Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

ALCO FRISBASS

Eclectic Prog • France


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Alco Frisbass picture
Alco Frisbass biography
Founded in Paris/Rennes, France in 2013

ALCO FRISBASS is a French duo consisting of multi-instrumentalists Fabrice CHOUETTE (keyboards, guitars, voice, recorder, whistling, percussion) and Patrick DUFOUR (Fender Rhodes, keyboards, drum programming, chimes). They fuse jazz, Canterbury, and symphonic elements.

See also: HERE

ALCO FRISBASS forum topics / tours, shows & news


ALCO FRISBASS forum topics
No topics found for : "alco frisbass"
Create a topic now
ALCO FRISBASS tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "alco frisbass"
Post an entries now

ALCO FRISBASS Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to ALCO FRISBASS

Buy ALCO FRISBASS Music



More places to buy ALCO FRISBASS music online

ALCO FRISBASS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ALCO FRISBASS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.03 | 119 ratings
Alco Frisbass
2015
3.94 | 152 ratings
Le Bateleur
2018
4.12 | 35 ratings
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
2021

ALCO FRISBASS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALCO FRISBASS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALCO FRISBASS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALCO FRISBASS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ALCO FRISBASS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Le Bateleur by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 152 ratings

BUY
Le Bateleur
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I really hesitated in picking up this band's debut back in 2015 considering that they were a duo with both playing keyboards and synths mainly with some guests helping out. Also the biggest issue for me was that this was a download only at first, no physical release. I had a friend get it then I put it on a disc so a cdr. Well I promptly got blown out of the water with what these two guys had created. Yes a Canterbury vibe at times(wordless vocals and distorted organ) but mostly a melancholic album with guest violin and mellotron adding a lot.

"Le Bateleur" is different as the violinist wasn't asked back(haha) but they are now a trio. I shouldn't have been surprised that the newest member mainly plays synths and keyboards like the other two should I? This is a more vibrant record, more energy and depth. That Canterbury vibe is all but gone in my opinion and the bass sounds much better, more upfront(love it). Mellotron is back in black and we get some guest cornet, piano and guitar on a few tracks. This album is infectious to say the least, I imagine them having a blast playing a lot of this stuff. And can I just shout this out right now "Patrick Dufour is wearing an ANEKDOTEN "Gravity" t-shirt!" I want that! I love this band!

"Soufre Et Mercure" open with dark sounds that are joined by a heavy bass line as drums and keyboards are added. Guitar before a minute. It settles with piano but not for long then the cornet solos over top. So much going on. Mellotron before 4 minutes as it settles. Kicks back in to a powerful soundscape. Contrasts continue with those brief relaxed sections coming and going. "Le Bateleur" is more mid paced with spacey synths and mellotron early. Mellotron at 5 1/2 minutes with huge bass lines is what I dream of. Some laughter after 6 minutes and I'm laughing too. This is so good! The guitar rips it up after 10 minutes.

"Arcane Majeur" is the shortest piece at just over 7 minutes. Sounds pulse and beat before it all starts to move after a minute and pick up in tempo with synths over top. How uplifting is this at 2 1/2 minutes. How do they do it? Great sound after 5 minutes as well with the keys over the rhythm section. "Les Cartes Vivantes" is a rich sounding piece that grooves with synths over top. This might be my favourite song on here. The melody after 2 minutes reminds me of an Ibrahim Maalouf tune. Cornet here though and it gets dissonant. The closer "Ombre Terre" features the only trace of Canterbury in my opinion with those distorted keys early on. Huge bass 3 1/2 minutes in and later before 5 minutes shaking the soundscape. Fripp- like guitar just before 6 minutes. Guitar over a very deep sound 7 minutes in.

Different from the debut but you know it's the same band I'd say. I prefer the debut but am in the minority on this. Not much to chose between the two as both are amazing in their own ways. Closer to 4.5 stars.

 Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.12 | 35 ratings

BUY
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

5 stars The mystery goes on. What ford are ALCO FRISBASS crossing on this occasion? Mind you, they are getting better and better with every new album. Five new tricky songs delivered by this French trio in 2021, intensively Canterbury flavoured again. I would dare to say that Patrick Dufour, Fabrice Chouette and Frédéric Chaput are representing the non plus ultra concerning compositional skills. The tracks are instrumental all the way through, albeit Jean-Luc Payssan is guesting with a little chant contribution plus special guitar stuff. Though overall the music is very keyboard laden, okay, as it is quite usual for such a stylistical weight. Since the very start in 2015 with their eponymously named debut album they are relying on the drum programming. For one or two a deduction at source. But honestly, if you would not know that ... well, it's perfectly arranged, for me there's nothing to complain.

This is provided with some hints reminding me of Partner, Instant Curtain, Argos, and the proggy incarnation of Caravan. The title track Le Mystère Du Gué Pucelle opens the album, that unpredictable flow is immediately impressing. Especially due to the unbelievable keyboard presence. Melancholic Rhodes piano and organ are dueting for some time, swirling synths and symphonic orchestral strings are interfering later, aso aso. Variety and richness at the maximum. They don't repeat themselves here, just take the following Histoire Diffuse. My personal highlight for now, maybe because the flow is a bit space rock infected, tending towards the band Gong or so. Sélénite comes in jazz tinged, where Pulsar initiates with a vivid bass line. This trio is convincing all the way through. Following their 2018 masterpiece 'Le Bataleur' they actually did it again.

 Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.12 | 35 ratings

BUY
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars ALCO FRISBASS from Rennes, France is an interesting prog band that has found its niche skirting several progressive rock genres yet finding a new sound that exists somewhere in the cracks between. Originally existing as the multi-instrumentalist duo of Fabrice "Chfab" Chouette (keyboards, guitar, vocals, recorder, percussion) and Patrick "Paskinel" Dufour (Fender Rhodes, keyboards, drum programming, chimes) as well as a roster of guest musicians, beginning on the band's second release "Le Bateleur," ALCO FRISBASS has essentially become a trio with the addition of Frédéric "Tourneriff" Chaput (bass, electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, synths & Modular, percussion).

Eclectically incorporating jazz-fusion and Canterbury Scene sounds with hard rock, symphonic prog and avant-prog, these guys have cranked out some excellent instrumental works (no vocals to be found) and in 2021 have released the third album LE MYSTÈRE DU GUÉ PUCELLE which in addition to the trio listed above features Jean-Luc Payssan on classical guitar, sitar, mandolin and wordless voices which are barely detectable. This album features five tracks with a classic vinyl playing length of just under 45 minutes. While there are interesting nuances which keep ALCO FRISBASS in its own world, for the most part LE MYSTÈRE DU GUÉ PUCELLE falls into the world of jazz-fusion and reminds me most of a long list of jazz-fusion bands of late 1970s Germany that placed emphasis on jamming and improvisation.

While comparisons to National Health and the Canterbury legends have been made, it seems that the Canterbury connection is closest to that of Gilgamesh which featured a light breezy sorta jazz-fusion style in classic Canterbury form whereas some of the symphonic prog attributes seem to have come from the Anglagard world although pastoral folky parts a la classic Genesis and even Caravan can be heard from time to time. Exclusively instrumental with a few wordless vocal parts mostly on "Pulsar," this album navigates the world of jazz-fusion with extra flavorings sprinkled in to keep things humming along. Only the opening title track exceeds ten minutes with the others hovering between 7 and 10 which means there is plenty of time to jam and improvise!

Overall LE MYSTÈRE DU GUÉ PUCELLE is a very retro sounding album reminding me of many of the Kraut fusion bands of the 1970s including Et Cetera, From, Passport, Sunbirds, Catch Up, Munju and even at times the more rock oriented side of Kraan. This is indeed a pleasant album to chill out to but in the end it doesn't have enough original content to distinguish itself from countless other similar acts that have come and gone over the decades. Pleasant and pleasing but ultimately there's not really a lot here that would make me want to come back for repeat visits. Let's face it. The bar has been raised substantially in the 2020s for all kinds of prog and to simply go through the motions without radically forging new paths will get you lost in the crowded house of newcomers. Definitely a band worth checking out of fusion lovers.

3.5 rounded down

 Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.12 | 35 ratings

BUY
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Alco Frisbass really outdid themselves creating a truly wonderful masterpiece of retro-prog. They seem to be keeping that three year pattern of releasing new albums. Le Mystère du Gué Percelle continues the same format as their previous two but I really think they improved it further due to a beefier production. One again they keep you wondering what they'll do next, everything from Canterbury type passages (I've seen them referred to as a Canterbury band but not me although that element frequently surfaces) to analog synth solos to symphonic prog guitar passages, whatever in the world of prog that sounded good to these guys you'll find here. Plus, once again a member of Minimum Vital, Jean-Luc Paysson makes a guest appearance but most of the work is from Patrick DuFour, Fabrice Chouette, and Frédéric Chaput. These guys continue to blow me away by their brand of prog. I love their use of analog synths and keyboards. While you can't go wrong with any of their three, this is their best, as far as I'm concerned!
 Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.12 | 35 ratings

BUY
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The French jazz-lite band is back with their third album release. Since their self-titled debut came out in 2015, Alco Frisbass' pseudo-Canterbury sound has received a fair amount of attention--even some acclaim among year-end top album lists. Here we have an album that sees the band's diversity in sound and complexity of sophistication in the composition department both taking nice steps forward.

1. "Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle" (10:13) glockenspiel and Mellotron open this before a organ, thick bass, and "flute" take this into the realms of retro heavy prog. Several changes in motifs and pace help to dispell any signs of monotony until 3:35 when a slow down and stop leads to a nice, gentle Fender Rhodes space section. By the end of the sixth minute, this has moved into a kind of slowed down Caravan motif. Then, in the seventh minute, we here more of an Alan Gowan sound before some Camel synth and Ray Manzarek/Doors-like Vox Contintental organ take over the soloing. Nice drumming behind the next synth soloing section. Another break takes us to the end bell. Nice despite the fact that the musical weave lost a bit of its whole-band-complexity in the second half weave. (17.25/20)

2. "Histoire diffuse" (9:55) some very nice melodies throughout this sone--from the opening to end--often giving this much more of a CAMEL sound than. Even the drumming is sounding like Andy Ward. The synth chord progression at the end of the eight minute is a blatant Camel steal! And what follows is definitely straight from Ryder /The Snow Goose. Still, it is a very pleasant song ten minutes to while away. Probably my favorite Alco Frisbass song ever. (18/20)

3. "Sélénite" (9:14) opens as a bouncy jazz number with a chunky prog bass. Synth, guitar, and Hammond take turns leading the weave until the one minute mark when saw-guitar takes the first real lead. This is then followed by a different guitar. The keys here have quite an Alan Gowan kind of feel--especially in the chord progressions. This could be quite a nice Gilgamesh or even National Health song. The melodies throughout--even in the solos--feel kind of upbeat and light--like something you might hear at a county fair--yet most of the solos feels more mathematically contrived instead of emotional. This would not be a bad thing were the song to rise to some kind of crescendo of tension and then release, but it never really does. Still, very nice, melodic song with great sounds used throughout (though, again, I hear some pretty blatant steals from Camel). Another all-time top three AF song. (17.75/20)

4. "Pulsar" (7:18) chunky bass jumping all over the fretboard is joined by a bouncy Eumir Deodato-like Fender Rhodes before a Phil Miller/Hatfield guitar joins in with the drums. Great soundscape with very engaging, excellent melody lines including sitar and vocalise from guest Jean-Luc Payssan. (13.25/15)

5. "Alchemical Corpus" (8:05) a fast-tempo, countrified song that sound as if Waterloo Lily-era Caravan were trying to create music for a computer game; it sounds like the soundtrack to Donkey Kong! I just can't get past the ridiculous sound and my associations to them in order to get into the music and their compositional and/or instrumental merits. A throw away song that, to my mind, belongs on a progressive rock album about as much as a piece of coal belongs in a salad. (9/15)

Total Time 44:45

I must say, the band has really improved its compositional level--as well as their continued imitation and emulation of the 1970s Canterbury sounds and styles.

C+/3.5 stars; were it not for that final wastrel, this would be my favorite of the three Alco Frisbass album releases. Take "Alchemical Corpus" away, and this would be a highly recommended listening experience for any and every lover of prog music.

 Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.12 | 35 ratings

BUY
Le Mystère du Gué Pucelle
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by rik wilson

5 stars Alco Frisbass new release joins the other two as another in a line of incredible musics. These Frenchmen incorporate jazz,zeuhl,and Canterbury into an ever evolving amalgamation of pure delight. The first song "Le Mystere du Gue Pucelle" opens with a driving organ riff that sets the direction of the song. There is a playful bassline that the drummer follows with zeal and perfect accents. The music winds down about 3:33 ;then echo piano note brings the organ back for an interlude duet. Synthesizer squeaks and theremin waves about 5:00 begin the next piano / organ interchange. A more raucous faster tempo drum influences a country honky-tonk piano as it pushes the accelerated momentum.Heavy strings and popping bass round out the piece. Sinister echo chamber keys and random single note bass begins "Historie Diffuse". After creating a foreboding atmosphere, the music takes off about o.44 into the song; layered strings chord away while the bass takes on a lead role for a time-nice chops. The melody that develops reminds of an Alpine travel log commercial ;bright ,lively upper register keys roll out a nice bouncy rhythm. The bass and drums pound out an intense rhythm of fury. Then, a pause in direction begins with mid-tempo keys slowly shimmering with bass focusing the action. The rhythm changes into a sputtering array of varying lead lines interweaving to its ultimate conclusion. Yowza! "Selenite" bursts out with jazz lounge piano / bass rhythms. An organ adds to the mix as the tempo escalates; then slows through out the piece. The guitar utilizes high end single note progression to decorate and counter balance the keyboards. Mid-song some mellotron strings and voices appear with a robust onslaught of keyboard prowess. "Pulsar" begins with a funky bass / drum rhythm while a keyboard hammers out a incessant riff. An overlay of guitar work begins screaming for a while then an introduction of brilliant acoustic guitar mellows the mood. The tempo slows way down and some echo keys and guitar blend for a dreamy feeling of space is presented. Meanwhile; sweeping strings and wah-wah guitar push the song toward a jazz fusion completion. Double tracked guitar with country style Travis picking open "Alchemical Corpus". The drummer picks up on the country vibe and produces a country western drumbeat as accompaniment. This song is not the least country; but more a fast paced romp through thrillsville. As the piece progresses; more exciting theremin and zeuhl keyboard repetition played in different registers, creating a flowing direction from the organ. Swelling strings and martial drums finish the song. This is a great addition to the other two releases. A very entertaining collection. Masterpiece!
 Le Bateleur by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 152 ratings

BUY
Le Bateleur
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alco Frisbass is classified as "eclectic prog" on Prog Archives, but at least on Le Bateleur, they play a jazz-influenced brand of progressive rock which is perhaps deserving of its own category.

The first track, "Soufre et Mercure" ("Sulfur and Mercury," two of the three ancient elements of alchemy*) opens with five and a half minutes of heavy prog: somewhat disorienting synths and guitar over an odd time signature. But after a short interlude, the next twenty-four minutes - - beginning with the closing section of "Soufre et Mercure" and extending through the first two minutes of "Les Cartes Vivantes," ("the Living Cards," i.e. the Tarot deck) is what I'd call progressive jazz, largely performed on guitar, bass, and synthesizers (including some very nicely-done drum programming). Only in the final minutes of "Ombre Terre"** does the heavy prog return in the form of a woodwind vamp à la Van Der Graaf Generator or King Crimson.

The performances are very good. In particular, Frédéric Chaput's measured bass playing on "Arcane Majeur" (referring to the trump cards in a Tarot deck) and "Le Bateleur" ("the Juggler," referring to an old Tarot card) is excellent. The sound - - especially the audio mixing - - is also as fantastic as an album recorded in 2018 ought to be. The relative shortcoming of Le Bateleur is in the composition. While the first and last songs have some well-written passages, much of the rest of the album consists of improvisation over chord sequences whose averageness is difficult to counteract with even the most inspired soloing.

As you can tell, the song titles imply a diffuse theme involving the mechanisms people used in the early modern era to connect with the supernatural. The album art clarifies this a bit; "le bateleur" literally means "the juggler," but sometimes with the connotation of a swindler (the connection here is to the sleight-of-hand of a magician). In tarot the Juggler is an older form of the Magician card. In the art of Tarot de Marseille, le bateleur stands behind a table as the character does on the cover of this album. The group's name is a further hint. "Professor Alcofrisbas" was an invention, and possible alter ego, of French filmmaker Georges Méliès (1861-1938), the director of the 1902 film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) - - the one with the iconic sequence in which the Man in the Moon uses a telescope to watch an approaching space capsule, which hits him in the eye. Méliès began his entertainment career as a stage magician. And that's the head of Méliès on the juggler's table on the cover of Le Bateleur. (I think that's also him on the cover of the band's debut album.)

Alco Frisbass doesn't use many devices on Le Bateleur which invoke magic or the supernatural. Maybe this was a good idea; composing in unusual scales or using ethereal synthesizer patches could wind up sounding campy. On the other hand, in the absence of lyrics or any online explanation I could find, the music is apparently unrelated to the song titles or artwork - - so if you're looking for an album about fortune-telling, magic, alchemy, the Tarot deck, etc., you'll have to keep looking.

In all, Le Bateleur is a good album, but not one which distinguishes itself from many other recent works which mix heavy prog and jazz while paying at least some homage to 1970s prog-rock.

___

*Sulfur represented the soul and mercury the spirit. What's missing here is salt, the body.

**The words "Ombre Terre" translate as "Shadow Earth;" I'm not sure how this title relates to illusion, magic, the Tarot or to the other song titles.

 Le Bateleur by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 152 ratings

BUY
Le Bateleur
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

5 stars Now I really caught fire! The second album from this French band, heavily canterbury, zeuhl and symphonic infected. Recorded at different places like Paris and Rennes, 'Le Bateleur' comes completely instrumental, a fireworks of finesse and virtuosity, you bet! A rare occasion where I do not really insist on an acoustic drum kit aboard. Yeah, precisely programmed percussions are given here, though not really to recognize, at least regarding my sentiency. The band's core, consisting of Fabrice Chouette and Patrick Dufour, has been enhanced due to Frédéric Chaput on this occasion, another prolific multi-instrumentalist. And three out of the five tracks are also showing some notable guest musicians. While missing any lyrics it's quite impossible to reach for a possible conceptual background. Anyway, 'Le Bateleur' (The Magician) is seeking into mankind's Middle Ages somehow, that would be the message of the cover picture at least, which was created by Dario D'Alessandro.

It's not possible to highlight any particular track, as this affair sounds that rounded overall. Tricky compositions are put on the album, sophisticated, and not too avantgardistic respectively weird in the end. Hereby they are grooving a lot, the wonderful organic flow is striking overall, a bit early Genesis influenced. All the utilized instruments are wonderfully complementing. It's all perfect! Anyway, I solely can bump this, just get your own impression, visit the label's bandcamp site to have a try. While occasionally listening to this since last year the album has turned out to be another real grower for me, sooner or later evolving to an essential listening pleasure. If not done yet, at least everybody who will appreciate the All Traps On Earth debut should necessarily enter here too.

 Alco Frisbass by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.03 | 119 ratings

BUY
Alco Frisbass
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Amazing prog by this French band. This is the kind of prog I've been looking for. This is really all over the place. Canterbury seems to a common comparison, but that's just a small tip of the iceberg because this band keeps going through different changes and style, from spacy passages, violin-dominated passages (with Archimede Di Martino of Stormy Six provides violin, as a guest) to traditional '70s prog passages with analog synths and sampled Mellotron, plus more RIO and Zeuhl type passages to jazzy electric piano type passages. Members of White Willow and Minimum Vital also help out too. It's amazing how much changes the music goes through and always retains that nice flow, and keeping the listener glued, wondering what they'll do next. There is a truly wonderful retro feel making you wonder if this was actually recorded in the mid 1970s, but the programmed drums are the only thing dating this to the mid '10s, not mid '70s.

If you love this, be sure to check out their next album, Le Bateleur, it's equally amazing (although the violin disappeared as Archimede De Martino wasn't present). This is truly amazing stuff that I'm so glad to hear.

 Le Bateleur by ALCO FRISBASS album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 152 ratings

BUY
Le Bateleur
Alco Frisbass Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Le Bateleur is the second album by this amazing French prog duo. Once again out to challenge the listener with their constant changing throughout each piece leaving you wondering what they'll do next, and it's always something amazing. They may go Canterbury in one part, then give a wonderful spacy synth solo that sounds straight out of the 1970s to Camel-like guitar passages, RIO and Zeuhl type stuff in another passage, symphonic prog parts as well. What I love is the seriously retro approach these guys do. Lots of great analog synths, although the Mellotron is sampled, although still well done. I love how complex and challenging this music is, but they also manage a wonderful flow without ever sounding choppy or abrupt. This is the type of prog I've been looking for, not some overlong boring stuff with scarcely any good ideas (a problem I leveled at many prog releases since the 1990s), but totally wonderful and engaging material. Some may complain that it's a bit too all over the place, but not me as it all sounds like it's all put together very well. Although nothing like Änglagård or All Traps on Earth, they too do that "do one thing, go on to the next" approach. This is truly an amazing album, and don't forget to check out their debut, which is just as amazing!
Thanks to epignosis for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.