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micky View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: PA's Artist of the Week (week 3) Ange
    Posted: August 19 2007 at 08:41
for the new week..  a prolific and interesting symphonic group from France.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 08:45
here's a great review of the debut...  was the first I got from them... and was sucked in immediately by the first track... and completely hooked with Christian comes in on the second song.  Love his style.

ANGE

Caricatures

1972

Studio Album

Review | Album details | All reviews


Review by ZowieZiggy (Van Stichel)
[Prog Reviewer ]
Posted 6:25:37 PM EST, 4/22/2007

5%20stars The first time I listened to this album it was at my cousin's place on a remote day (I think it was in April, 1974). I was completely blown out with the incredible music I discovered. The comparison with Genesis was obvious of course, but not only.

The tortured mood, at times grotesque, of their lead vocalist Chistian Décamps is another of their constancy. Their lyrics are very complex, rude, sexually oriented and extremely vulgar, hence funny. They will even dare to publish them. To mark their distances with this aspect of the band, the record company will mention of the back of the sleeve (I translate) : "Only the authors of these words are responsible for their lyrics".

Ange is enormous in ... France (and well-known in Belgium, maybe in French Canda or Switzerland but I do not know about the later ones). If they didn't do an international career as they would have deserved, it is definitely because they voluntarily have chosen French for their lyrics. And not those ones you can easily understand. No, very complex ones.

The opener "Biafra 80 Introduction" is a pure Krimson song. Dark, heavy but melodious at the same time. This short intro sets the pace for a great prog rock album. It goes on the same mood with "Tels Quels". Almost jazzy for most of the time, KC is again not far away. Very complex structure with rather bizarre lyrics.

The next number, filled me with a bit of anger when I first listened to it that very ancient day. I said : "Damned, they copied "The Battle Of Epping Forest" ! Then my cousin showed me the sleeve. This song had been written way before "Epping"... So, it was a bit of reverse engeneering ...

The lyrics of this song are very rude. This will be another trademark of Ange. Very funny text, but totally irrespectuous. In this case they discuss about chastety, homosexuals, virgins. There will be an incredebly nice flute and piano passage : we are brought instantly in the "Trespass" mood without doubt. But what a nice moment. It turns into a great guitar break for the finale. You know like in "Firth" more than a year later... The best track of this very good album.

"Le Soir Du Diable" opens on a gentle acoustic guitar piece like in "Horizons" for instance. Good percussion work from Gérald Jelsch. It is not the best number of the album, but it is a nice transition number. Other bands also produced some shorter and transitional numbers on their albums, right ? The lyrics are absolutely insane. I wonder who's the craziest lyricist : Gabriel or Décamps ?

Some attempt to translation (difficult excercise, I can tell you even if my mother tongue is French) : "And I'm sucking my blood, Believing I'm sucking time, I'm like a vulture stuffing with his entrails". But all of their lyrics are like that. Absolutely disjointed.

"Caricatures" has a medieval architecture. But this is also an integrant part of the world of Ange. After a short recitation, this long number is almost all-instrumental. Tranquil at times, during some moments it will get as weird as Crimson (or Yes maybe) could be. Superb contrast. The same text will be sung at the end of the track, on a very subtle keys background. Another highlight.

We"ll go back to the start of the album with the short closing number "Biafra 80 Finale". Again this is totally Crimson inspired.

This first album of Ange is IMO a great symphonic moment. Should it be in English I am sure lots of people would praise this work as much as I do. If you are fan of the early Genesis (and there are a few of those ones on this site I guess) and the early Crimson sound (might also be some around the corner), this album is a must listen, really.

I will be generous with this release and add a little star to the four ones it surely deserves, just to do justice to Ange. To have produced such a brilliant album in 1972 is extraordinary.

Five stars. Bravo.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 09:07
I quite like Ange, especially Mr. Decamps' exuberance! However, I've always felt that they were one of those great bands who never managed to release a great album. Is that fair? ;)

does anyone know if the singer ever did anything outside of Ange?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 09:15
Here's a band I don't know, I'd sure like to know more of it.
For instance, how big is it's symphonic prog royal taste, compared to the Yes, Genesis and such we know?
Of course, you'll probably give no better examples than those of ZowieZig, he reviewed quite a lot (if not all).

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 09:21
The sole album that I have some Ange is this.  And it isn't even badly, after all:

ANGE

La Gare de Troyes

(Studio Album, 1983)
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3%20stars My review is produced using this release: Musea FGBG 4206.AR

Rating:5,5/10

"La Gare De Troyes"... "Troyes Station"... Is a station in Line 4 of East in France from Paris Gare De L'est and Basel SBB... The song is the rappresentation of the train that pass from this station: Heavy diesel goods train (often in double traction), regional trains and the mytical ex TEE (Trans Europe Express) and today EC (EuroCity) "L'Arbaléte". In france, still annotation, the High Speed Trains is the mythical TGV. If the Kraftwerk plays the importance of TEE trains... The Ange plays the "Gare De Troyes"... And Lucio Battisti use the classification of the most powerful Italian vapor locomotive for a song transforming the classification in schedule ("7 e 40'). Trains and music... Well this isn't a very Prog album... Warning: Is a Prog album but only for the instrumentation because in truth is a pseudo New Wave/ Hard Rock/ AOR album with a very good emotional mid tempo "Les Jardins". In general the music isn't bad but like in the case of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso is warned that for the Ange is more difficult to write POP that Prog songs. So "Neuf Heures" is a good Prog ballads. The problem is the parts more Rock... Because is an hybrid between Hard Rock, New Wave and AOR. But that Ange is a great group is all noticeable.

Not bad, considering that this album is from 1983. But, this is good, is aged extreme well.

This album is dedicated to this station:
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Limmagine%20“http://www.lesgares.com/typologie/xpht/TRS-03.jpg”%20non%20può%20essere%20visualizzata%20poiché%20contiene%20degli%20errori.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 12:09
Here is a group that I haven't taken the time to really explore yet. I have two of their albums, but have only listened to them briefly.

Great job bringing out a lesser known item Micky.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 18:38
Originally posted by bhikkhu bhikkhu wrote:

Here is a group that I haven't taken the time to really explore yet. I have two of their albums, but have only listened to them briefly.

Great job bringing out a lesser known item Micky.


thank you sir!....  the vocals, I agree,  are an acquired taste...  but if they 'grab' you.. you will get hooked on them.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 20:02
haven't taken the dive into the French scene yet...I like what I hear with Ange though, kinda like early Genesis on steroids (or maybe some other substance...).  I read a lot about the insane lyrics (I don't speak French) and theatrical element so there's a definant "love 'em or hate 'em" mentality surrounding this band, one that will take a long time to absorb, for me, this is a language that is very difficult to listen to delivered in a voice that is difficult to digest...I'm sure I'll come around eventually though, I can definately appreciate what they did.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2007 at 23:11
I only have two Ange albums Au-Dela and Par les Mandrin.  Both are very good, especially the former.  I plan on ordering more soon, but there is so much within the French symphonic scene alone (Pulsar, which I ordered their debut recently, Atoll, Mona Lisa, Asia Minor, Shylock, and Nemo but that's a bit later etc.) let alone so many other things I'd like....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2007 at 04:49
Love Ange, from Caricatures to Guet-Apens (I'm only missing Le Cemitiére des Arlequins from that period). Emile Jacotey and Par les fils du mandarin were the most disapointing, but they are still growing on me;  Caricatures and Guet-Apens are both fantastic, though, but the closer to masterpiece they got from the albums I own is Au-delà du Délire. Fantastic musicianship, amazing vocals, very powerful and energic.

Edited by Kotro - August 20 2007 at 04:50
Bigger on the inside.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2007 at 08:30
Originally posted by Kotro Kotro wrote:

Love Ange, from Caricatures to Guet-Apens (I'm only missing Le Cemitiére des Arlequins from that period).


let's see if we can help you with that hahhaha.   Here's one from our reviewer  extraordinaire Hugues. A short one..but very valid. Not my favorite... but it is really good.

ANGE

Le Cimetière des Arlequins

1973

Studio Album

Review | Album details | All reviews


Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)
[Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Specialist]
Posted 7:43:11 AM EST, 10/22/2004

4%20stars As far as I am concerned, this is their best album , a fact that most Ange addicts will dispute me with Délire and Jacotey.On this one there are two or three tracks thart are the best they've done all period consideredr.

This starts with Jacques Brel's Ces Gens-Là , which is the best cover of any Brel cover song done prog or not (that includes Bowie's Amsterdam) as they really understood how to put this in rock instruments. Other stand-out tracks are Espionne-Lesbienne sandwiched between the two Bivouac pieces and last but not least , the title track.

I suggest that newcomers start with this one , being slightly less aggressive (in a good Ange way) as to not scare them away and then move on chronologicaly.


Originally posted by Kotro Kotro wrote:


Emile Jacotey and Par les fils du mandarin were the most disapointing, but they are still growing on me;  Caricatures and Guet-Apens are both fantastic, though, but the closer to masterpiece they got from the albums I own is Au-delà du Délire. Fantastic musicianship, amazing vocals, very powerful and energic.


God I love Au-delà du Dèlire Clap

a nice review from James... sums my feelings up well....

ANGE

Au-delà du Délire

1974

Studio Album

Review | Album details | All reviews


Review by Finnforest (James)
[Prog Reviewer ]
Posted 9:58:19 PM EST, 6/21/2007

5%20stars A perfect symphonic treat from the “French Marillion.”

Lots of people think that Fish’s act is taken from the pages of Peter Gabriel. I think Fish was much more a Christian Decamps student than he was Gabriel. The musical style also reveals some similarities although I prefer this album to anything Fish ever released. And Fish-era album covers bare a possible resemblance to Ange covers like this one.

Another thing I notice is the number of people put off by Decamps vocals. Sure he’s a drama-boy but if you’ll stick with this album over time, you will get used to his style. Like some of the theatrical Italian vocals they just take some time to grow. If you quickly write off such vocals you’re going to miss out on some great music!

This is a beautiful and well written symphonic album that gives the listener a bit of everything from quiet acoustic to hard rock, from Decamps theatrics to rather odd sound effects, from heavy drama to humor. The material here is so good with elements of French folk balladry finding their way in. The only downside I can find is that the sound quality is not great, this album really needs a new remastering! The booklet contains no information, hardly worthy of this great album. What was Philips thinking with this bare bones release?

While Ange may not be the greatest virtuosos in the world they play every track with spellbinding emotion. The 9-minute title track that closes this album is a perfect example of why I love them: acoustic guitars, mellotron, great progression of music and narration. At 4 minutes everything stops and we hear birds and other environmental sounds. And then a grand finale it is! Jubilant and soaring electric solos that will have you air-guitaring in your car for the final 4 minutes before the creatures of the countryside come back to close out this masterpiece.

Even with all the great French bands out there like Pentacle, Carpe Diem, and Eclat, this album is at or near the top of the essential French list. A true joy for lovers of music!



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2007 at 08:31
by the way..... will most likely be away for a few days... if someone wants to step in and keep the ball rolling... free free..
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2007 at 11:59

Les Longues Nuits D´Isaac was the first Ange´s song i ever listened to, loved it from the very first moment, sadly i only know 3 of their albums, which actually are enough for now to enjoy their music, Caricatures, Au Dela Du Delire and Les Cimetiere des arlequins, all of them are very worth listening.

And also i have a compillation album called Vagabondages, very nice.

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 13 2008 at 20:35
How did I miss this thread ? Cry
"Here I am talking to some of the smartest people in the world and I didn't even notice,” Lieutenant Columbo, episode The Bye-Bye Sky-High I.Q. Murder Case.
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