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Jazz Rock/Fusion • France

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Louis de Mieulle biography
Before becoming a bassist and composer, Louis DE MIEULLE started his musical education playing the cello. His musical studies were in areas of both classical writing and jazz, and besides participation in musical projects (like his jazz groove band SOUNDCHASER), he continues to teach bass and music theory to this day.

His debut album was released in 2011 and he was joined by drummer Matt GARTSKA and Casimir LIBERSKI on piano and keyboards (with whom he is involved as a part of CASIMIR LIBERSKI TRIO). This fusion album inspired in a degree by math rock was promoted later in 2012 with a series of gigs in Belgium and in his hometown Paris.


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LOUIS DE MIEULLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 4 ratings
Defense Mechanisms
0.00 | 0 ratings
Stars, Plants & Bugs
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dual (as Louis de Mieulle & Matt Garstka)
0.00 | 0 ratings
Outside The Square (as Louis de Mieulle & Matt Garstka)
4.00 | 2 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Side$how 2
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magnetic Feel

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Side​$​how by DE MIEULLE, LOUIS album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 2 ratings

Louis de Mieulle Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Louis de Mieulle is a classical and jazz trained composer, bassist and cellist. He has been involved with jazz projects, including his own band "Soundchaser", and has also been releasing solo albums since 2011. His fifth full length solo album, released in August of 2019, is a slight departure from previous albums in that it is a more light-hearted approach to his music. It is also the first of what Louis promises to be a series of "sideshow" style albums. This album, simply called and stylized as "Side$how", is an 8 part-suite entitiled "Bed of Nails". The 8 tracks on the album represent the 8 parts. The runtime for the album is almost 41 minutes.

The band line-up that Louis has recruited along for the ride are himself, playing under the name Sideshow Louis (bass, regurgitator), Casimir Liberski (keyboards and chapeaugraphy), Ditan Kenner (keyboards and human blockhead), Doron Lev (drums for tracks 1-4 and 6 and fire breather), and Raphael Pannier (drums fro tracks 5,7,and 8 and glass walking). The album is recorded live in the studio.

Part 1 of the suite is called "1st Meditation" (5:14). The music starts with a catchy rhythm and an airy feel created by smooth bass, organ, drums and guitar. The organ takes the main spotlight at first shared with a funky guitars and other keys step in to share main melody which is improvised on. There is a nice, carefree atmosphere about the whole thing that, while it is a funky sound, it is also quite relaxed and free flowing. Part 2, "Bedhunters" (1:59) begins with a somewhat complex riff created by bass and synth. A short, yet progressive interplay of instruments create a playful cacophony of sound that dances around with this riff. Part 3 "Discoteak" (6:28) uses a straitforward beat with bass and some interesting keyboard effects to make a track that sounds catchy and complex at the same time. The drums settle in to a fast groove along with the bass, and the organ plays counter to the beat with a staccato style, until synths come in to smooth out the sound a bit. The rhythm breaks down after 3 minutes and the music wanders along with bass and low frequency synths, and then another warbly synth takes over the main line against a slightly slower, but heavier beat. Instruments drop off one by one and then suddenly all come back together again to close out this part.

Part 4 "Fakir Song" (2:11) is less structured, with keyboards creating some interesting counter themes and tones, as the bass and drums try to hammer out some kind of structure, but not really able to iron things out. The feel is a bit more experimental and contemporary jazz style. Part 5 "2nd Meditation" (17:21) is quite a bit longer than the preceding tracks. It starts out taking it's time to establish and a symmetrical groove, and everything works together to eventually come to some sort of agreement. The drums are a bit wilder in this one, and the keys take advantage of this by teasing everything into coming together, while the bass holds its own playing persistently until it does all come together. Louis has been known to incorporate a post rock attitude in his music, and that seems to stand out a little more here, but the track never falls victim to post rock formulas, making sure the jazz fusion sound is the real thing directing the sound. When the instruments finally fall into the groove, the bass becomes the anchor as keyboards swirl and dance around the groove. The bass continues to add notes to its free riffing pattern, and that is the closest thing to a melody here as the synths work to create musical texturing and improvising around that pattern. Subtle layers come in building intensity at different times, but at 8 minutes, you can really hear it all start to build and resolve to a new plateau. After that, it calms down a bit as the synths begin a drone and allow the bass and drums to pound things out together. This continues while the synths start to float around softly and freely. It all quiets down even more as bongos and percussion lighten things up. The track then goes atmospheric with only bass, effects and a single synth flutters around. The music goes into avant-jazz territory for a minute or two, then a repeated note takes over, slowly building the band back in layer by layer until the drums bring everything back. This long track seems to go by quickly because of the territory it covers, never stagnating or staying in one place for too long, experimenting with dynamic and occasional effects, it is an interesting, dynamic and masterful study of control and improvisation.

Part 6 is another section entitled "Fakir Song" (1:26). As in Part 4, this is also a more contemporary jazz feel with a heavier beat this time that follows the same thematic element as Part 4. Part 7 "3rd Meditation" (4:39) then fades back in, again following this same theme, but in a very chaotic way. The entire band is playing, but sounding more independent and free as they all hash out their own sounds, but after 1 minute, it all becomes more coherent, the bass pounds out a line against a more structured drum pattern, and then keys come back in freely playing around the bass line. This very fusion sounding track reminds me of early Porcupine Tree jams, it's more psychedelic and experimental and it also has some really cool grinding effects in the middle. Part 8 "Afrobead" (1:42) ends the entire suite, or at least this album,

This is a nice, playful departure from Louis more serious sound, and I love the nu-jazz elements that are quite eveident here. Each instrument is its own sideshow of sorts, but they all come together (well most of the time anyway) to work as a complete circus, or at least a band with one vision. The way things move from somewhat chaotic sections to smooth and groove filled improvisations is entertaining in and of itself. Some of the shorter tracks, seem to make things a bit choppy, but the long centerpiece of the album, Part 5, brings it all together. First time listeners will wonder how this suite all fits together, but halfway through, you will begin to realize that the suite is using a main theme and creating variations around it, all while other instruments create improvisations with the theme and then create textures and sections that live in a world of their own. When things are left to develop more, the sound is smooth as things transition from one sub-section to another. Even the short tracks are important here, but they do tend to break things up a little bit, but this problem doesn't really distract from the overall cohesiveness of the album. This album is highly recommended, especially to jazz fusion lovers who also like a bit of inventiveness added in for some unexpected surprises.

 Defense Mechanisms by DE MIEULLE, LOUIS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.91 | 4 ratings

Defense Mechanisms
Louis de Mieulle Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Musician and composer Louis de MIEULLE has his background from France, where he got his education and was a part of the local music scene prior to relocating to the US a few years back. In the US he has formed and is a member of several band constellations, and has also instigated a solo career, with two albums to his name so far. "Defense Mechanisms" is the first of these, and was self-released in 2011.

Instrumental jazz with the piano as the central instrument and with a distinct bassist given room to shine is what Louis de Mieulle provides us on his first solo production "Defense Mechanisms". Many of the songs explore moods of a darker and subtly unnerving kind, and do touch upon jazz rock-oriented territories on occasion, too. Ultimately, this is a production with much more jazz than rock to it however, and those with an interest for instrumental jazz trios with drums, bass and piano as the key instruments would appear to be the main audience for this disc.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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