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LAGGER BLUES MACHINE

Zeuhl • Belgium


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Lagger Blues Machine biography
In the early seventies, one had to be a real rebel and have lots of courage to be in a rock band and had to have a horseshoe up somewhere to manage to record an album. This is probably why there were few bands but then again this pushed them underground and enticed them to make groundbreaking music (ARKHAM, CLASSROOM/COS, PLACEBO, PAZOP) and much later the UNIVERS ZERO and its offshoots such as PRESENT. LAGGER BLUES MACHINE consist of the Duponcheel bros on kb and drums, Maes on bass, Cuisset on guitars, Mottoule on kb and Pilotta on winds instruments. On their sole release, LBM develops a somber mood rock that takes elements from SOFT MACHINE, some from MAGMA, some more from ZAPPA & CRIMSON. But make its own sound with relative good interplay between the solo instruments but sounds nothing like blues (actually, the name was a pun as they always longed for beers in their locale). The live album was never really released until 92 but was apparently recorded prior to the studio album and is of dubious quality.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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LAGGER BLUES MACHINE discography


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LAGGER BLUES MACHINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.82 | 16 ratings
Lagger Blues Machine
1972

LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.19 | 11 ratings
Tanit Live
1970

LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
The complete works
1994

LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tanit Live by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Live, 1970
2.19 | 11 ratings

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Tanit Live
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

2 stars In the beginning

I have previously to this review spoken about the evolution of Zeuhl, and how it came into fruition through a multitude of various paths. This Belgian outfit describes the early development of the music beautifully - a music that very soon would transform into huge cataclysmic skyscrapers of sound. This branching started out as acidic jams and Belgian lager.

Lagger Blues Machine released their sole album in 1972, with this a live album popping up some 20 years later during the resurgence of prog rock in the 90s. By 1972 this group's sound had progressed from these hazy and fuzzy beginnings, that on here sadly are amplified grotesquely due to a very grainy recording. Damn...

Tanit Live sounds like a hard rock band jamming it out on stage after a case of beers and a pipe of space tobacco. The guitar work resembles the kind of blues riffing that Yardbirds once made famous, only here it is accompanied by plodding rhythm textures and the occasional reed tweet. It's hard recognising the future band to come - especially hearing the distinctive blurry psychedelics at work here, that more than often reveal a foot and a half safely planted in the preceding decade.

So no Zeuhl here then? No and yes. No, because the jamming character of the thing, leaning on fuzzed out psychedelia and hard hitting blues rock, leaves the rhythm section (that is the single most important ingredient in the Zeuhl mix) swaying and confusingly blurry. Yes, because Tanit still holds a good deal of pumping organ breaths, that on occasion approach the big booms of the Zeuhl genre - the ones that mimic grand symphonic sweeps of rock music......... Still, a very long ways from the terrific psychedelic take on the genre they conjured up two years later.

This should please fans of dirty jamming hard rock, and people with an interest in the history behind the teutonic branch of fusion. Moreover will it please folks who love the gritty and naive in music - live recordings that sound like they've been handed over to you by way of telephone chord and a prehistoric turntable from the time of Julius Caesar.

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 Tanit Live by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Live, 1970
2.19 | 11 ratings

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Tanit Live
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Lagger Blue Machine was something like a legend among Belgian rock bands, starting from Itterbeek and featuring a young Christian Duponcheel on keyboards, later member of Dragon.Other members of the early line-up were Jean-Luc Duponcheel on drums, Josť Cuisset on guitars and Michel Maes on bass.The band was an undisputed live beast back in early-70's and a historical document of a 1970 live performance at Woluwe Shopping center in Brussels (supporting Warhorse and Wishbone Ash) was caught and released in 1988 in a limited number of 500 LP copies.

The sound of the album is very raw and the quality of the recording quite mediocre to present the band at its full potential.The opening ''Test about a rehabilitating personality'' is pretty much the most interesting track in here with a very adventurous sound in a Hard Prog vein, featuring some excellent guitar breaks and complex themes, not far from a cross between WARHORSE and KING CRIMSON or even some Kraut Rock monsters of the time.The quality drops significantly with ''Ode'', where the vocals are really unbearable, while the music is pretty average guitar-led Hard/Psychedelic Rock with some SOFT MACHINE influence in the middle part.With ''Mistake'' the presence of Christian Duponcheel is finally obvious and this is another complex Progressive Rock composition with obscure interplays and some fiery organ throughout, spoiled by the very long middle-part drum solo.The gig of Lagger Blues Machine closed with ''Firedance'', featuring a rough complicated Hard Rock sound with guitars on the forefront, delivering furious grooves with sudden breaks, again a uninteresting solo in the middle wasn't much needed, but these belongs among the activities of a live performance.

Considering the mediocre quality of this live recording along with the fact that these recordings already belong among a future Mellow Records release with all the stuff Lagger Blues Machine ever recorded, thIs LP comes only recommended to die-hard fans of Hard Prog and the strict circle of the collectors' zone.

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 Lagger Blues Machine by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 16 ratings

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Lagger Blues Machine
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A fascinating slice of proto-Zeuhl combining the influences of Zappa-inspired fusion a la Hot Rats, Canterbury as practised by the Soft Machine (and in particular electric organ as played by Mike Ratledge), and of course early Magma to form a unique blend. The album unfortunately (at least in the version I own) has fairly poor production values and a murky mix, which lessens the impact of the music but does at least emphasise its angular, aggressive aspects. Whilst I can't in good conscious give full marks to an album with such a mediocre sound quality, the Lagger Blues experiment certainly seems to have been a worthwhile and interesting one - it's just a shame the results weren't captured more clearly.

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 Lagger Blues Machine by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 16 ratings

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Lagger Blues Machine
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have heard their live album from 1970 which was recorded two years before this studio album came out. Lets just say I like the style of music here much better.The live album was very much a hard / psyche / jam affair, while here it more laid back but more adventerous with a jazzy / psyche flavour. I enjoy the sax and flute here a lot. Why are these guys listed under Zeuhl ? I haven't heard anything that even hints at it, either on their live album or this studio record.

"Symphonie-Part 1" opens with flute, piano and guitar before the drums join in quickly. Great sound here. Very relaxed. A change 1 1/2 minutes in as the guitar comes to the fore. Organ joins in too. It settles back with flute and organ .It picks back up before 5 minutes with organ. Drums and guitar 6 minutes in. A change before 7 minutes as sax and an upbeat rhythm takes over, then vocals arrive for the first time a minute later. I don't mind them here. They're a huge improvement over the vocals on the live album. Heavy guitar and organ come and go. A calm 13 minutes in with piano to end it. Fantastic track.

"Darknessly" opens with the drums and pulsating organ standing out. Some raw guitar joins in and it sounds great. Some vocal melodies follow and It sounds a little haunting.Then it kicks back in. It picks up before 3 1/2 minutes before settling again with another haunting section with vocal melodies. I like when the electric piano joins the guitar and drums before 5 minutes. Sax follows. Nice. "Tanit" is a short piece that opens with acoustic guitar as flute joins in. "Symphonie-Part 2" opens with keyboards only to be joined by a full sound rather quickly.The tempo shifts back and forth on this one. Sounds are a little dissonant here. Flute after 3 minutes. Vocal expressions 5 minutes in. Great sound 7 1/2 minutes in when it kicks in. Some flute here. It settles with flute and electric piano 9 minutes in. A short drum solo after 10 minutes then the vocal melodies and guitar join in. It settles again with flute. Raw guitar and drums end it.

Man I like this album. I read on the Gnosis site where the reviewer compared this album to a MOVING GELATINE PLATES record.That's a good reference point for those wondering what these guys sound like. A solid 4 stars.

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 Tanit Live by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Live, 1970
2.19 | 11 ratings

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Tanit Live
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars LAGGER BLUES MACHINE are from Belgium.This is a live release from a 1970's concert in Brussells where they opened for a few bands including WISHBONE ASH. The sound quality isn't the best and they really sound simply like a heavy jam band here, there's nothing that reminds me of Zeuhl on this recording. I really like the first two tracks but the other three are poor at best.This was actually released posthumously in 1992, so it's a chance to hear the band before they even released their first and only studio album.

"Born To Be Alone On A White Desert Island" sounds pretty good early with the bass, drums and guitar standing out. Vocal melodies and flute join in.The organ rips it up before 2 minutes.The drums and guitar amaze 4 minutes in.Vocal melodies are back as themes start to be repeated.

"Test About Rehabilitating Personality" kicks in with drums and guitar before a minute. Just a killer jam really. "Ode" is where things turn south fast. The vocals for one are bizarre and the sound quality is worse. "Mistake" features a prolonged drum solo. "Firedance" is another one where the vocals and sound disappoint. An incredible guitar solo though after 4 minutes.

Fans only for this one.Get the studio album if you can.

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 Tanit Live by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Live, 1970
2.19 | 11 ratings

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Tanit Live
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

2 stars Poor sound and late release makes this of limited interest and you might want to invest in the "complete works" if you really want this. Ok , the tracks are not the same than their only studio release, so this might be worth picking up if the studio album interest you, but this was not commercialized in the 70's but just for chauvinism's sake it does get another half star . This should make more than fifty words :-)

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 Lagger Blues Machine by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 16 ratings

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Lagger Blues Machine
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars This album gets one half star just for my chauvinism so it reaches four star up from 3.5 . One of my acquaintainces played bass on these albums and I offered him the CD copy as it got re-released and he had no idea. Michel Maes is flabbergasted that his albums got such attention as he had put away all thoughts about music a long time ago. Don't tell him the following review , if you come across him: but I never thought that this album was that great. But believe me, for Belgium in those years to release such an album was quite a feat in itself (plenty of band never got that chance such as Arkham) and they managed a live one on top of it. I think that this music is not as sinister as Mr. Debot say it is , and if one thinks a bit of the bands in his review, LBM gets inspired by them but do not come to their waste musically speaking. But this is well worth a spin but before you buy it. I would not call this Zheul music , though.

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 Lagger Blues Machine by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.82 | 16 ratings

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Lagger Blues Machine
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by renedebot

5 stars The very best album coming out in Belgium.Music is influenced by the Soft Machine in their 3 first albums,with Ratledge distorted organ sound.Has several similarities with the French group Moving Gelatine plates,slight Magma influences,some Zappa-esque moves,but above all their music has a much darker,more sinister sound.Almost the entire album is instrumental.This LP is a rare and pricey collectors-item.So,better you buy their CD 'The complete works' issued in 1994 of where both albums from them are re-issued.

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 Tanit Live by LAGGER BLUES MACHINE album cover Live, 1970
2.19 | 11 ratings

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Tanit Live
Lagger Blues Machine Zeuhl

Review by renedebot

3 stars This album is actually issued in 1988,but with live registrations from a festival they were participating together with groups such as Warhorse,Pete Brown & Piblokto and Wishbone Ash.Registrations are rather poor but with they play with the same power as their 'Tanit' album from 1972.This live album came out on LP as limited numbered issue in 500 copies.

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