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Jean Guérin biography
Founder member of the legendary heavy-acid jazzy collective Ergo Sum, Jean Guérin is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from France. In a relative discretion he published one in solo back in the early 1970. The musical identity is a subtle and original medley of blissed out droning electronica, avant-garde jazz, bizarre cinematic ambiences and electroacoustic experiments. Tacet (1970) has been recently reissued on CD by Elica. Continuously surprising and incorporating a handful of challenging ideas, this release is an absolute must.

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4.44 | 5 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tacet  by GUÉRIN, JEAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.44 | 5 ratings

Jean Guérin Progressive Electronic

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

5 stars An amazing "puzzling" musical mutation.

We can call Jean as another vanguard or one of the most prolific comets upon Progressive Electronic turf in early 1970s. Exaggerating electronic square blended with free avantgarde jazz mainly influenced by Bernard VITET and Jean Paul RONDEPIERRE (trumpet). Jean's inorganic electronic world carries suggestion of hot blood created by all free jazz commune around him definitely, and this is just the reason why this album is one of the giants not only as an Electronic but also as a Free-Jazz.

From the very beginning of the first track "Triptik 2", freakout trumpet explosion is blended with electronic percussive weirdness. Some complicated electronic fusion (namely confusion) with pleasant electric tribalism can be heard upon the latter, and 'Bernard + Jean Paul' duo's funky trumpet play is finely entangled with the electro-ism. I'm afraid there might be somebody who say this would be such a mismatched couple but I never feel so. His electronic sound technology over 40 years ago was not good indeed, but who cares? Hot, enthusiastic "real" instruments are well harmonized with Jeanlectronic with less realism, and massively bold sound development and dynamic mixture infusion into our brain should be done by all of them.

In collaboration with Bernard, Jean's free-jazzy electronic treasure door is opened more widely. His tunic vision is filled with variation of musical genre I see ... and launched every artificial product matured with musical / electrical / technological essence from all angles. Sometimes can get bubbling psychedelia, and sometimes sensitive female scat voices by Fran'ois ... his electro-movements give us something a tad sensual or trippy, with not only distorting but cool, jolly texture. Sounds like we could be drenched in a warmth of fruity (but dry) sherry or be sent deeply beneath a mechanic water, case by case.

Obviously this creation must be called not only as a point mutation in Free Jazz world but as the advanceguard in Progressive Electronic scene nowadays. A star shooting excessive brilliance even now, regardless of a stuff almost half a century ago.

 Tacet  by GUÉRIN, JEAN album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.44 | 5 ratings

Jean Guérin Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Confused beauty

This is genuine progressive music in the truest sense of the word. Jean Guérin is a late addition to Prog Archives, and to those of you who feel well-versed in the early French avant-garde scene, I employ you to take a closer look at this marvellous record from 1971. The music here is forerunner to a lot of stuff, pre-dating the whole RIO movement by over a half decade. Originally this was meant for a movie soundtrack, but I honestly think this music deserves to be appreciated in full force - without the add on of moving images. I actually think that would be dangerous, when you are facing this amount of sonic stimuli.

This is Faust at their most electronic experimental, Art Zoyd from the 80s, Flamen Dialis and the Mwandishi band without the groove. Through a strange concoction of trumpet, saxophone, various early synthesizers, double bass, hand drums the odd whispering operatic vocals and bizarre sound effects - Tacet takes you under its wing and dives straight into the unknown. It's highly surreal and wonderfully futuristic. Fumbling around a dark room that measures 4 football fields of "empty" space, it relentlessly comes and goes in pulsating waves of squeaking synth reverberations and nervous brass instruments.

The closest you'll come to this artist sound-wise is probably Igor Wakhévitch, although Guérin incorporates a warmer and jazzier feel. The electronics here sound like birds wandering around picking at the ground in rhythmic sequences. All around these you have the strange embryonic free jazz spectacle of instruments trying to find their way into the beat. Beating around the bush is exactly what this is, now that I think of it! Tireless instruments walking around in a dense fog, now and again giving off the odd sound or trace - as if to say: I'm right here you guys! Swirling around each other like blinded flocks of birds approaching each other like a subtracting vortex of sound - the music somehow comes together to create some of the most original music I have heard in a long while.

This is also a strange strange album, or did I already mention that? Before venturing into a short-lived solo career Guérin was actually a drummer. Bizarrely Tacet has next to nothing gluing it together in terms of rhythms. When they finally decide to appear - they shoot up in the music like muffled bean sprouts - stirring around the sonic motifs rather reluctantly. Other times they work like menacing off- kilter spices on which the ghastly synth shadows perform ritualistic dances of death and darkness. This is what I'd call confused beauty.

If you like your music to sound like it was recorded in a damp cave with dripping water as your sonic wallpaper - oozing around the actual musical content and simultaneously scaring the hell out of your girlfriend, then this album is for you. Most definitely! The watery sound effects as well as these cavernous deep belching droplets of hard hitting fluid - together form an evocative surface on which the shifting moods of jazz play themselves up against. Some tracks here are in fact nothing more than these background effects, and here they are really far away from being just that. Suddenly they grow out of their modulated roles - effervescently transforming into genuine atmospheric music that is unfathomable yet feels so real and compact, that you start wondering whether you can touch it with your bare hands. It's like the middle piece of Pink Floyd's Echoes heavily distorted and highlighted all at the same time.

Tacet is recommended to anyone with but the slightest interest in any of the aforementioned acts, and if you are one of those who investigates the true nature of the early progressive movement and how everything wound up in one big blurry swamp of experimentation - you'll certainly want to check this one out. This is easily one of the most successful true avant-garde releases I have heard in a long time. It throws you into a huge bubble of surrealism where everything is blurry, warped and confusingly beautiful.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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