canterbury, at least to the Caravan of Waterloo Lily but with much more jazz. Also this closing track ends suddenly leaving me wishing for more of this.

Let's rate this "eclectic" album with the maximum, then I think I'll give a spin to some Univers Zero

 Plat Du Jour by PLAT DU JOUR album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.48 | 54 ratings

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Plat Du Jour
Plat Du Jour Eclectic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Plat Du Jour - st (1977)

The main reason for me to keep a daily watch on PA is to find new bands like this French avant-prog/fusion group. Reading two well written reviews and a great bio made me want to listen to this album that can be found for free on myspace (searching on google you can also find a download).

Plat Du Jour is a very obscure, yet brilliantly recorded, one-album band from French with a unique style. The music is daring, expressive and pioneering. My best description would sound as follows; Take the heavy avant-prog composion of Quiet Sun, some of the atmospheres of both Cos and Can and spread it with a French fusion (Zeuhl-influenced) sauce. The music is therefor very attractive for listeners of Canterbury, kraut, psych, avant-garde and eclectic prog. The music has a fusion and funk basis, but the bizar vocals (both mellow folk & very psychedelic) and atmospheres with shredding free-jazz guitars and even some hammonds screaming for survival (in the track 'Totum') make this an unforgettable experience. The rhythms are often complicated, yet repetitive; hence the link to the Canterbury scene. During the track 'L'Homme' we are also treated with some experimental symphonic guitar effects after the experimental folky vocals.

Conclusion. Progressive rock with the big P, every musician's a winner, garentued baffling first listening experience and totally unique. This could be PA top 25 material in my opinion. Don't miss out on this one.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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