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STEVEGANE PROJECT

Crossover Prog • France


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Stevegane Project biography
French artist STEVEGANE PROJECT is the creative vehicle of composer and multi-instrumentalist Pascal Stevegane. He started working with material for this solo project in 2008, following a number of years collaborating with fellow artists and musicians. In the fall of 2011 the end result of this now three year long process appeared as the CD When the Time Is a Present, issued through French label Musea Records.

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When The Time Is A PresentWhen The Time Is A Present
Import
Musea 2011
Audio CD$16.19
$11.66 (used)

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3.29 | 13 ratings
When the Time Is a Present
2011

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STEVEGANE PROJECT Reviews


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 When the Time Is a Present by STEVEGANE PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 13 ratings

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When the Time Is a Present
Stevegane Project Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars French outfit STEVEGANE PROJECT is the creative vehicle of composer and instrumentalist Pascal Stevegane, an artist that doesn't reveal too much about his musical past, but it would appear that he has been involved in some capacity with Blackmore's Night if the album notes are to be trusted. "When the Time Is a Present" is the debut album by Stevegane Project, and was released by Musea Records in the fall of 2011.

"When the Time Is a Present" is a disc that most likely will have a finite target audience. People who deeply admire the emotional guitar excursions of instrumentalists like David Gilmour and Andrew Latimer, who tend to enjoy slow paced music emphasizing harmonic details and melodic arrangements, and who appreciate music that explores musical beauty without utilizing distinctly contrasting effects or sharper edges. Presumably an item that should be treasured by those who have albums by Gandalf, Mike Oldfield and Pink Floyd side by side in their music collection.

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 When the Time Is a Present by STEVEGANE PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 13 ratings

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When the Time Is a Present
Stevegane Project Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Pascal Stevegane is a French guitarist that has seemingly a vast collection of prog guitarists as influences, mostly the usual suspects (Gilmour, Latimer, Howe etc) but the Steve he relies on the most is Hillage, circa Fish Rising/You! This appears quite striking from the onset, where one almost expects an 'Uncle Salomon Salmon Song' exhortation to hit you between the ears! Spacey, dreamy, atmospheric, structured and introspective, the fluid guitar leads reverb upon a bed of liquid rhythms, fueled by vaporous keys, firm bass and drum programming that doesn't sound plastic or contrived. It took a few spins before I found the correct receptive groove and the appeal became rather obvious from then on.

The opener "Through the Stones" is a gigantic 18 minute musical voyage that lays down a foundation for Pascal to jam to his heart's content, throngs of note-bending and pedal/bar effects are spread liberally throughout. The Hillage-isms are palpable towards the end, the cascading riffs jangling with the leads in typical fashion.

The title track is another whopper, clocking in at over 22 minutes and pretty much follows a matching course where suave synths introduce a stinging guitar lead that forages deeply into loftier expanses, searching out new sonic horizons and appropriate techniques (little wah-wah sprinkles in the background). Things die down a tad only to reveal a gloriously looping solo that soars majestically with restraint and that Gilmourian feel. The constant ebb and flow provides aural variety that flirts with electronic shadings such as the ping- ponging synths that only add to the charisma. The pace evolves into an exalted flare out with synth-drums bashing away and the silky leads showing some welcome fury and rage.

"The Green Eyes" is where Pascal takes a detour into more pastoral I daresay almost Celtic directions, the piece that ultimately won me over to his unique craft. Delicate acoustic guitars, sweeping string synths and a supreme melody is all you need to attract my attention but when the lead shoots in, its bliss baby time! The length of this masterpiece, you ask? Nearly 18 minutes, I retort! Most definitely highlight reel material, perhaps closer to Latimer/Hackett/Phillips than the manic Gongster. The mid-section in particular is sheer brilliance, with a sweetly repetitive rock riff that has that unmistakable hint of Ritchie before then blasting off into Floydian spaces. The amazing track is absolutely spellbinding and deserves a captivating prog audience to cheer him on.

Just when you expect another colossal track, Pascal unveils the 3 minute "Lady of the Lake" (strangely rare title, LOL), just to keep one guessing and typical of French humor. In a way it succeeds in condensing his craft within the smallest of prog snippets and using it to market his work, correctly so. First slight hint of Oldfield.

It ends with a dozen minutes of "Sly Return 11 march 2011", a soundscape where special effects rule at first (water streams, birds, Japanese koto) and blooms into a massive axe ooze that infuses a fair amount of wah-wah shades and various tonal colorations.

Obviously, the all-instrumental approach precludes any sentiment aimed at "songs", preferring sonic landscapes that emote on a spiritual level without being new-age. That would be kind of odd with credits thanking Rainbow, Blackmore, Cozy, Airey, Lifeson, Beck, Gilmour, Vander and good old JS Bach (not the Skid Row guy!). Funny that there is no mention of Hillage or his protégé Christian Boulé! The music can be ideal background for a get-together (an electric BBQ?) or late-night cuddling but only if the volume is cranked. Even though his axe style is totally different, fans of extended Mike Oldfield may find pleasure in this experience as well as all you guitar freaks. On a humorous note, his website pictures make him look like a young Frank Sinatra! That's prog for you!

4 Tick-Tocks

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 When the Time Is a Present by STEVEGANE PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 13 ratings

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When the Time Is a Present
Stevegane Project Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars I discovered STEVEGANE PROJECT via the album's only short track, the lovely "Lady of the Lake", which burst onto myspace after I had previewed a song by a group being evaluated for inclusion in the progressive folk sub-genre. But here we have that rare and welcome beast, the guitar dominated symphonic album. Pascal Stevegane's style is dreamy and fluid, part Doug Gilmour, part Klaus Hess (JANE), part ANDY LATIMER, and, apparently, RITCHIE BLACKMORE, although for the life of me I can't hear the heavy rock style of DEEP PURPLE or the Renaissance Faire timber of BLACKMORE'S NIGHT. I would advance another influence as concerns the overall arrangements, that of the big neo prog groups, the difference here being that this is an all instrumental album, and most neo is anything but.

"When the Time is a Present" is a good album to get lost in, whether you are particularly a fan of the style or not. Overall, the title cut and especially "The Green Eyes" are best, the former repeating a well thought out theme with pleasing variations, the latter much more spacey, moody, and deliberate but still blessed with dynamic guitar incursions.

The opener and closer might just as easily be your preferred tracks here, as the playing is of an equally high standard. For me, they sometimes carry on a bit too long and at a similar pace and energy level, and there is nobody who appreciates an overly long and beautiful lead guitar solo more than me, I can assure you.

This is a promising debut that might benefit from a bit more editing in places, but elsewhere I wouldn't touch a thing. Your mileage in time and pace may vary.

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 When the Time Is a Present by STEVEGANE PROJECT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.29 | 13 ratings

BUY
When the Time Is a Present
Stevegane Project Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars This is a nice album, with Pascal Stevegane playing all of the the instruments. He seems to be primarily a guitarist, as all of the songs are vehicles for his guitar solos. The pieces are prog tinged, but not terribly complex and challenging, but Stevegane manages to keep them interesting with his arrangements. There are points that approach new age, but luckily the line is never crossed completely.

And while I often point out the shortcomings of one musician overdubbing all of the instruments on an album, this one is another album that avoids the stilted sound that process can create. Stevegane is able to replicate the sound of musicians playing together, not individuals just playing their part.

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Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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