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NYL

Psychedelic/Space Rock • France


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Nyl biography
NYL, a French rock commune, were naturally but intentionally formed around Michel PETEAU by lots of musicians, soon after he disbanded Cheval Fou. According to their information, the personnel were Michel PETEAU (guitar), Stephane ROSSINI (drums,voices), Jannick TOP (bass; already recorded also Udu Wudu with Magma), Patrick FONTAINE (bass), Olivier PAMELA (bass and voices), Elisabeth WIENER (voices), LOY (piano), D.B.F. (synthesizer), FREEQUENTIN (alto saxophone), Ariel KALMAR (soprano saxophone), and Bernard LAVIALLE (guitar). They gathered themselves for recording live material in a studio and this could be crystallized as their only one eponymous album released via Urus Records in 1976. Fabrizio Di Vicino (Psych Up Melodies) says Richard Pinhas might publish the issue because of a phrase "Thanks To Heldon" written on the rear of the original LP. It's said they were disbanded soon after the session sadly.

This only one album could see the light again in 2011 as a reissued CD (with bonus tracks) via an Italian label Psych Up Melodies.

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3.32 | 12 ratings
Nyl
1976

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NYL Reviews


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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Nyl' - Nyl (45/100)

Listening to Nyl, I get the strong mental image of a group of talented French prog musicians getting together one evening for some drinks and jam, to see what they might be able to come up with at a moment's notice. The result, of course, is something that doesn't feel particularly meticulous in its design, but manages to stay afloat in large part thanks to the group's innate musicianship. Having released only this one album in 1976, Nyl crosses me less as a band proper than an unpretentious, one-off collaboration between musicians, not least of all being Jannick Top (of Magma fame). Nyl offer a varied hour of jam-oriented space rock, jazz fusion and occasional Zeuhl influences with their self- titled; more often than not it feels aimless and underwhelming, but some sharp performances and mild historical significance may be worth the check out to psychedelic aficionados and Magma adepts.

Outside of jazz, space rock might be the only style where an improvisational format may serve to bring the style to its full artistic potential. I cannot know for certain how much work went into preparing these compositions prior to the performance and recording, but the songwriting feels mostly like a vessel to sport the musicianship, rather than the other way around. As a result, almost all of Nyl's strong suits are found within the longer-form instrumental jams. The shorter and more concise Nyl get with their songwriting, the more underwhelming they become. There are only a handful of takes here where Nyl go for a more condensed rock format, often emulating late 60's psych rock aesthetic in the process. Although the impressive standard of musicianship is virtually everpresent, Nyl's composed ideas are generally bland and unassuming. With that in mind, the best material here is seemingly improvised; the opening track "Nyl" gets a fantastic groove going for it; the soloists each take their turns, and individually prove themselves to be as skilled and talented as the one before them. Nyl themselves seem to have been aware that this title track was the best groove they had going for them, as it's repeated twice as the variations "Nyl II" and "Nyl III". A tad overkill perhaps (especially considering the album's hour-plus length), but it helps to give the album a touch of coherence and flow it would otherwise lack.

At least on the first title track, Nyl conjure quasi-operatic vocalizations pretty closely drawn from their compatriots in Magma; the influence certainly isn't surprising, given Jannick Top's participation here. Jannick's contributions are minor, but the martial aggression of his bass playing is certainly apparent. The occasional use of saxophone is a nice touch, although they're rarely used in such a way that seems integral to the music.The vocals are scarce thankfully, but serve to hit the music wherever they are; no amount of flanger of spacey effects can improve a vocal performance if it's weak to begin with. Whether Stephane Rossini is singing in English or French, the performance feels halfhearted. This weak point in the execution can be forgiven due to Nyl's clever decision to focus on instrumentals throughout. If Nyl are most often defined for their inconsistency, it's Stephane Rossini's drumwork that holds it all together smoothly. Especially during their most longform jam grooves, his rhythms feel incredibly lively and energetic.

Even for 1976, Nyl feels outdated and anachronistic. Where progressive rock had moved forward, Nyl seem to have taken solace in the decade prior, drawing upon late '60s psychedelic tropes and space rock aesthetic. It's a decent, albeit lo-fi and barebones take on the style, but strong musicianship can't entirely make up for what it lacks in style and songwriting. Whatever potential that was here is left half-baked; fans of space rock should dig this little niche of obscurity, but the patchy, thrown-together feel of the album keeps it at bay from a solid recommendation.

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars After the demise of Cheval Fou guitarist Michel Peteau along with drummer Stéphane Rossini moved on to form a new group under the name Nyl.The band produced one sole release on Urus Records before fading into obscurity for good.The album features some important guest musicians in differrent tracks, like bassist Jannick Top of Magma fame or ex-Ame Son Patrick Fontaine and Bernard Lavialle on bass and guitars respectively.The same album with plenty of unpublished recordings was released on Legend in 1994 and more recently on Psych Up Melodies.

Regarding the original album, this is quite short (just 27 minutes), but it is definitely a slight improvement over Cheval Fou's unpolished sound.''Nyl'' is again a Psych-flavored Heavy Rock album with a bit of a jazzy taste throughout, where Peteau's guitars lead the way.However gone are most of the freak-out ASH RA TEMPEL-like experiments of the previous band and ''Nyl'' is actually characterized by the raw, attacking and strongly psychedelic guitar grooves of Peteau along with his edgy soloing, often accompanied by tasteless vocals (credited to a number of singers), which strangely fit well with the powerful music, and of course the solid and slightly improvised Rossini drumming.The opening eponymous track contains also some flashy space synths (credited to D. B. F ???), while the distinct jazzy vibe comes from the dynamic sax interventions appearing in a couple of tracks.

The CD reissue of the album contains no less than 38 minutes of bonus material from the recordings of the group.Actually the first tracks of this extra stuff ('' Ibha'', ''Jaguar I & II) continues from where the album stopped.Good spacey Heavy/Psych Rock with some nervous synths and saxes to go along with Peteau's guitars.The longer tracks (as well as the rest of the material) though remind more of Cheval Fou than Nyl.Long spacey jams with many improvised, almost Kraut-Rock, passages and full of fiery psychedelic grooves and sound effects, this is some very hypnotic music with a free feeling overall, close to the likes of AMON DUUL, GONG or early SOFT MACHINE.

This is quite deep Heavy/Psychedelic Rock with much diversity, while the CD reissue makes ''Nyl'' an even more attractive purchase.Recommended for all Acid Rock and Prog/Psych maniacs out there.

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars French project NYL was the creative vehicle for guitarist Michel Peteau and drummer Stéphane Rossini, whose sole album saw the light on a private label in 1976. Small indie label Legend Music reissued this production on CD in 1993, and after many years out of print fledgling label Psych Up Melodies decided that it was time to make this production available again in the fall of 2011.

The original LP contained 9 tracks, of which 8 have been reissued and two of those slightly reworked already on the first reissue of this disc. The missing track, Blue Eyes (Revox Tapes) may possibly be the sound collage appearing at the very end of this reissue version however, as the album has been expanded by a total of 7 tracks. Most of them alternative versions of album tracks admittedly, and as such there isn't too much new music as such to enjoy. But for the avid fans such material is always a treat to encounter anyhow. Still, the original LP's 30 odd minutes playtime has been doubled with all the bonus material, and as these alternative versions and occasional excerpts generally hold good quality they are well worth experiencing also by those who have the original vinyl edition as a treasured keepsake.

The original album appears to be a time-typical partially improvisational effort, perhaps with a foundation in endeavours of this kind more common a few years earlier. Basic themes and motifs serves as a platform for the remaining instruments to play upon, resulting in repetitive circulating psychedelic motifs with occasional freaked out inserts as the most common features. Various guest musicians provide their own special sounds, the bass line of Jannick Top arguably the most distinct of these. Those who enjoy his output will find the sprawling title track to be a delightful experience due to that alone.

Personally I found Nyarlathotep to be the most interesting excursion, a tight and energetic effort with harnessed explosive instrumental features as something of a trademark feature, the dual contrast of light-toned clean and dark-toned distorted guitar motifs on this one a most intriguing aural experience.

If you tend to enjoy 70's psychedelic rock with a distinct improvisational element played on top of tight and planned foundation, and enjoy an album that takes some pride in visiting a number of different moods and arrangements, Nyl's sole production is one you should seek out. Magma completionists might also want to get this one due to Top's guest performance, and he's on good form on the three tracks where he contributes. Not a classic production, but those with a soft spot for this kind of material will most likely be charmed by this CD.

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Nyl was a one one off band led by Michel Peteau, the same French guy who also gave us the kraut rock band Cheval Fou. Both bands is here in PA and both albums has recently been re-released by Psych Up Melodies.

This album is in many respect also balancing on the border between kraut and space rock. I think Nyl is a kraut rock album though. But that is my personal view shared by noone else. Nyl has some long, spaced out powerful guitar driven workouts which reminds me a lot about Agitation Free. The use of saxophone is the main difference here.

The sound on this album is dirty and powerful. Although some of the music here is great, this album also includes some less great music. The more normal rock stuff does not really impresses me. But this is still a very good album well worth checking out. Those into dirty 1970s space rock can purchase this album without a minute reluctance.

3.5 stars

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What a find ! A big thankyou to Tom Ozric who recommended this to me some time ago, but it wasn't until I read Tom's recent review that I took the plunge. This is my kind of music. Energetic, guitar driven Psyche. What's not to like ? Like Tom's LP my cd has 9 tracks not the 15 shown here which must be some sort of re-issue with bonus tracks. Jannick Top adds his amazing bass to three tracks and we get sax and synths as well, but as I mentioned earlier the guitar is the focus here.

"Abery" certainly got my attention the first time I heard it.This could have been released as a single. Very melodic and laid back with the guitar, bass, drums and vocals leading the way. "Nyarlathotep" has this insane intro with drums and screaming sax. The guitar comes in on fire as we get a light show of epic proportions.Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Killer tune. "Shatt" is a groovy track with the sax and bass standing out. "Dromadaire Bleu" is a bright and uplifting instrumental and the guitar is all over it like a bad rash. "Ibha" is led by bass, guitar and drums early. Vocals a minute in then the guitar lights it up 2 1/2 minutes in followed by sax as the drums pound.

"Nyl" opens with atmosphere then it kicks in with sax and more before settling in with flute leading the way. Nice. Bass from Top 3 1/2 minutes in as vocal melodies come and go. Spacey sounds after 4 1/2 minutes as the drums and bass continue. "Ailes D'or" is a mellow track with strummed guitar and reserved vocals. Piano, bass and backing vocals join in after a minute. Drums before 2 minutes and guitar late. A nice track. "Blue Eyes" is a short tune where "Oh yeah she's got blue eyes" is repeated again and again. Cool song. "Dervishes" is spacey to start then an uptempo beat with guitar kicks in. Nice. An almost Country flavour to the guitar then that changes to a Rock sound as he rips it up.

4.5 stars for this lost gem.

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is one psychedelic trip !! I've stopped listening to Phallus Dei for this review. My only knowledge of French Space-Rockers 'Nyl' is from the sole LP I acquired many years ago - it features 9 tracks, clocks in at just over half an hour, and is a real treat. Looks like they've discovered vault material for the CD re- issue which may be worth looking into..... The project is centred around drummer Stephane Rossini and guitarist Michel Peteau, who also composed all of the words and music. Helping heads and hands include those of, now this was the name that stood out to me - JANICK TOP, contributing some of his trademark Zeuhl bass to 3 tracks, one of which is an excellent rhythmic jam at 8 minutes long, Bernard Lavialle (gtr) and Patrick Fontaine (bass) both from AME SON, Olivier Pamela (bass/vocals - who appeared on the album by Delired Cameleon Family - he was responsible for singing out his craving of illicit substances in the last track of the album, which was an offshoot of Cyrille Verdeaux's CLEARLIGHT project) and other lesser known folks on vocals, saxes and keyboards. The music is bursting with energy with an almost punk-like aggression displayed occasionally. As I listen, Pamela's voice is gritty and harsh (the tracks 'Abery' and 'Blue Eyes' especially - the former is quite a catchy piece in all its Hippie glory, whilst the latter is a psychedelic ramble) but he plays some cool bass, Elizabeth Weiner's voice on 'Ailes d'or' is quite stoned but suits this mostly acoustic tune, some pretty piano lines here and Top at his subtlest. Instrumental tracks 'Nyarlathotep' has some excellent guitars with a fast paced rhythm, Rossini's drumming being vibrant and lively, and Top's growly bass adding distinct textures, 'Shatt' shows off some mellow guitar chords strummed over a lazy beat whilst a sax solos over the top, 'Dromadaire Bleu' is rather upbeat, quality space-rock which reminds me of Ozric Tentacles (at least part of it sounds like the end section of the track Jurassic Shift) and 'Dervishes' opens with gliss-guitar and evolves into another psychey jam. 'Ibha' has some vocals but starts out with a groovy jam then quickly shifts into overdrive with manic guitaring and synth sounds. This is a corker of an album that all Space-Heads need to investigate.

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 Nyl by NYL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.32 | 12 ratings

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Nyl
Nyl Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator / Psych Team

4 stars A psychic energizer from France, with a lot of energetic artists.

Consider it was just a natural course NYL could be founded as a French psychedelic progressive rock "commune" by the frontman Michel PETEAU in collaboration with lots of musicians, and be disbanded soon after the recording session for their creation. We can find the reason they were short-lived in their bloody battles of musical energy and personality. Listen to the beginning of the first track and we easily can understand this matter realized upon the NYLand.

With persistently heavy and dark brass sounds, enthusiastic drumming like firewall, scattered flute stardust, and flexible keyboard kicks and delightful voices ? the "Nyl" suite can be much suitable to be called as their masterpiece. "Nyl" was divided into three tracks in the album (different sessions from each other? In the original vinyl might seem to be recorded only the first "Nyl") and every track sounds very powerful and explosive - for me especially "Nyl II" is the most experimental and quirkiest of all, with something Kraut-ish like Cheval Fou, another Michel's project. This series may be a storyteller for NYL I imagine.

"Nyarlathotep" reminds me a texture like a Japanese psychedelic progressive pioneer Flower Travellin' Band, especially through Stephane's exciting voices and fuzzy guitar dread by Michel the Nylcreator. The last "Alex" might be a bonus track I guess but fantastic experimentalism they could shoot, amazing one indeed. Michel's bubbled guitar with much degree of freedom is very addictive for me (the same action can be heard in "Dervishes" too). Full of avantgarde / jazz flavour appears via "Shatt" or "Ibha" can take me into another world. Some tracks (e.g. "Ailes D'or" etc.) are a bit old-fashioned psychedelic for progressive rock scene, but no problem as if we would listen to something like prototype of psychedelic progressive.

In conclusion, totally a splendid album they launched, with a serious music battle ahead of them. Although it might be true this battle disbanded them in pieces on the other hand, we can get such a enthusiastic psychedelic progressive world in hand. Thanks to Psych Up Melodies for your re-releasing the brilliant gem. Recommended.

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