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SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND

Eclectic Prog • France


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Sébastien Gramond biography
SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND is a French musician born in 1974. The scope of his musical work is enormous - he started playing violin at the age of 6, switched to the drums, been self-taught on guitar, bass and keyboards (he's also singing). In the late 80's, he started performing hard rock/heavy music in the vein of AC/DC. However, in the 90's he expanded his musical horizons, and he started incorporating various shades of progressive rock in his musical solo output (sometimes with his trio in various incarnation, sometimes as a soloist playing all instruments). Aside his solo career - which is astounding in it's quantity as well as diversity, he has been active as a session musician, producer, composer and arranger in styles varying from hip-hop, to experimental jazz, to Zeuhl. He is arguably best known in prog rock circles as a member of 4/3 DE TRIO.




Moris Mateljan, 2010.

Sources:
www.welcomerecords.com
myspace.com/sebastiengramond

Sébastien Gramond official website

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SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND discography


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

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Trip
1991
2.00 | 1 ratings
Pell Mell
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sébastien Gramond's One Man Show
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
Brain Food
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Again and Forever
1993
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Rights Of Spring
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
Space Chrono
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Teardrops
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Blow Your Mind
1995
3.00 | 1 ratings
Schadelijk
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
Seules les pierres n'oublient jamais
1997
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mindergiftig
1997
3.90 | 2 ratings
Song From The Dead
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Conceptual Experimentations
1998
1.00 | 1 ratings
Words & Music For Supermarket Elevators
1999
2.00 | 1 ratings
Cosmic Line Wayfaring
1999
1.00 | 1 ratings
Pluck Up The Rules
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Apothesis
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
Inside Out
2000
3.00 | 1 ratings
VS3
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
51
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sans Les Dents
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
Neo Classicalien Music
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
Virtual Tragedy
2001
3.00 | 2 ratings
Whatever I Play, You Won't Listen
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
Outrunner
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Welcome to the 21st Century
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
LXI
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
LXIV
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
A Sacris
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hippo Crisis
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Chicken Pox
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Bankruptcy
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Virtual Fantasy
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Le Carnaval de l'Apocalypse
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Body Control
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Prelude á L'Agonie D'Un Fauve
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wasted Youth
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Grey Gorilla Tea-Bow
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
On The Way To Roots Land
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Back To Roots Land
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Roots Land Again
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Roots Land Symphony
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Paranorama
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
82
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
83
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
84
2005
2.00 | 1 ratings
87
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
La Revanche des Poneys Morts
2006
3.95 | 2 ratings
My Favorite Train
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Symphonie Virtuelle N°9
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Symphonie Consternate
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Beware Of The God
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
90
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sybellin, With Few Tracks That Didn't Make It On Previous Albums
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Pictures Of A Still Life
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Secret Meaning
2008
3.00 | 1 ratings
Punk Jazz Symphony
2008
1.00 | 1 ratings
Rock 'n' Roll Express
2008
3.90 | 2 ratings
Anything Around
2008
3.90 | 2 ratings
It's A Beautiful Death
2009
2.00 | 1 ratings
Mission 2010, Rendez-vous au temple
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Masterpiece of Shit
2010

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

2.00 | 1 ratings
Teardrops Live
1995
1.00 | 1 ratings
Welcome Back To The Sebenties With The Gramonster Show
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Reincarnations
2009

SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
More Homeworks and other cheap recordings from the 90's
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sebtronics : An Initiation to the Electronic Music of S?bastien Gramond
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Homeworks Vol. 1 - 2001-2002
2002
2.10 | 2 ratings
Homeworks Vol. 3, 2004
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Homeworks Vol. 2 - 2002-2004
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Homeworks Vol. 4 - 2005-2007
2007

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

SÉBASTIEN GRAMOND Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 84 by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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84
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars '84' - Sébastien Gramond (5/10)

Although Sébastien Gramond's 'numbered' albums may seem even based on their uninspired names that they wouldn't offer much to the French multi-instrumentalist's discography. However, as this album's predecessor '83' proved quite clearly, some really good stuff can be heard on these, despite the fact that there isn't much put into the presentation of these works. While '83' was a rather solemn ambient soundtrack album, '84' takes things in a very opposite direction, going down the route of straightforward, slightly proggy hard rock. Although the problematic issues throughout the album make little effort to hide themselves, Sébastien Gramond has a decent bunch of rocking songs here, certainly worth a listen or two before the album's weaknesses begin getting too noticeable.

In true hard rock tradition, many of the songs here are about sexual relations. 'Sexual Tourist' makes its subject matter clear from the title alone, while other pithy tunes here like 'Seek My Duck' obviously make grand efforts to avoid the censorship rats. In terms of sound though, things are generally maintained in a realm of riff-based classic rock inspired tracks, with licks aplenty. The guitars crank the volume, and deliver enough force to drive the decent songwriting, but at the heavy cost of sound quality. It is the sound quality which turns out to be '84's biggest issue. While it is clear Gramond is taking pre-existing hard rock tricks of volume amplification to heart, it ends up resulting in an album that feels muddier and more crowded than most of his other records.

The songwriting is rather simple, with the exception of a few moments where the time signatures are swept up a bit. A decent album to put on in the background, although there is not much originality to warrant the rather punitive production.

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 83 by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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83
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars '83' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

When it comes to the 'numbered' albums of Sébastien Gramond's discography, I usually haven't set my expectations particularly high. Usually, I end up assuming that these albums were quick one-off projects of Gramond's, just to keep his incredibly prolific rate of record making up. To my pleasant surprise though, '83' dispels this assumption by delivering one of the more heartfelt albums I have heard by Gramond. Although the music is plagued by execution issues which really hurt the overall product, this is quite possibly the most sombre and melancholic album the Frenchman has ever come out with.

Things here are driven almost entirely by keyboards, be they set to sound like a string orchestration, or even just a piano. Although there is ample room for Gramond to do his necessary improvised soloing grooves within the first very long opener, there is a large amount of the music here which feels very intentionally composed, and it really works to his benefit. Especially with track titles like 'Auschwitz 19XX', one might imagine that the subject matter here is quite a bit more depressing than what might typically be expected from the music of this quirky artist. While the music here is entirely instrumental though, the mood gets through clearly.

This could very well have been called the 'Soundtrack Album'; each track here feels as if it could very well score a video game or film. The tracks here generally lack identity or memorable melodies to them, but they do create a powerful atmosphere even just through Gramond's use of keyboards. Of course, the keyboard work here that tries to sound like violins and other string arrangements makes the album sound fake in its execution, even though there are subtle crescendos in the keyboard presentation to give it a nicer feel.

'83' is quite a pleasant record though, a fine record for sad ambiance, despite its pronounced flaws.

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 Symphonie Consternate by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Symphonie Consternate
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Symphonie Consternate' - Sébastien Gramond (5/10)

The eccentricity still runs deep on French multi-instrumentalist Sébastien Gramond's eighth 'virtual symphony.' An avid composer by any standard, Gramond tends to cross through a great many genres even over the course of a single album. Despite giving the initial impression that this is solely a classical album, Gramond gives quite a surprise around the halfway point. Although 'Symphonie Consternate' has some interesting twists and turns however, it does so at the total loss of coherence, and due to some preexisting weaknesses in the formula.

As anyone who has heard a neoclassical album from Gramond before knows, the orchestrations are not those of real instruments, but rather a computer program that cheaply imitates the sounds. While I have usually appreciated Sébastien Gramond's classical work on a compositional level, it almost always ruined the musical experience for me, leaving only a couple of times where the tinny, mechanical feel actually worked in its favour. Here, things sound a little better than usual, but it would not take any brand of audiophile to understand that it is a computer program they are listening to. Even reprising some works by such artists as Igor Stravinsky, the classical work might have the potential, but it alway lacks the medium.

About halfway through, it seems like Sébastien Gramond gets tired with neoclassical orchestration, so he decides to flip the music on its side and go down the route of dance music and hip-hop. Yes, about as random a change as anything someone is going to hear, but the dance tracks here actually turn out fairly well. Although it does get a little silly to have samples of a generic rapper talking about the 'west side' on an album written by a long- haired French hippie, it is an interesting experiment by the man that would be cool to hear some more of on future records.

A very hit-or-miss album, but it has some interesting charms to it.

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 Masterpiece of Shit by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Masterpiece of Shit
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Masterpiece Of Shit' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

Especially when compared to the earlier albums that Gramond was putting forth even five years before the release of 'Masterpiece Of Shit', an entire world of development and improvement can be heard. While I have been a fan of Sébastien Gramond's even with his earliest available material with 'Trip' and 'Pell Mell', I have noticed that the general quality of his albums seems to ebb and flow, releasing a batch of records that sound great, then proceeding to metaphorically '[&*!#]' on those ones with material that does not even come close to fulfilling Gramond's potential as an artist.

Even more recent bouts from this artist like the abysmal 'Rock n' Roll Train' have proved to let me down as a listener and fan. But there has been a trend over the course of years where his skills as a recording artist have quite audibly been touched up as time goes on. 'Masterpiece Of Shit' is clearly a more involved album from Gramond; everything from the humorous artwork to more graceful sense of album flow and production tends to suggest that while everything here is still tongue-in-cheek, Gramond now sets out to release quality over quantity. While still being far from my favourite album by Sébastien, 'Masterpiece Of Shit' excites me to hear what the man might be doing in 2011 and beyond.

Opening with a song that almost approaches the eighteen minute mark, 'Goodbye Little Brownie' hits off Sébastien Gramond's so-called 'masterpiece' on an interesting start, with some beautiful piano work. Where the music starts to lose my appreciation is when Gramond reverts back to his old ways; being the extended keyboard solo jam. That has been something that has always been a grinder on my nerves with the music of Sébastien Gramond, despite the fact that each time he proves himself to be a great musician and multi-instrumentalist. Instead, the several minutes of jamming and improvisation has me tuned out almost right from the start, and one can only wait for the other tracks to come along.

Thankfully, the other songs are kept more concise, which is something I have really preferred with Gramond's music. More keyboard melodies, warm acoustic guitars (a more recent staple of his music I have really come to love) and some vocal work that is quite a bit deeper than I usually hear from the man. The songs here are very pleasant to listen to, but still feel as if they lack some memorable aspect to them; the lasting power that would have me instantly want to hit the replay button. Instead, Gramond's 'Masterpiece Of Shit' is a good album that is still quite flawed, but charming enough to warrant a curious listen.

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 Pictures Of A Still Life by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Pictures Of A Still Life
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Pictures Of A Still Life' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

In the past, I have not been all too endeared to the more improvised and jam-based albums of the French multi-instrumentalist Sébastien Gramond. I have often found them to sound greatly underdeveloped and half-baked to their core, but over the past few years of Gramond's more recent material, I have also noticed that he seems to be taking the record-making process much more seriously. With this in mind, Gramond has made a good instrumental rock album with 'Pictures Of A Still Life'. With enough interesting sounds and changes throughout to be more or less consistent, 'Pictures Of A Still Life' may be as good as the loose Gramond albums come.

With 'Music For A Quiet Family Movie' really exemplifying the changes Gramond has made here, it is very clear that there is alot of thought put into the music, despite things continuing to bear the semblance of a jam. Instruments start and stop on cue, and occasionally the entire sound shifts to something different and new. It does still feel as if the compositions are dragged on beyond the length they should have been, but the sound is pleasant, even if not kept entirely interesting. The sound is quite jazzy and this mixes in well with the psychedelic overtones that Gramond incorporates this time around. And fairly rarely in terms of the instrumental albums, the music here feels as if it has been recorded and produced well, although some of the keyboard sounds are still a little tacky.

Especially towards the latter half of the album, Frank Zappa's influence on Sébastien Gramond shines through, and the mood here is kept fairly playful. If only Gramond could work in some more dynamic and melody into these instrumental albums, it is clear from 'Pictures Of A Still Life' that there would be potential for something really good.

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 On The Way To Roots Land by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.00 | 1 ratings

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On The Way To Roots Land
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars 'On The Way To Roots Land' - Sébastien Gramond (3/10)

An album from Sébastien Gramond's 'Roots Land' project (a series that I can't really find any binding themes in), we are given yet another haphazard collage of different songs, jams and sound experiments from this prolific artist. Although Gramond is incredibly talented, he does tend to put out alot of albums that may have been better off unreleased- or at least, developed upon- and 'On The Way To Roots Land' falls into this unfortunate category. Although it showcases Gramond's ability as a multi-instrumentalist, that's the extent of the music here, and there is little else to really be worth coming here for. On its own, this stands as being a fairly mediocre jam album, but especially considering that Gramond has a great many albums that are much more successful than this, 'On The Way To Roots Land' feels a bit invalid.

'On The Way To Roots Land' is generally split into three sections. The first of these is the blues portion, which features some decent guitar riffs, but marred by some rather weak and screechy vocals. Jazz makes up the second third of this album, and due to the fact that Gramond is certainly most familiar with this style than just about any other, it turns out to be the best. Lastly is a sampling of Gramond's psychedelic ventures, which have some potential through their use of some interesting effects, but also tend to lose their power through the screeching vocals. Since Gramond has shown himself to be a fairly decent singer on other albums, it seems rather counter-intuitive that he would take his talents and flush them down the toilet in favour for something that- quite simply- does not sound very nice.

The songwriting here is generally what I've come to expect of Gramond's less involved, less developed projects; highly improvised, some recurring musical ideas here and there, and a lacking sense of dynamic. Once again, Gramond has proven that he is capable of all of these things, so it makes that much less sense that he would settle for anything less than his best. With that in mind, 'On The Way To Roots Land' has been a disappointing venture.

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 Paranorama by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Paranorama
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars 'Paranorama' - Sébastien Gramond (4/10)

In a period of Sébastien Gramond's work where he was doing alot of jazz improvisations and jam rock, it is a fairly refreshing change to hear him go back into his electronic music. 'Paranorama' is an album by this French musician that shows Gramond experimenting with some different beats and is really more of a dance-oriented album than anything else. Extended compositions generally revolves around a deep rhythm and some different sounds dabbling overtop. It does not sound like a very good formula, but Sébastien Gramond generally makes some enjoyable electronic body music on 'Paranorama', although the music is generally without deeper layers or nuances to look back upon.

More or less, a listener can expect some frantic electronic arrangements over steady, generally fast-paced rhythms. With the exception of the last title track, the music is rather static, and this can lead to the music being fairly lulling, despite keeping up a somewhat unsettling vibe to it throughout, as might be best portrayed through the first track. 'Paranorama' is a somewhat mixed bag, but there is nothing here that really treads into the realm of being 'bad' music. Instead, much of what is heard here relies on being repetitive, ambient, and playful at times. The production is fairly lo-fi- certainly not a great trait as much electronic music goes- and Gramond's sparse vocals don't do much to contribute to the overall quality of the music.

A fairly bland album, although it is nice to see Gramond doing something different in this particular period of his career.

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 Beware Of The God by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Beware Of The God
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars 'Beware Of The God' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

To be honest, I was rather daunted when I first saw the amount of tracks held on Sébastien Gramond's 'Beware Of The God'. After a three hour plus romp with one of Gramond's earlier albums 'Virtual Fantasy', I was quite aware that it was not beyond Gramond to craft incredbiyl long and drawn out pieces of work, dragging out certain ideas just for the sake of making the compositions 'long'. While 'Virtual Fantasy' was a surprisingly enjoyable album to listen to, I wasn't quite prepared to dive into another album of that length, at least until a few more post- trauma therapy sessions are booked. 'Beware Of The God' is not nearly as long as 'Virtual Fantasy', but it does follow the same formula, and it is still quite long by most standards. For someone looking for a drawn out instrumental album, this can be quite an enjoyable experience.

The first piece here is 'The Evil Pilgrimage', which is essentially a psychedelic jam, mixing some jazzy elements in. It sounds greatly improvised, and while things are played quite admirably, it can tend to wear thin by the time the massive piece is over. Next is 'Surrounded By Spiritual Forces', which is much more successful at filling up its length with interesting ideas. Paramount among the cool things happening for this particular epic are the remarkable acoustic guitar passages of Gramond, which are very beautiful and show that he really can write some good music. Unfortunately, this track also succumbs to a improvised rock jam. 'Mother Nature Strikes Off' is the third suite here, and it is defined by a heavy use of pianos. It is also the jazziest offering here, and while highly improvised as well by all appearances, it is quite a bit more interesting and energetic than the previously heard improvisations. And lastly is 'After All, I Am', which seems to take the aspects of the three previous suites and combine them together. While you might expect a 'super-suite' out of that, it does just tend to equate to the same wandering jam music as before.

For jam music, Sébastien Gramond does 'Beware Of The God' quite well, but it should be warned that someone listening to the entire thing from start to finish might find themselves a little bored by the end.

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 Back To Roots Land by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2004
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Back To Roots Land
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars 'Back To Roots Land' - Sébastien Gramond (4/10)

Having taken a couple of weeks before going back into Sébastien Gramond's vast musical journey freshly. While I still cannot find any binding theme for this 'Roots Land' saga that this French multi-instrumentalist and avid composer has crafted over the course of several albums, it is clear to me that this is some of his most varied material to date. Ranging from grungy rock tunes to some jazz and even a pop-folk tune, Sébastien Gramond is obviously not one to be pigeonholed in any one genre. However, he fails to make any of these styles excel for the most part, and that equates to 'Back To Roots Land' turning out to be a rather incoherent mess of style experiments that only partially delivers.

As always, Gramond is a good musician here, but his ability to play a bunch of different instruments skillfully has never been an issue. Instead, his vocals here really tend to bog down the music, and all of the sound is done in a rather lo-fi production, further making the album sound like something that's better to skip over. However, 'Back To Roots Land' does find some strengths in it. The track 'Summer Field' may be the only truly great song here, but it is certainly worth a listen. It is by no means original in sound- taking quite a bit of influence from late '60s psychedelic era singer songwriters- but it is a pleasant acoustic change from the rather wandering jam-style that Gramond usually employs.

The styles here keep changing from track to track, so things would tend to feel incoherent even if this album had been a more involved project of Gramond's. I can see a newcomer to this man's work finding alot of interest here, but besides one track and a few disparate moments, it rarely feels as if the music here is contributing anything really new to what Gramond has done in the past.

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 90 by GRAMOND, SÉBASTIEN album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.00 | 1 ratings

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90
Sébastien Gramond Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars '90' - Sébastien Gramond (6/10)

With quite a few of the 'numbered' albums by the French multi-instrumentalist Sébastien Gramond, I have found them to be generally very indulgent, aimless pieces of jazz fusion that always sport the playing abilities of the artist, but rarely come together to create a cohesive and enjoyable listening experience. With '90', I was expecting more of the same keyboard noodling, but was pleasantly surprised to hear that Gramond has upped his sound a little bit here. Instead of something that sounds totally familiar, Sébastien Gramond has done something that stands out of the numbered albums. While it still deals with some problems that tend to bog it down, the album has enough merit to be worth checking out.

The big reference that came to me while listening to '90' was actually King Crimson; most notably the schizophrenic riff patterns of Robert Fripp. While the majority of the album still falls into the category of jamming and extended solos, there was definitely the impression here that Gramond attempted to bring his songwriting (or in the case of epics, 'composition') up a notch, featuring many gradually building segments that are quite enjoyable to hear. Of course, each of the three epics here could have used some serious editing; the sections which drag on, drag on far longer than they ever should have. The solos are well done, but after a while, it tends to feel like the point has already been made, and that there is nothing else to really dig into from there on.

The production here is fairly weak; many of Gramond's otherwise quite good albums get hindered by a fairly noisy, lo-fi studio work that isn't necessarily the man's fault as a result of available resources, but still tend to take away from the enjoyment of the music. While '90' doesn't have enough going for it to merit the long extended passages it contains, the Crimson- esque style that Gramond has gone for here works to his advantage. A fairly good album.

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Thanks to clarke2001 for the artist addition.

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