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ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Etron Fou Leloublan biography
ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN are one of the more important offshoots of the RIO movement. This French quartet originated in the mid-70's with bassist-vocalist Ferdinand Richard, saxophonist Chris Charnet, drummer Guigou Chenevier and vocalist Eulalie Ruynat. Over the course of five albums, no less than four sax players had gone through EFL's revolving doors. In 1985, Richard, Chenevier and female vocalist Jo Thirion who played keyboards and brass on a previous album, decided to go on as a three-piece set and recorded what was to be the band's final album.

All of EFL's albums are so off-the-wall their music is almost impossible to describe: pulsating staccato snaps of drum, bass, sax, keyboards, with vocals vicariously woven into odd, complex musical structures - all this performed with amazing precision. Recorded on a shoestring budget, their first two albums suffer from a poor production; however, the raw energy and irreverent humour of their third, the live "En public aux États-Unis d'Amérique" (79), truly shine and highly compensate for such a flaw. The relatively more accessible "Les Poumons Gonflés" (82) and "Les Sillons de la Terre" (84) are a bit more structured, featuring less free-form improvisations. But it is with "Face aux Éléments Déchaînés" (1985) that the band truly reaches their high point: a minimalistic, coolly conceived and sparsely orchestrated album, yet bubbling with high energy and emotion. For the band's entire studio repertoire, you need not look any further than the 1991 three-disk compilation album "43 Songs".

Most highly recommended to fans of HENRY COW, AKSAK MABOUL and SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA or for the adventurous listener seeking a real challenge.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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BatelagesBatelages
Import
Gazul/Musea 1976
Audio CD$16.94
$34.58 (used)
Face Aux Eléments DéchaînésFace Aux Eléments Déchaînés
Gazul/Musea 1985
Audio CD$16.84
$33.80 (used)
Les Poumons GonflésLes Poumons Gonflés
Import
Gazul/Musea 1982
Audio CD$11.34
$11.34 (used)
En Public Aux Etats: Unis D'AmeriqueEn Public Aux Etats: Unis D'Amerique
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$454.24
$19.98 (used)
Les Trois Fou's Perdegagnent - Au Pays Des...Les Trois Fou's Perdegagnent - Au Pays Des...
Gazul/Musea 2003
Audio CD$69.53
$68.35 (used)
43 songs x 3CDs43 songs x 3CDs
1996
Audio CD$75.00 (used)
A PragueA Prague
Import
Gazul/Musea 1984
Audio CD$16.70
$40.05 (used)
Musiques Electroniques en France. 1974 - 1984Musiques Electroniques en France. 1974 - 1984
Gazul/Musea 1984
Audio CD$15.89
Les Trois Fou's Perdégagnent - Au Pays Des...Les Trois Fou's Perdégagnent - Au Pays Des...
Import
Gazul/Musea 1977
Audio CD$16.70
$14.79 (used)
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ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN discography


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ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 35 ratings
Batelages
1976
3.78 | 21 ratings
Les 3 fous Perdegagnent - Au pays des...
1978
4.02 | 31 ratings
Les Poumons Gonflés
1982
3.83 | 21 ratings
Les Sillons De La Terre
1984
3.98 | 18 ratings
Face Aux Eléments Dechainés
1985

ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.75 | 12 ratings
En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique
1979
3.13 | 4 ratings
A Prague
2010

ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 9 ratings
43 Songs (3 CD)
1991

ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Les Poumons Gonflés by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.02 | 31 ratings

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Les Poumons Gonflés
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post Rock Team

4 stars Etron Fou Leloublan (whose name is supposed to translate as "mad sh*t, the white wolf") were one of the original bands of the Rock-In-Opposition movement. Their sound was probably the farthest from the other RIO bands, originally being a mix of punk, jazz and French music hall, with a whole lotta avant weirdness added to the mix. This is their third album, released four years after the second. The punk and avant-garde influences are not quite as strong here and a keyboardist is added. The one and only Fred Frith guests on this album playing guitar and violin.

One of the biggest influences on the band's sound seems to be Captain Beefheart. The group is less goofy and oddball here than on the first two albums. The production is better and the organ fits in well with the sax, bass and drums. "Nicolas" has sax skronking and repeated guitar chords joined by bass and oft-kilter drumming. Then harmonized vocals. Later switches to a more punk sound with sax soloing. I like the sound of the organ and bass playing in unison here. All of a sudden changes to a more upbeat and jazzy section. "Mimi" has nice repeated piano and offbeat drums and bass being joined by some very French vocals. Changes chords and gets more sunny sounding with what sounds like synth squiggles. Followed by a part where there is talking instead of singing with some great brass.

"Nicole" starts off all dissonant and repetative, then switches to a part with talking backed by busy drumming and a 3-note bassline. Changes to a fast dissonant section with more talking. The organ starts to solo. The song returns to the the beginning part, then goes through the next two sections again. Later some crazy organ playing before it changes to a new melodic, upbeat section that almost sounds like reggae. The vocals are now more traditionally sung. Lovely sax solo. Love the piano chords. "La Musique" starts with dissonant atonal guitar playing that gets joined by some very melodic classical sounding organ, piano and bass. Switches to a fast repeated piano note and steady bass string picking with a slowed down voice talking over top. You hear a gong and then some steady snare drum and cool overdubbed organs fighting with each other.

"Christine" has an organ drone get some drums and sax playing freely added to it. Then the drums play a steady beat and the bass comes in. Oh man, that bass sound! I absolutely love the sound of the bass here; it's so sexy and dangerous. Vocals come in. The sax plays a hypnotic 2-note sequence here. Changes to a part with talking and no drums, just dissonant guitar and organ. Comes back to the great bass section. All of a sudden halfway it changes to a part where the bass goes higher and higher up the fretboard while the other instruments and vocals are more cacaphonous. Music stops briefly then a riff on guitar and bass with sax and vocals joining in.

"Those Distant Waters" not only has an English title, but the lyrics are in English as well. Crazy guitar string noises can be heard before eerie organ comes in. Then a voice that sounds like the person is in a spacesuit or something. Oddball effects that sound like they were done on a synth come and go. Some jazzy bass, sax and drums afterwards. "Uppsalla" has some really wonderful melodic organ and sax before it goes into some kind of Middle-Eastern jazz. "Io Prefero" has vocals in Italian. Nice drums and bass playing before it switches to a section with some kind of percussion and the spoken vocals begin. Both parts get repeated. "Pas'L'Sou" is a very French sounding song with spoken vocals. Features skronking just to add some flavour.

My favourite album from EFL and probably their most consistent. This was released in 1982 and you won't find too much music that was as experimental and "progressive" as this back then. Definately one of the better prog albums of the 1980s. The next albums are similar but not quite as good as this. A great introduction to these French weirdos. I feel this deserves at least 4 stars.

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 Batelages by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.41 | 35 ratings

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Batelages
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Etron Fou Leloublan are a band in the RIO movement that are as notable as Henry Cow, Univers Zero or Samla Mammas Manna. But that doesn't mean that EFL aren't unique in their own right. The dissonant, freeform capabilities of the genre appear in EFL's music, but so do punk and Latin music to a degree. The penchant for French humour is the wild card, and unless one understands the French language pretty well (I don't, unfortunately), expect to find yourself lost.

Starting at the end, the last two big numbers (''Madame Richard'', ''Histoire de Graine'') have loads of dissonant sax lines and absolutely bonkers percussive lines in the middles. The latter track has a beautiful bass-chord driven beginning that sparks interest. During the crazier section, it's hard to understand that all of that noise comes from just a bassist playing chords, a percussionist and a saxophonist. Unfortunately, this freeform stuff is what might drive most progsters nuts.

There's an epic here in the opening track, and it features punk-like shouting in the beginning, loads of bass chords that sound like guitars and Latin music excursions. The problem is that the epic is way to fragmented; sometimes ideas simply fade out and there's just a bit of French comedy in dry time until the next idea comes.

''Solo Brigada'' is another percussion solo that doesn't make that big of a splash, ''Yvett' Blouse'' is way too short considering the idea the band had going. EFL through BATELAGES is mainly for those with a soft spot for RIO, but some of the more accessible ideas are likely to attract newcomers to the genre moreso than the modern classical avantness of say Henry Cow. A little too much disjointedness keeps BATELAGES from being in the upper strata of RIO albums.

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 Les Sillons De La Terre by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.83 | 21 ratings

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Les Sillons De La Terre
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN is one of original RIO bands, and on this album you can hear quite characteristic French RIO sound. What means music there is sax-led alternative avant French urban music, based on free-jazz, chanson, French pop tradition, chamber music and soft and melodic French version of what would be tagged as punk in UK or States.

Musicianship is very precise, sound is excellent, and all album is full of energy. Songs are almost all well structured what gives to listener quite interesting effect: it looks like you listen well crafted jazzy pop-songs and free-form avant based music at the same time. Vocals are mostly half-spoken, in a punk/chanson tradition, so this element is possibly most controversial part of all music. Instrumental part is often quite close to avant prog though.

I believe such music is more question of listener's taste, I like this album as real French face of avant rock.My rating is 3,5 rounded to4.

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 A Prague by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Live, 2010
3.13 | 4 ratings

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A Prague
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The French ensemble ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN has been described as one of Europe's most important group of artists exploring the RIO and avant-garde segment of progressive rock, and in the 12 years they've existed they released a total of 6 albums, all productions that are generally regarded as influential and well-worth seeking out. "A Prague" is an archival live recording, given its first official release by Musea Records' Gazul imprint in the fall of 2010.

Existing fans of Etron Fou Leloublan should find this production to be one well worth acquiring. The live audio capture is as good as one can expect under the circumstances they were made; the performance is on a par with what you would expect from this band, and I do believe that this is the only official live recording released by this version of the band to boot. RIO fans with a general taste for live performances might also want to take note of this CD, in particular if they have yet to explore the discography of this fine French ensemble.

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 Face Aux Eléments Dechainés by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 18 ratings

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Face Aux Eléments Dechainés
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This band is such a blast to listen to with their sense of humour and absolutely amazing instrumental work. I especially am impressed with the bass playing, it's just outstanding but all three are incredible musicians. Some humerous pictures of the band in the liner notes especially the guys who are making these faces at the camera.This was their last studio album and second in a row with Fred Frith producing, he also adds some violin.

"Lavees A La Machine" opens with bass as the sax makes some noise. Male and female vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Keyboards after 2 minutes when the vocals stop. Percussion and male spoken words follow. "Tous Le Poussent" has this beat with male vocals and organ. Sax after 2 minutes. "Hors De Son Monde" has this beat of piano, bass and drums while the sax plays over top. A change before 2 minutes as the keyboards, bass and drums become the focus. "Paris 65" has these theatrical male vocals and a catchy rhythm. I like when the vocals stop and the organ, bass and drums lead. "Sous Les Draps" opens with these cool drum patterns as the organ and female spoken words help out. Bass joins in when the vocals stop. She's back before 2 1/2 minutes. It's surprisingly spacey late.

"Comment Choisir Son Infirmiere" is catchy with male vocals, love the bass. "Gifle Hubert" is pretty much spoken male words with an excellent melody of bass, drums and keyboards.The vocals start yelling at one point. Check out the bass after 3 1/2 minutes ! "Blanc" has some guest violin from Frith while drums,vocals and organ open.The organ starts to pulsate as the bass throbs. It's heavier before 3 1/2 minutes as she really sings. "Binet D'eau Froide" is a very short instrumental. "Plus Rien Ne Nous Retient Dans Ce Pays" has some great in your face bass as the vocals join in. It settles back after 1 1/2 minutes but kicks back in quickly. "Mon Petit Chorus" has this catchy beat with female vocals. Deep male vocals take over.The organ is excellent after 3 minutes.

I own the last three studio albums by this band and they are all so impressive. Highly recommended Avant / Rio from one the original Rio bands.

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 En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Live, 1979
2.75 | 12 ratings

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En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by mondello1

4 stars This album is amazing in my opinion, not least because one of the best bands - Etron Fou LeLoublan - actually came to Hartford CT and recorded half their live album there. This courtesy of the Alien Rock crew at WTRC Trinity College.

Etron Fou were very obscure in 1979, this was like a personal concert for the crazy few, held in the intimate, colonial-styled Mather Hall on campus. It was a fantastic event, I am grateful to have been there. I've got a few snapshots taken on the night - send me an email if you are interested.

Contrary to some of the comments posted, the recording quality isn't bad, it's comparable to their first two (studio) albums and on par with many live recordings from this era. It does have that raw sound, but this is an accurate representation of the night. First live at Trinity College, next live in your living room - what more can you ask for? Recommended!

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 Face Aux Eléments Dechainés by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.98 | 18 ratings

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Face Aux Eléments Dechainés
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars It's really interesting how all of the bands that started the RIO movement in 1978 managed to fade away by the middle of the '80s. Actually Henry Cow broke up as early as 1978 but I sort of consider Art Bears to be a natural continuation of that band since it was comprised of Chris Cutler, Fred Frith and Dagmar Krause. Unfortunately they still were the first RIO band to end their collaboration by 1981. Stormy Six broke up in 1983, Samla Mammas Manna or rather Lars Hollmer's new band incarnation, before switching to solo mode, von Zamla split up in 1984, while Daniel Denis slight loss of inspiration, notable on Heatwave, resulted in Univers Zero disbanding around 1987.

By August 1985, Etron Fou Leloublan were still going strong and, without a replacement in the saxophone department, recorded Face Aux Eléments Dechainés as a (power)trio. The trio that comprised of the long time collaborators Ferdinand Richard/Guigou Chenevier and Jo Thirion, who has already previously recorded two albums with the band, managed to uphold the general spirit of Etron Fou Leloublan even if the loss of a soloist does make its presences known on a few occasions. Luckily Fred Frith managed to add a few colorful touches to the album which are especially notable on Blanc, another composition that was previously featured on the band's live album En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique.

Overall this album is much better produced than anything that the band had release up to this point and becomes especially notable on the album's opening track Lavés À La Machine by the clear attention to detail. The slow progression of this opener might surprise most of band's followers and it's not until the vocal introduction that we actually beginning to realize that we're listening to an album by Etron Fou Leloublan! This is definitely not the case with the rest of this release and Tous Le Poussent quickly returns us to the right frame of mind, even though I cannot help but wonder how the band would have adapted the chamber music influences if they continued pushing in that direction for the remainder of Face Aux Eléments Dechainés.

Although, for some weird reason, this release has been my least played album from Etron Fou Leloublan, it definitely deserves my seal of approval for being a great conclusion to the legacy of an excellent RIO band. Etron Fou Leloublan broke up in 1986 and it's very unlikely that we'll get to hear of a reunion of this otherwise very obscure collective that doesn't even have its own Wikipedia page in French!

***** star songs: Lavés À La Machine (4:19) Blanc (4:14) Binet D'eau Froide (0:19)

**** star songs: Tous Le Poussent (3:39) Hors De Son Monde (4:01) Paris 65 (4:05) Sous Les Draps (3:53) Comment Choisir Son Infirmière (3:15) Gifle Hubert (4:45) Plus Rien Ne Nous Retient Dans Ce Pays (3:44) Mon Petit Chorus (4:12)

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 Les Poumons Gonflés by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.02 | 31 ratings

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Les Poumons Gonflés
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars After four years, that I supposed were spent touring and adjusting the lineup, Etron Fou Leloublan finally managed to hit all the right notes with the release of Les Poumons Gonfles! Featuring ten relatively short and well-balanced compositions that sound like they have been worked on for quite some time, this album can't be called anything but a highlight of the RIO movement!

The more hardcore fans of RIO music might dismiss this album for not being as challenging as the band's two previous releases but I doubt that even they would be unhappy with an album like Les Poumons Gonfles for its excellent share of material and skilled execution. The lineup from the live album En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique has now been expanded by multi-instrumentalist Jo Thirion and Fred Frith, who just departed from Henry Cow/Art Bears, plays on two of the tracks. Frith's guitar work really makes a huge impact on Christine that sounds like a well though-though performance of what otherwise sounded like a wild experimental jam on the 1979 live album.

My favorite moments come in the likewise sounding Nicolas/Nicole which have surprisingly little in common with each other. The first one is more of a crazy performance that we've previously heard from Etron Fou Leloublan on their previous studio albums, but this time the performance is much more concise and doesn't overstay its welcome, on contrary, making me want to scream for more! Nicole is a much smoother composition that does start of like a wild Avant-Prog track but the main portion of it is much groovier and actually reminds me slightly of a pumped up version of Roxanne by The Police!

The high note conclusion of Pas'l'sou, that manages to shift into a waltz on a few occasions, did catch me off guard the first time I heard it, but isn't that what challenging bands suppose to do? Les Poumons Gonfles is definitely the best introduction to Etron Fou Leloublan even though it might not be all that representative of their early material. Still, if you only plan to hear one album by each of the original RIO bands then this is definitely the album to pick from Etron Fou Leloublan's discography.

***** star songs: Nicolas (4:07) Nicole (5:41) Pas'l'sou (3:14)

**** star songs: Mimi (2:59) Exposition Universelle (1:44) La Musique (3:03) Christine (6:42) Those Distant Waters (3:17) Upsalla (Chenevier) (2:07) Io Prefero (4:30)

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 En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Live, 1979
2.75 | 12 ratings

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En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars By the sounds of it, this particular performance from Etron Fou Leloublan was quite a spectacle to experience in a live setting. Unfortunately En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique only has a weak sound collage that can give a certain understanding of how the band sounded during the performance without much depth to it.

After hearing this live album on a few occasions it's still unclear to me what I think of this band's live act. Etron Fou Leloublan had, by the time of this release, already made another change in their lineup with Bernard Mathieu taking over the band's soprano & tenor saxophones duties. This would turn out to be the longest time a member of Etron Fou Leloublan would keep those duties which, in my opinion, greatly benefited the band's next studio release Les Poumons Gonflés.

This live album gives us a few hints of material of the next few albums like a wild take of Christine from Les Poumons Gonflés and Blanc off Face Aux Eléments Dechainés but other than that most of this album's material is comprised of wild jams and improvisational moments that do work well in a live setting but not necessary transition that onto a live release. I generally tend to be more forgiving for mistakes that I see bands do when performing live since I'm getting a different type of energy from the whole experience that overshadows any minor flaws in the instrumental work. Here, these flaws become overbearing at times even though I don't consider myself a perfectionist when it comes to live albums.

With only Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau gapping the bridge between the past and future for Etron Fou Leloublan, En Public Aux États-Unis d'Amérique is quite a weird live album that I can't really recommend to anyone but the established fans. I'm sure that there are interesting moment to gain here if you've already acquired a taste for this band's music, but otherwise I'd definitely recommend starting with the studio albums.

**** star songs: Introduction (0:23) Christine (7:57) Rose (3:58) Atarte (Rappel) (0:45) Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau (8:28) Blanc (4:56)

*** star songs: Ida Trop Tard (6:56) Un Apres-midi Au Zoo (3:03) Et Puis (6:32) La Java Des Bombes Atomiques (2:44)

** star songs: Binet D'Eau Chaude (Impro) (3:57)

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 Les 3 fous Perdegagnent - Au pays des... by ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.78 | 21 ratings

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Les 3 fous Perdegagnent - Au pays des...
Etron Fou Leloublan RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars With the release of Les Trois Fous Perdegagnent, Etron Fou Leloublan cut down their compositions in shorter clusters, which is something that they would continue doing, and showed a definite improvement in their songwriting!

Even though it's only been a year since Batelages, the trio had already made a change in the lineup and the addition of Francis Grand did add a more prominent team player to the band's sound, especially in the Alto & Tenor sax regions. The opening composition is beautifully titled Face À L'extravagante Montée Des Ascenceurs, Nous Resterons Fidèles À Notre Calme Détermination and is quite a stunning example of the consistency that I was missing on the band's debut release. This performance is slick, energetic and quite extravagant in its style while still maintaining a clear sense of direction. The followup Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau basically carries on the tradition of the album opener while adding new layers to the overall sound.

The first side closes on Recherche Pour Un Journal, Des Lunettes, Une Pipe Et Un Bérêt that features fairly little percussion by Etron Fou Leloublan's standards up to this point while incorporating a very thick layered sound of the brass arrangements. Side two opens with the 11-minute long Le Désastreux Voyage De Piteux Python which features a much looser style, reminding me of the material featured on Batelages. P.O.I. incorporates a likewise style of its predecessor, but this time the smooth flow of the composition makes it all seem fairly pleasant to my ears. Things get especially exciting towards the last 2 minutes where the constant bass hamming riff mixed with chaotic drum and sax work really makes it a spectacle to behold!

Etron Fou Leloublan had definitely moved up a notch with this release and things would actually get even better with the next release! Still, this album is quite a juicy steak that will take quite some time to devour with the end results exceeding beyond the initial anticipations.

***** star songs: Face À L'extravagante Montée Des Ascenceurs, Nous Resterons Fidèles À Notre Calme Détermination (6:13)

**** star songs: Le Fleuve Et Le Manteau (7:49) Percutant Reportage Au Pays Des Fées (0:36) Recherche Pour Un Journal, Des Lunettes, Une Pipe Et Un Bérêt (5:54) Le Désastreux Voyage De Piteux Python (10:41) P.O.I. - Pourissement Des Organes Intérieurs (6:56)

*** star songs: Nave De Bilande (3:00)

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