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Eclectic Prog • France

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Centenaire biography

CENTENAIRE were formed in Paris in 2006. Its four members - Damien Mingus, Aurélien Potier, Orval Carlos Sibelius, Stephane Laporte - gathered together from various music spectra. They wanted to do a form of chamber folk but incidentally,
the band evolved into something different: the folk component is prevalent, but there are also traces of indie rock and post rock. The sound could be described as homogeneous folk-based meditative build-up, not so different from an average post-rock outfit, plus atmospheres of chamber ensemble and theatrical whimsy, often with dark complexion. However a presence of unusual instruments (even toys) is adding a counter-balance to their music. The bandmembers themselves described sound on their debut as a mixture of YO LA TENGO and Canterbury scene.

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3.37 | 10 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
2 - The Enemy

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Centenaire by CENTENAIRE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.37 | 10 ratings

Centenaire Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The amazing city of Paris offers again a uniqe band, a company of young musicians who formed Centenaire in January 2006.These were all multi-instrumentalists, Damien Mingus, Aurélien Potier, Axel Monneau (aka Orval Carlos Sibelius) and Stéphane Laporte.The debut of the group was recorded for the short-lived independent label Chief Inspector and it was released in 2008.

Being fans of Folk music as well as more contemporary stylings, the Centenaire quartet tried to blend two different worlds in a unique and personal amalgam of delicate, trippy musicianship, where light electric textures meet with the acoustic, almost Medieval side of music.The result is elegant, artistic and charming, despite the obvious lack of dynamics.The huge instrumental armour the band uses, including cellos, metallophone, clarinet, melodica and organ, helps the overall style sounding rich and harmonic.The overall atmosphere has a light Post Rock vibe, however some slight GENESIS and GENTLE GIANT inspirations are also detectable, especially in the moments where organ and acoustic guitars dominate the music along with the usually polyphonic vocal arrangements.The music is far from complex, but the intensity and alternation between the instruments offer very dense and elaborate textures with some good melodies and dreamy, rural soundscapes as a result.The electric passages are somewhere between the softer KING CRIMSON vibes and the modern Post Rock scene of ambiental and atmospheric moves, though the compositions constantly change between this kind of stuff and warm, folk-tinged journeys of another age.

The idea of the group was definitely succesful, even more the music is easy-listening and very sensitive, sometimes with a Soundtrack vibe of a retro movie.Warmly recommended to fans of atmospheric and mellow music adventures.

 Centenaire by CENTENAIRE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.37 | 10 ratings

Centenaire Eclectic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars Quirky, I still wonder about this word. So fitting word, so fitting genre - Eclectic. They're synonyms. Difficult to categorize, hard task to talk (write) about, but when done right, it's also very interesting album to listen.

This album basically does the right thing, it's beautiful, but too simple for me. And also soon began to be quite tiring listening, because this music is too same. Using same principles over and over again, unfortunately. Using techniques that are targeted to someone else. Don't take me bad, this music can be lovely at times, but there are also parts that fails to please. And because this is why a lot of this music should be about, then we have a problem.

This music can also remind soft Post Rock combined with quiet parts of Golden (60's) Miles Davis era (this feeling is supported by clarinet in The Dress). And if there is one thing for sure, it's ending of this album, let's say last 4 songs they're strong exactly as the name of very last one, Strong.

4(-), but only because my girl told me so and threatened me with knife (on my throat, sigh), it's Italian friendship.

 Centenaire by CENTENAIRE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.37 | 10 ratings

Centenaire Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Centenaire is one of the new French bands who delivers quirky progressive music....... also called Eclectic Prog.

This, their debut album is eclectic prog in it's most true sense. The music is highly influenced by the likes of Gentle Giant. It is also influenced by jazz and the Canterbury scene. Caravan and Egg springs to mind. Add the likes of Radiohead too and you get the picture. .......Sort of. The music is difficult to describe, to say at least.

I think the term which best applies is chamber-rock. Centenaire is a chamber orchestra. The music is pretty understated. The vocals is prominent. The orchestration is not dense. In short; the music is rooted in both chamber music and jazz.

The quality is very good throughout. This album even have a two and a half minutes piece of excellent art in the form of the song Take Me Home. This song is very catchy and quirky at the same time. The rest of the songs is not as good. But this album is still a very good album. Some more identity would had been good though. It is a pity that this album is not more known as it is because I think fans of eclectic prog really would like this album. I think Centenaire have a lot of talents, based on this album. Keep an eye on them.

3.5 stars

Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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