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MOTIS

Prog Folk • France


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Motis biography
Motis is the vehicle for French artist Emmanuel Tissot (in fact it?s an anagram of his name), a well-schooled multi-instrumentalist who carved his craft in various prog and traditional bands in France. With a profound appreciation for French medieval traditions, combined with the progressive elements ushered in by the legendary Ange (with whom Motis has had numerous interfaces), the new century was the platform to record some brilliant material, a further take on Malicorne , another legendary French/Breton band.
Motis first 2 unreleased albums are one-man affairs (?A Chacun son Graal? 2000 and ?La Fête des Fous? 2001). Together with drummer Rémy Diaz and assorted guest musicians, they recorded in 2004, the exciting ?Prince des Hauteurs? and in 2007, the magical ?L?Homme-Loup?. Motis handles all the vocals with an evocative delivery, full of drama and theatrics (not far removed from Ange?s Christian Décamps) as well as supplying intricate guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, spinet, synthesizer, mellotron, bass and Taurus pedals, while Diaz adds subtle drumming and exotic percussion. The music is clearly a throwback to the Middle Ages, full of lush emotions and yet fueled by modern arrangements and a clear production. A fine modern day companion to Ange?s 1973 classic ?Au Delà du Délire?

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Live CrescendoLive Crescendo
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Musea Parallele/Musea 2007
Audio CD$10.18
$32.96 (used)

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MOTIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
A Chacun son Graal
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
La Fete des Fous
2001
3.64 | 6 ratings
Le Prince des Hauteurs
2004
4.44 | 10 ratings
L'Homme-Loup
2007
4.04 | 6 ratings
Ripaille
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Josquin Messonnier
2014

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Premiere Veillee
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dansons
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
La Dame et le Dragon
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Crescendo
2007

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

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

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

MOTIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Le Prince des Hauteurs by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.64 | 6 ratings

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Le Prince des Hauteurs
Motis Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Motis is a French singer/songwriter, who decided to pursue a solo career after his experience as a member of various small bands.With drummer Remy Diaz he formed a Folk duo, influenced by Celtic, World and Rock music.They released together a few live and studio independent albums from 2000 to 2004.This was the breakthrough year for them.They were already joined by guitarist/flutist Florent Tissot and shared the same stage with Ange.Christian Decamps promoted the band through an Ange fanzine and Motis signed a deal with Musea's sublabel Musea Parallele, which released the album ''Prince des hauteurs'' in 2004.

With this release Motis' sound became more polished, diverse and progressive, adding more prominent electric parts and keyboards in their style, obviously influenced by the folky side of ANGE.Still Motis maintains a song-based style propably closer to the approach of his first albums with plenty of lyrics, but his poetic voice is more than welcome.However there is a great balance between the folky side of the band and the new additions like the electric guitars and the impressive Mellotron waves.The songs are short but contain plenty of well-crafted themes, short instrumental breaks and even 70's symphonic references, mixing the delicacy of French Folk with the grandiosity of Progressive Rock.The acoustic guitars are nicely blended with the vintage keyboards, the archaic flute drives and the melodic electric guitars, while the album is filled with beautiful and warm singing lines.

There is enough rock content in ''Prince des hauteurs'' to consider it as a great Progressive/Folk Rock release.The ability of the trio to change its sound from sensitive folk stylings to dramatic proggy soundscapes is the greatest reason to purchase the album and have eventually a listen to Motis.Warmly recommended.

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 L'Homme-Loup by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.44 | 10 ratings

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L'Homme-Loup
Motis Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Impeccably produced Breton folk rock with well placed progressive keyboard flourishes and sensible pace changes form the essence of MOTIS on this their fourth studio album. The vocals suggest an underclassman's attendance at the Christian Descamps' school of the emotionally overwrought, while the picked instrumentation, flutes, and airs evoke last summer's visit to a European castle fair without the dankness.

The opening and closing cuts are among the strongest, both concerning themselves with the title theme of the "wolf man" or "werewolf" in folklore. But "La Dame et le Dragon" is more transfixing thanks to the dramatic delivery, flutes and organs. "Les Normands" accelerates the pace and exploits the organ to a greater degree in a killer riff that simply rocks. "P'tit Louis" is highlighted by a sparkling blend of mellotron, mandolin and feverishly tickled guitars, while "L'Artaban" again exemplifies the group's way with shifting tempos cleverly yet authentically, weaving in all manner of sung and played interludes. Even without the keyboards this would be spot on progressive on that basis alone.

Unlike "Prince Des Hauteurs", this disk does contain several tracks of minimal interest, which occur in succession - "La Trahison" lacks any sort of denouement clamored for by its 7 minute running length, and L'Enchanteur" and "L'hermite" are suprisingly languid, with even the rare emergence of synthesizer failing to salvage the latter as it winds down. I do, however, enjoy tunes like "Madrigal" that suggest, well, a certain style of music yet deliver more of a savoir faire swing simultaneously suggestive of les Chansonniers of Quebec..

Without sounding remotely self conscious, "L'Homme Loup" manages to virtually quantify timeless tastefulness and relevance independent of its substantial lyrical qualities. Not quite the legendary stuff of its namesake, it's no sheep in werewolf's clothing.

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 Ripaille by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.04 | 6 ratings

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Ripaille
Motis Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Motis (aka Emmanuel Tissot) returns with a follow up to the miraculously medieval symphonic rock that characterized the previous 2007 "L'Homme-Loup" with this scintillating effort. While firmly entrenched in the French "chanson" tradition reliving old folk tales and as always, enveloping the mystical words with heady synths, mellifluous mellotrons , electric bouzouki (yes!) and Hammond organ. The drums are handled by the effervescent Tony Carvalho. The subject matter is straightforward adaptations of historical events, everything from Robin Hood, Cardinal Richelieu, Prince of Condé, Brendan King of Ireland and Dagobert King of France to dungeons, blacksmiths and unicorns. Motis adorns each chapter with passionate vocals, theatrical like only the Gauls can ( Hello Christian Decamps!), flushing the aura forever forward into the mind. Motis sings like a whirling dervish at times, frenetic and operatic. While understanding the language certainly helps in one's enjoyment, the music vibrates with unmitigated abandon, alternating soft dreamy passages with robust exhortations complete with some nice heavy organ flurries. Comtois Rends-Toi, Robin Hood, Le Voyage de Brendan, Ripaille, Dagobert and La Licorne are all rippers while Le Forgeron (the blacksmith) and L'Ancien are more subtle and lilting. Finally, L'Envolée is an all-instrumental rampage that really shows off the proggy tendencies succinctly. Whereas L'Homme-Loup was perhaps more diversified, Ripaille proposes a more concise effort that will require repeated listens to heighten its impact.

Kudos to an artist that has managed to carve out an own personal style, like a modern day troubadour, respectful of his cultural heritage and yet progressing musically in an unusually charming package. The quality of the penmanship and its vocal delivery are truly astounding.. French speakers need this in their collection, just start with L'Homme-Loup. 4.5 Raconteurs

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 Le Prince des Hauteurs by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.64 | 6 ratings

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Le Prince des Hauteurs
Motis Prog Folk

Review by progadicto

4 stars French prog folk has an unique magic based on a constant sense of darkness and melancholic moments which set the listener into floating worlds. And Motis fill completely this needing with this 11 songs leaded by acoustic string sections and a superb work on vocals.

Even when folk arrangements are primordial on this album (and Motis discography), symphonic prog is present as a necessary background to fill all the spaces in this beautiful record that doesn't loose his power and energy in almost 50 minutes of songs cover by beautiful melodies, epical moments and some awsome symph prog sections which turns this album into a hidden jewel that deserves to be discovered... Not far away from a masterpiece...

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 Le Prince des Hauteurs by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.64 | 6 ratings

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Le Prince des Hauteurs
Motis Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars French prog in a large measure, and French popular music in general, can tend to the theatrical if not histrionic, which may be a bounty or bane depending on one's disposition and/or mood of the moment. But the French are also the masters of a debonair cool, and artists from this school exude a coy and sophisticated charm. The product may not be danceable in musculoskeletal terms, but can evoke a candlelit festival in one's mind's eye with the sort of gentle swaying of serotonin soaked neurons that could put Eli Lilly out of business. Passing unnoticed for days, weeks, months or years, they suddenly "click" and one is irrevocably smitten. MOTIS is such a formation.

While the style here is the Breton variant of celtic rock, the progressive adjective can be applied as readily as folk, jazz, and even swing. It is lurking wherever the accompanying instrumentation is permitted a brief rise to the fore, in the ethereal keyboard touches, the flute interludes, the time shifts within and between, the deft connection of pieces, and the crystalline perfectionism of the production.

The opener, "Roman le Renard", is a case in point, encapsulating 2 songs in one that are clearly meant to be joined at the hip. "Chanson a Boire" begins ominously before becoming a jazz tinged ode to drinking. The reggae fix of "Le Rire et L'Epee" is fitted with mandolin and mellotron as it morphs from a more traditional islands groove to a breathless Paris night club rant without batting an eye. L'Eveil des Gargoules" is a macabre symphonic piece with celtic and acoustic underpinnings until the frenetic lead guitar muscles in.

These highlights notwithstanding, essentially every track offers a refreshing aural treat, an embarrassment of riches if you acknowledge the wondrous diversity of the progressive diaspora. A genre of such breadth cannot be limited to one peak, and this debut by Motis attains a princely height of its own.

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 L'Homme-Loup by MOTIS album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.44 | 10 ratings

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L'Homme-Loup
Motis Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars I always wondered why I seem to relate to all things medieval, fascinated by the couture, the castles, the heraldry and those magical "chansons de geste" that permeated my musical and historical upbringing, a bleak time when chivalry, honor and hopeless passion collided with stark brutality, disease and endless blood letting. Perhaps because I can relate to my own family's 7o0 years of gentrified Hungarian existence and like some childlike fantasy, the inquisitive mind travels back to those "Dark Ages" with fascination. While always a prog rocker, I was still a devout sucker for lute, mandolin, zither, cimbalom, krumhorn, oboe, bassoon, dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy and various pipes. My first read literary works were Rabelais, Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, Dante and Villon, where the Quest for the Holy Grail, the Chanson de Roland and the Canterbury Tales whetted my alarmed curiosity. So it should come as no surprise that everything from Malicorne, Gentle Giant, Gryphon, Loreena McKennitt, Dao Dezi, Alan Stivell, Runrig to Iona, Shine Dion and Seven Reizh always manages to capture my imagination. Recently albums by The Morrigan, Gian Castello, Bededeum and even Blackmore's Night have provided unlimited hours of audio pleasure. Of course, understanding the French lyrics go only so far as the language holds no mysteries for me, forever enchanted by the slippery pronunciations. Perhaps the shut-eyed images of misty forts, towering turrets, jongleurs, troubadours and raconteurs, torch-lit banquets where wine, hydromel and roasted meats are what overpower the senses. A definition of medieval prog is perhaps necessary here: "Troubadour is the generic term for poets and minstrels who flourished in southern France and in Northern Italy from the 11th through the 13th centuries. Called trouvères in northern France and meistersingers in Germany, these artists elevated storytelling as an art, and often entertained huge crowds at fairs, weddings and other medieval celebrations. During this time, works from medieval monks had become tired. The public wasn't as interested in hymns, chronicles and treatises penned in Medieval Latin. These new stories were sang, while music was played on strange, new musical instruments, brought back to Western Europe from the Crusades. Verses became quite complex in style and ranged in topics from satire, love, and politics, to debates, laments and spinning songs. French lords wanted to hear tales of bravery about their own countrymen, and ladies were being swept away with epic love poems, as they practiced the rituals of Courtly Love. Professional singers who performed work penned by a troubadour were called jongleurs, and they might be accompanied by ioculators (jesters) and ystriones (actors). Minstrels were found in every social class, with wealthy or noble troubadours traveling like royalty from town to town. "(Quote taken from medieval-life.net). Motis (Emmanuel Tissot) is a one-man, one name virtuoso handling passionate vocals like a sprightly minstrel, highly skilled on both guitar and an assortment of keyboards including mellotron and synthesizer while helped out by drummer Rémy Diaz, a deft percussor who keeps things bubbly at all times and Florent Tissot on flute, vocals and electric guitar. Their second album "L'Homme Loup" is a fantastic voyage through time, kicking off with the rollicking spirited romp "Isengrin", a tale carpeted with mellotron washes flowing through the dramatic vocals that certainly recall the master, Christian Decamps of Ange. You can almost here the werewolf ("Garolou") howling in the bog, a spooky voyage into the gloomy past. P'Tit Louis" is a highlight track here, full of ribald cockiness, veering towards lewdly sexual intonations that recall Ange's more explicit lyrics ("Reveille-Toi" on Guet-Apens), conducted by a sprightly mandolin caressed by soft waves of mellotron and ticky-tock percussions while Motis intones carnal pleasures vividly expressed = "She said that life was beautiful just before biting the pillows" . "L'Ermite"(the Hermit) is another classic piece that has a dreamy epic qualities reinforced by the subtle keyboard work, a cool organ expression that breathes even more when the slithering synthesizer enters the fray, stamping solid symphonic credentials on the proceedings. The fabulous "La Dame et le Dragon"(The Lady & the Dragon) is straight out of Middle Ages tradition, a slow lumbering medieval dirge that recounts Teutonic knights with clanging armor, hapless damsels in distress and a raging dragon that knows no fear. Flute and passionate vocals lead the courageous charge into the beast's fire. "Les Normands" is a bouncy organ-led affair that recounts the brutal history of the Norse conquerors of France and later Britain, a story of bellicose warriors who feared no one in their path of conquest. Earth, wind and fire in musical form, as if a minstrel was entertaining at a banquet. The grandiose "La Trahison" (Duplicity) is the 7 minute medieval epic that is guided by a supremely adroit tale evoking the cruelty of hypocrisy, perfidy and guile. The magical flute waves the flag of serenity in mortal combat with the blaring trumpet of despair, while Motis emotes in that classic theatrical French prog style some of us adore (obviously knowledge of the tongue helps). The raspy organ makes a stunning introduction, egging the forlorn trumpet solo along in a true moment of magic with the drummer filling in supremely. "L'Enchanteur" recalls that famed personage Merlin, a prime source of progressive inspiration, the magician/wizard/alchemist remains a mystery that still fuels passions today. Motis proves that his emotional vocal delivery is world class, a mellifluous storyteller that emotes, evokes and chokes whenever the lyrics call for some depth and emotion. His ability to sugarcoat the arrangements with classic keyboard ornamentations make the whole even more palatable to the progfan. "Allons mes Compagnons"(Hey my Companions) is an anti- war ditty that underlines the savagery of warfare especially at a time when it was bloodiest, where slicing, spearing, decapitating and eviscerating were the norm. The rolling drums, the mandolin and the shrieking violin all conspire here to strike a painful chord. "L'Artaban" is another major highlight, a disturbing expedition into the medieval depictions of the devil (another major star in those heady times), a breathtaking scream for help as the horned beast infuses dread and fear in all those whom he faces. "Madrigal" has a shrewd violin leading the way, a somewhat pastoral musical journey from fort to fort, as the jovial troubadour hones his craft, encountering pagan lords and orgiastic feasts, serenading the moon with tales of indecent love, hopeless bravery and devious plots. The subtle use of inspired violin underlines the theme, breathing life into the mist of history. The title track (the Man-Wolf) concludes this masterpiece of medieval prog on a lugubrious note, an eerie foray into the frightening world of mystical trances and spells, where brave princes can be cast into horrible monsters, half men, half beast by the witchy lady of the woods. From the Motis website, it is apparent that their live concerts are amazing affairs, where costumes, ancient instruments and evocative stories are the norm, an escape into the dark past, a bloodthirsty era that also knew romance, chivalry and nobility. We still have the evil tendencies but where have the honorable ones gone? An absolute must for progfolk fans. 5 Windswept Avalons

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Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition.

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