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CAMEMBERT

Jazz Rock/Fusion • France


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Camembert picture
Camembert biography
Founded in Strasbourg, France in 2005

Camembert is a french Progressive Jazz Fusion band articulated around very original instruments such as Harp, Xylophone and Vibraphone. The band's aim is to abolish frontiers between musical styles by including some world music arrangements. The best definition of their music heard in the press as the meeting between Henry Cow and Herbie Hancock for the writing of a blaxploitation movie soundtrack.
You will hear blends of Zappa, King Crimson, Pat Metheny, George Duke, Hemeto Pascoal, Ennio Morricone and Gentle Giant in the Cheese very uncommon compositions.
Signed on Altrock Label, the band released its first album Schnörgl Attahk in September 2011. This first opus is based on a delirious story of an alien invasion (The dirty stupid Schnörgls commanded by the abominable Dr Frankenschnörgl) on Earth. Then, a giant starship made Cheese enters Earth Orbit and abducts people and animals on Earth to transform them into super soldiers and resist against the Schnörgl oppression. With a featuring from Francesco Zago from Yugen and a zappaian style booklet made by Paolo Ske Botta from Ske, Schnörgl Attahk is a pamphlet for the reniewing of modern progressive rock and Jazz Fusion.
Enjoy the smell of this cheese!

===Pierre De Camembert===

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Negative ToeNegative Toe
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CAMEMBERT discography


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

3.88 | 54 ratings
Schnörgl Attahk
2011
4.08 | 40 ratings
Negative Toe
2017

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

CAMEMBERT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CAMEMBERT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

3.45 | 8 ratings
Clacosmique
2009

CAMEMBERT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Negative Toe by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.08 | 40 ratings

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Negative Toe
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Strasbourg's eccentric and eclectic Zeuhl/avant garde/RIO "ensemble" (more like a small orchestra!) have produced a sequel to their 2011 "soundtrack" to an imaginary alien space invasion. The band has matured as both individual instrumentalists and as a cohesive collective. The sound engineering is amazing--one of the best I've ever heard-- and the story and even the masterfully crafted music continues to employ an extraordinarily high degree of humour. I find myself laughing and crying within the same songs as we follow the latest installment of the alien Schn'rgls' conspiratorial encounters with Earthlings

1. "Orteil n'gatif--Once Upon A Time In The Galax-cheese" (3:13) opening with a joyful, confident announcement of the band's incredible precision, new maturity, and sci-fi story to come, percussives and staccato syncopation introduce the story before the music fades into a low, ominous foundation for the eerie "radio" communications that follow (the Schn'rgls have been encountered!). Masterful intro! They've got my attention! (4.5/5)

2. "Fecondee par un extra-terrestre" (15:10) opens with 45 seconds of Zeuhl-like insistence before everything turns to a gentle Latin rhythm-based harp-based section. Cool! A minute later, it switches as other band members join in, then turns more jazzy as the horns join in during the third minute. Another shift at 3:30 presents an adorable and pretty "wuah" sound that sounds like a cute alien fart or baby burp (the birth of "El Pulpo"). When the band reunites in full force at the end of the fourth minute, it seems like the outburst is totally jovial, even celebratory. At the end of the sixth minute another shift employs long, deep bass notes, steady drums, electric guitar soloing (which is rare) and all kinds of horns and percussives interspersed. A minute later, things quite down while very delicate play from keys, xylophone, harp, and oboe (and later flutes) very slowly, very gradually build in force and volume. this is gorgeous! By the time 9:45 rolls around and the horns unite in sectional bursts we think it's culminating--but, no! Another lull while cymbals, touch-guitar chords and winds present yet another variation on the theme. This is amazing! The compositional and performance skills on display here are utterly inconceivable! Like an orchestral composition! At 12:30 there is another radical tempo and stylistic shift while woodwinds seem to be "tuning" in the background, the bass and rest of the rhythm section (which is HUGE!) gel into a very Zeuhl-like sound and style. Horns carry the melody forward while harp and vibes fast-weave beneath, just above the rhythm section. Amazing! (10/10)

3. "Gros Bouquin" (11:11) Opens with some full band chord hits before quickly settling into a funky-jazzy rhythmic sound for vibes and flutes to present a fast-paced melody. At 1:15 everything quiets down while flutes and other high winds present an airy space. Then we burst back into the bass-led Caribbean funk so that horns can have their solo time. Trumpet takes the lead for the next minute while bass and harp provide the steady foundation. Drums and multiple hand percussion play along though very much in a simplistic supporting role. The song is supposed to represent a musical rendering of the process of extracting the sexual energy from rabbits in order to empower the Schn'rgls' secret weapon, the Negative Toe. (8.5/10)

4. "The Lament Of Pr. Frankenschn'rgl" (9:11) a slow, methodically-paced song with lots of space and lots of staccato notes produced in small, steadily paced packages from a wide variety of instruments including some from Oriental traditions. This one also has nicely arranged choral arrangements (sung in English!) professing the Schn'rgl military scientist's doubts, regrets, and worries. Such a simple and pleasant song, this in great contrast to the frenzy of multiplicities that was song #2. A great display of control and restraint--both in composition and especially in performance. Mathematically I'm sure this song would be quite interesting to study. The final 90 seconds begin to exude some of the insistence of the Zeuhl world in both vocals and drums and bowed bass--and finishing off with a little crazed cacophony--which is a perfect lead-in to the next song. (9/10)

5. "Skwitch" (14:47) opens with multiple instruments contributing to a low end dominated, ominous opening. At the two-minute mark things quiet down--as if the protagonists are trying to hide or be unnoticed--while retaining the creepy tension from the opening. At 4:10 we again switch tempo while the same delicate instrumental weave re- establishes itself--this time with hand percussion, harp and vibes providing the filler. At the end of the sixth minute the music drops out leaving some very sparsely populated guitar, harp, bass, and creepy trumpet hits while a creepy monster-like human voice vocalizes noises not unlike those of the trumpet. Well into the eighth minute, the horn solo becomes far more "normal"--jazz-like--but then it is suddenly submitted to some very odd under-water- like muting effects (elephantine) while the rest of the band, formerly quiet and reserved, begin to rise up and "swallow" the trumpet within their methodic tapestry. At 9:57 everything stops. Silence. Then very syncopatedly- spaced staccato hits from a variety of instruments gives the sound and melody a stark, almost "disappearing" feel. Horns and harp allow for some feeling of return to occur. Boisterous bass-end bursts seem to be on the verge of disrupting all flow of the base-line tapestry--until they all merge at the beginning of the thirteenth minute. The final two minutes seem to be telling the story of the monster's demise and death. Overall, this is a great mid-tempo song with frequent time changes and polyrhythmic weaving of the multiplicity of instruments. Something about the mood, melodies, and intricacies of this song make it my favorite--despite the fact that it's supposed to tell the story of the future destruction of one of my favorite places on Earth, la cath'drale de Strasbourg, by a cybernetic laboratory elephant. (9.5/10)

6. "El Pulpo" (3:19) oboe, guitar play out a sad melody over harp and bowed double bass before vibes and horns come in to present their antiphon of support. Then at 1:25, all music fades away. Empty space is then gradually invaded by low foghorn-like horn bursts while seaside sounds and human whistling and other pseudo animal sounds are disbursed throughout the soundscape. I guess it's supposed to be the cries of El Pulpo as he and his mother escape to South America by sea-going vessel. (4.5/5)

Five stars; definitely a masterpiece of modern progressive rock--though this album feels as if it belongs more on the Avant Garde/RIO spectrum than the Zeuhl they were associated with in their previous album. Great to have Pierre and company back! And mega-kudos to the engineering/production team! AMAZING sound reproduction!

 Schnörgl Attahk by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 54 ratings

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Schnörgl Attahk
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With a name like CAMEMBERT and the fact that they are from France you know GONG has to be an influence. I would say Frank Zappa comes across as even more of an influence when I listen to this. Lots of vibes and xylophone while the guitar brings Frank to mind at times. I mean some of these passages really come across as a homage to Frank's music. MAGMA is also an influence as we get a few passages that are clearly Zeuhl inspired. Besides the usual instruments and the ones I've mentioned already we get harp, trumpet, didgeridoo, tuba, bass trombone, tenor trombone and congas.

They are on the Altrock label and some Italians from that label help out as we get Zago from YUGEN adding guitar on one track along with two guys from SKE helping out. This was three years in the making and the reason I've been spinning this all week is because they have just recently released a brand new album called "Negative Toe" which is getting some rave reviews already. Man what a wacky science fiction concept this is even though this is an instrumental album. I can see how GONG inspired such a story(haha). A pretty cool story at that and other reviewers have touched on the concept.

"Infinicheese" is haunting and dark and headphones are a must in this experimental soundscape. Love this stuff as sounds start to pulse loudly as different sounds come and go. It blends into "Clacos Zero" where the same sound continues. Horns blast in a powerful way to end it.

It's almost funny the way it goes from this serious soundscape to all these vibes, xylophones and percussions with horns taking over on "Untung Untungan 2.0". Very Zappa like even the horns. Powerful and punchy sounds befoe it settles with bass before 2 minutes and builds. So good! Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in as it turns somewhat jazzy with electric piano, a beat and bass. Soon the horns come in blasting over top. A calm just before 6 minutes with picked guitar and harp as the bass and drums join in. It's building. Love those horns just before 7 minutes. A change to a strong Zappa vibe just before 9 minutes. It turns powerful just as it ends.

"Clacos 1: Notre Mere A Tous" features sounds that echo and this fits in well with those two short intro tracks as we get lots of atmosphere. Some picked guitar and horns late in this interesting soundscape. "El Ruotuav Ed Sram" is mellow with guitar and cymbals before we get a full sound rather quickly with horns, vibes and more. This really sounds like Zappa around 4 1/2 minutes. A calm before 6 minutes. It's building after 7 minutes. I'm so impressed with all of this. "Clacos 2: Die Experimente Von Dr. Frankenschnrgl" has these dramatic sounds and mad laughter like out of a movie, lots of horns too.

"Le Meurtrior Volant" starts off dramatically with a nod to Zeuhl. Dark with powerful outbursts and electric piano. Nice. The Zappa vibe takes over before 1 1/2 minutes but then it settles into a haunting mood with sounds coming and going. There's that Zappa sound again as contrasts continue. A lazy guitar solo arrives before 4 minutes surprisingly. It ends around 5 minutes. I like when it settles right down with sparse sounds as it drifts along with harp, drums and more. Horns arrive after 7 1/2 minutes blasting then an almost silent calm takes over around 8 minutes. More harp too then it kicks back in with a heavy rhythm. Nice.

Next is the closing four piece suite called "La Danse Du Chameau" and the first part is called "Batifolade". Uptempo guitar melodies to start but they are blown away by this Zeuhl army marching into battle. Horns just before a minute as the march continues. It will end at 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up with horns over top. Check out the guitar before 3 minutes that will continue to the end as it goes on and on.

"Soif!" has these dramatic outbursts that come and go. Horns start to blast as discordant piano joins in this avant soundscape. "La Tempete De Sable" opens with punchy sounds as it builds. I like that guitar. Horns eventually join in as well as those punchy sounds continue. It's more powerful around 2 1/2 minutes and the guitar sounds even better. The song starts to wind down before 3 1/2 minutes. Nice ending.

"Reveries Lubriques Sous Une Dune" has sparse guitar, a bass line and harp before that Zeuhl army arrives. It all stops late but for the bass line and guitar. Soon it's powerful to end it. "The Final Run" has guitar just like the previous section with powerful and dark atmospheres. Outbursts of power follow with percussion. Soon it picks up with a great sounding rhythm. Love the drums, percussion and bass with harp over top. It settles right down with percussion before 2 1/2 minutes. Soon horns and more join in. It turns more upbeat around 3 minutes. Some brief Zeuhl vocals before 4 1/2 minutes signals a change as it calms right down with a horn and a light beat to end it.

A must for those into adventerous music, I can only imagine how good the new one must be. Hopefully I will be able to let you know soon.

 Schnörgl Attahk by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 54 ratings

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Schnörgl Attahk
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars Great debut from French fusioneers Camembert. Obviously endebted in title to the pothead pixies, this album plays like an easy listening Frank Zappa record. Big Band riffs, xylophone runs, incessant tempo changes trademark the package. A fabulous record that's thrilling and easy listening all at the same time. If I ran a department store this record would be on repeat.

At times aggressive, this record is very surprising. The electric and acoustic guitar create a luxurious sonic palette which allow the other instruments to thrive. An extremely creative set, let's hope there's more coming out in the near future from these guys.

 Clacosmique by CAMEMBERT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.45 | 8 ratings

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Clacosmique
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The debut release from this French band and a forewarning of what to hit the scene on their 2011 album.

Camembert's statement of intent is to blow down the barriers between the genres. Perhaps that is so. But Clacosmique is a blend of trad jazz and Canterbury scene jazz like for example Pierre Moerlen's Gong. That and a great deal of funk. In this respect, they are pretty similar to their fellow countrymen Abus Dangereux. The use of untraditional instruments like vibraphone and xylophone gives me Abus Dangereux vibes aplenty. The use of harp as a solo instrument is also something I have never heard before. An experiement they pulls off. The music is also driven by a bass too which churn out most of the comp. Woodwinds, harp, guitars and other instruments floats on the top of the bass and the percussion. But the bass is the basis here from where all life is created.

The quality of the stuff is really good throughout. The music is a bit one dimensional though with not much breathing spaces inbetween the chunks of funky jazz thrown at us. But it is a very good debut from a band I hope will get a good long career. Bands like Camembert is very much needed in today's scene.

3.5 stars

 Schnörgl Attahk by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 54 ratings

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Schnörgl Attahk
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by maryes

3 stars If you like bands such as GONG, MAGMA, FROGG CAFÈ, ZAMLA MAMMAZ MANNA and FRANK ZAPPA, certainly will appreciate the French band CAMEMBERT, bur in my opinion their first and only studio work " Schnoergl Attahk ". seems to me a type of tribute to all above mentioned bands, due to how strong is the presence of this influences. This fact, not allows the creation of a "musical signature" or a "self-identity" by the band, which results in a lack of creativity. However, on the other hand, the disk is almost perfect in terms of arrangements and technical execution and only for this reason my rate is 3 stars !!!
 Schnörgl Attahk by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 54 ratings

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Schnörgl Attahk
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars When a band from France calls itself Camembert and names an album Schnorgl Attahk (with the obligatory umlaut over the "o"), you are going to expect some influence from two of France's most important groups: Gong and Magma. Indeed the influences of both are all over the place here, along with a strong Zappa influence as well. The Magma influence is most notable in the darker, moodier parts which usually have the rarely used wordless vocals. The Gong influence comes from both the spacey Daevid Allen lead Gong as well as the vibes-heavy Pierre Moerlen version of Gong. The Zappa influence is mainly from his mid-70s jazz-rock/hard rock hybrid era but also from his big band era just before that.

The sound of the music is jazzy and spacey and slightly Zeuhlish. In addition to the vibes there is also a lot of harp used on this album. The parts that sound the least like Zappa/Magma/Gong incorporate some acoustic guitar. The mastering of the album is sort of on the loud side but I doubt that is the fault of the members themselves who do a great job performing this music (but don't expect any drumming as good as Moerlen). There does not appear to be any keyboards here, just guitar / drums / bass / horns / vibes / harp. This is the groups first album, having released an EP previously. There are shorter interludes between the longer tracks on the album. Some of these interludes are the spaciest and most Zeuhl sounding parts of the album.

The album opens with "Infinicheese" (ha!), a spacey intro which has some creepy Zeuhl like vocals. "Untung Untungan" is the first major song which sounds like a mix of Zappa and post-Allen Gong. Goes into a Zappa style reggae vamp near the end. "El Ruotuav Ed Sram" is more Zappa and Gong inspired jazz-rock. Some slap-bass in this track. Gets dissonant before getting louder at the end. "Le Meurtrier Volant" starts out on a darker Magma note. Gets more Zappa in serious instrumental mode. A slow-paced blues-rock groove in the middle. Nice chorused guitar during the second half, before it gets louder and more intense.

The 5-part "La Danse du Chameau" closes the album. Part one "Batifolade" features some chanting. Musically it is a mix of jazzier Magma, fusion Gong and Zappa's horns. Some Santana style percussion later on. Part three "La Tempete De Sable" starts off sounding unique: some kind of avant-jazz-rock. Then it gets more Zappa sounding. Towards the end is slightly Magma sounding before it switches to a laid-back groove. Part five "The Final Run" starts off like a cross between Magma and Santana then switches to more of a Zeuhl groove with a harp solo. During the secong half it gets more festive and Latin American sounding.

Being a big fan of Zappa, Magma and Gong I would rather listen to those three than this. For those of you interested in what a combination of the three would sound like, this would be right up your alley. It's an enjoyable and fairly consistent album but it wears it's influences on it's sleeve. The use of harp and acoustic guitar stands out and is a nice touch. Not one of the best releases of the year but nowhere near the worst. I give this a 3.5 but will round it down to 3 stars.

 Schnörgl Attahk by CAMEMBERT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.88 | 54 ratings

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Schnörgl Attahk
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Wow! AltrOck Productions just can't miss! Yugen, Ciccada, SKE, Kurai, and now Camembert! Music is alive and well, people! And with great production all around! Refreshing, mesmerizing and, in the case of Schnörgl Attahk, humorous and upbeat. Horns, harps and tuned percussion all jamming with and off of one another! This is one group I want to see live! Haven't been back to Strasbourg since 1979 but, who knows? Maybe in the next couple of years?!

The transitional songs ("Clacos Zéro," Clacos 1" et "Clacos 2") are excellent (and often quite funny!) but the big monsters [e.g. "Untung Untungen" (10/10), "El ruotuav ed sraM" (10/10), et "Le meurtrier volant" (9/10)] are incroyable! I listen to "Untung" and "ruotuav" (Vulture from Mars) over and over and find my body and spirit reacting quite the same way I did upon first hearing MAGMA's MDK a few years ago: avec une danse joyeuse, sauvage et frénétique! It is wonderful! The pause at the halfway mark in "Untung" is so startling and such a letdown, yet it's so exciting when the music returns and builds and builds, jelling and spiraling its way in perfect collaboration up and then down to a stop--it's just like a rollercoaster ride! And one can just feel the morose Poe-like tension of "Le meurtrier."

Unfortunately, the 5-part suite which ends the album, entitled "La danse du Chameau" (7/10) doesn't succeed in conveying or evoking this same response. (Plodding like the camel for which it is named, the perfect harmony of "The Vulture of Mars" and "Le meurtrier volant" seems long past.) In the vein of its inspirateur, GONG, the band puts forth some jazzy jams, but, also like GONG, IMHO, the jamming seems a bit pointless--or ecstatic and masturbatory--depending on one's psycho-neuro-chemical state. For some reason, the band seems to have mostly abandoned the wonderful collective weaves of the amazing first 30 minutes of the album. Too bad. That was quite a ride! 4.5 stars rated up for its sheer freshness, enjoyability, and perfect sound production of its compositions.

 Clacosmique by CAMEMBERT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.45 | 8 ratings

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Clacosmique
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Formed in 2005 in Strasbourg,Camembert are a Jazz/Avant/Zeuhl/Prog band led by bassist Pierre Wawrzyniak, guitarist Vincent Sexauer and drummer Philémon Walter.As time went by, additional musicians joined the band to form an unusual seven-piece act with trumpets,trombones,harps,vibraphones and xylophones among the usual rock instrumentation.The band with a personal style of its own released a debut-EP in 2009,entitled ''Clacosmique''.

An all instrumental affair,''Clacosmique'' balances dangerously between Brass Rock,Jazz-Rock and KING CRIMSON-esque Progressive Rock with strong elements from World Music.The EP is highlighted by the two extended instrumental compositions ''Untung Untungan'' and ''Le vautour de Mars'' clocking at over 10 minutes,where the big time brass section is blended harmonically with complicated electric passages and mellower moments with a folkier edge.The use of xylophones,harps and vibraphones is heavy but always carefully executed,while the guitar work of Sexauer is trully interesting.There are also a couple of very short introductions to the longer pieces of the album,along with the two closing compositions,which can be regarded as one. ''Bernard l'ermite'' parts 1 & 2 do not differ much than the two long instrumentals,highly-executed Jazz-Rock with strong brass instrumentation,maybe a bit more melodic at the softer parts,but still musically challenging and rich.

For fans of Jazz-Rock,Avant-Prog and Zeuhl this album will end up among their premier preferences.Nice musicianship with the tracks though sounding a bit similar but certainly the quality is high.Recommended.

 Clacosmique by CAMEMBERT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
3.45 | 8 ratings

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Clacosmique
Camembert Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Alucard
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Excellent debut by Camembert, a new French band from Strasbourg. The 6 track EP (over 30 minutes) is crammed with good music, the influences ranging from Zappa, Gentle Giant, Pierre Moerlen's Gong to Henry Cow and Billy Cobham. Apart from guitar (electric & acoustic), bass, drums, tuned percussion (vibra-& xylophone) and a brass section the band plays some rather unusual instruments like didgeridoo, harp and the wonderful too seldom played bass-trombone! Let's see the menu:

Clacos O, a short spacy intro....leads into Untung Untungan, maybe the highlight of the EP, with eleven minutes of polyrhythmic galore featuring xylophone work à la Ruth Underwood and a twisted brass section in the tradition of the Grand Wazoo, plus elaborated solos for guitar, harp and a special mention for the big fat bass-trombone lines, my absolute favourite instrument on this record! ...an echo bass line starts the interlude Glacos 1 Notre mère a tous, a short quiet piece with influences from Gentle Giant and Gong, again with excellent tuned percussion arrangements and some acoustic guitar and didgeridoo. The second main dish (10:23) is Le vautour de mars, the mars vulture, a funky bird that would not have been out of place on Billy Cobham's Crosscurrents, an excellent funky groove composition with monster brass on top, featuring great solos for guitar, harp, trombone and trumpet and a nice triologue between the guitar, muted trumpet and muted trombone in Wazoo territory. The last two-part composition, Bernard l'ermite, starts as a relaxed groove with drums and brass and builds up tention while the vibraphone plays a short repetitive motive against the brass section followed by an UncleMeatish percussion theme and a Zappaish guitar solo. The second part builds up into a polyrhythmic frenzy, alternating with a nice slower theme for bass-trombone and whistling, a theme which could have occured in a Sergio Leone western.

An absolutely stunning debut for Camembert : the musicianship and quality of the compositions are high and mature. My only concern : some passages (mainly in the Mars Vulture) are a little too predictable and I'd wish that the band gets a little crazier  in the future and leaves the (exellent) influences behind.

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

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